The California Film Extruders & Converters Association presented its 2004 Leo Shluker Award to Tom Clapper at an Oct. 12 meeting in Norwalk, Calif. His contributions to the industry were recognized during the award ceremony.
Clapper is western regional sales manager in Orange, Calif., for extruder maker Battenfeld Gloucester Engineering Co. Inc. He joined the equipment manufacturer in 1988.
Clapper has supported CFECA and the plastics industry, organized technical seminars and summer social and golf events and, generally, led by example, according to members.
``Tom Clapper came into the industry more than 16 years ago with great zeal and ambition to help grow the industry,'' said Harald Goeppert, West Coast manager in Santa Ana, Calif., for Hudson-Sharp Machine Co. ``Tom is always first behind the scenes to volunteer his help, and he has put together outstanding technical sessions on extrusion technologies.''
He ``has been inspirational and energetic,'' Goeppert said. He has helped ``customers succeed with his technical knowledge, recruited talented people into the industry and assisted some in relocating as company needs changed.''
Clapper, 53, grew up in Mansfield, Ohio, attended Ohio State University and also went to a local technical school for training that led to work from 1973-78 with Meyer Manufacturing of Akron, Ohio. He ventured to the West Coast for a position as a Pepsi-Cola Co. plant manager in Buena Park, Calif., from 1978-81 and stayed in California as a Meyer area sales manager from 1981-88.
``Tom has been a big help in keeping us abreast of technology whether in single- or multilayer equipment and has communicated effectively with all levels of our employees in technical or layman's terms,'' said Earl Williams, vice president of manufacturing with Shields Bag and Printing Co. of Yakima, Wash. ``We enjoy his visits, and we have purchased a lot of equipment from Gloucester'' during Clapper's tenure.
Clapper understands equipment and the industry, serves as an effective advocate for customers and his employer and brings a professional approach to the business, said Ron Richardson, senior vice president of technology with Trans Western Polymer Inc. of Livermore, Calif.
In his community, Clapper officiates high school football games. He started refereeing his sons' soccer matches and later transitioned to football.
From 1999-2002, Clapper competed in the Allison Legacy race series at various California tracks. The racers use three-quarter-sized Winston Cup car replicas with a four-cylinder Mazda truck engine.
CFECA of Newport Beach, Calif., began the Leo Shluker Award in 1985 in recognition of the group's founder and first president.