After serving as the Society of Plastics Engineers' deputy executive director since 2001, Susan Oderwald has become the new executive director.
SPE announced the news May 11, the week before the association's annual meeting in Chicago.
Oderwald, 39, will give her first speech as executive director May 17 in Chicago, during SPE-Antec.
With a background in industry associations and global issues, Oderwald fills the spot left open when Michael Cappelletti retired Dec. 31 after eight years as executive director.
Before she joined Brookfield-based SPE, Oderwald was vice president and co-founder of Kimball & Associates, a trade association management company in McLean, Va., for five years. Oderwald's experience includes a position with the American Forest & Paper Association in Washington, where she was responsible for the day-to-day management of overseas offices that promoted U.S. wood products. She also was executive director of the U.S. Agricultural Export Development Council, representing more than 80 agricultural groups.
She also served as executive director of two other trade groups, the National Association of the Remodeling Industry and the Society of Music Librarians.
Oderwald was international marketing director for a national council, working with the Department of Agriculture on issues such as the North American Free Trade Agreement.
At SPE, Oderwald's responsibilities have included operations, planning and an operational restructuring.
Claudius Feger, chairman of the SPE executive director search committee, said Oderwald has ``made a profound impact on the society's culture, policies and planning'' during her three years at SPE.
``She has worked tirelessly with the executive and finance committees in charting a stable course for SPE, by establishing a new set of policies and procedures for the society,'' said Feger, a past president of SPE. Feger is manager of advanced plastic packaging at IBM Corp.'s research center in Yorktown Heights, N.Y.
Oderwald said she looks forward to guiding SPE and helping members face challenges and capitalize on advances in technology.
In other Antec-related news, SPE announced that Gregory McKenna has won its top honor, the International Award. He will deliver the plenary speech May 19 in Chicago.
McKenna is head of Texas Tech University's Department of Chemical Engineering, where he holds the John B. Bradford Chair.