Three industry pioneers were named to the Pioneers Club of the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc.'s Structural Plastics Division at the SPD conference March 21-23 in Charlotte.
Pioneer members are recognized for making significant contributions while being active in SPD. New members are:
* Larry Currie, a veteran toolmaker and tool designer. He worked at Projection Products in Newton, N.C. He was one of four founders of Fame Plastics Inc. in Daytona Beach, Fla., and founded Fame's plant in Statesville, N.C. When Mack Molding Co. bought Fame in 1990, Currie joined Mack in Statesville. He retired last year as tooling manager of the plant.
* John Heasman, a 44-year plastics veteran and one of the founders of the company that became Cinpres Gas Injection Ltd., a supplier of gas-assisted injection molding technology. Heasman started Cinpres' North American operation in 1992. He retired in 2000, but three years later returned again to head the U.S. unit, Cinpres Gas Injection Inc. in Ann Arbor, Mich.
* Ciro Petrucelli, whose career started in 1966 at Springfield Mold Works Inc. in Westfield, Mass. He has attended 30 of the 31 annual conferences and held numerous leadership positions at the Structural Plastics Division, which originally was called the Structural Foam Division.
The division created the Pioneers Club in 2002.
Also in Charlotte, SPD gave its Industry Recognition Award to Robert Grace, editor and associate publisher of Plastics News, for ``contributions to the growth and development of the structural plastics industry.'' SPD credited Plastics News' extensive coverage of the SPD conference and awards competition during the past 15 years and Grace's efforts to link SPD with the Industrial Designers Society of America. Seven years ago, the newspaper launched the IDSA/Plastics News Design Award, where IDSA judges pick a winner from the annual SPD awards contest.
Also, Grace played a key role in collocating this year's SPD conference with the IDSA Southern District Conference and the Plastics Encounter Southeast trade show, all held at the Charlotte Convention Center.