Albert and Helga Schmid, owners of a 22-press custom injection molding shop in Ontario, Calif., received the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc.'s 2005 Western Plastics Award for their support and sponsorship of the industry.
``They are partners in the greatest sense of the word at work and at home. They have created a wonderful environment for their employees and customers and are an exceptional example of the best of the plastics industry,'' said Chuck Brewer Jr., a founder of C. Brewer Co. in Anaheim, Calif. Brewer was the 2003 winner of the same award, given by SPI's Western Region.
In Ontario, the Schmids' company, Raymar Mold Inc. - which does business as Superior Mold Co. - employs 50 and recorded 2004 sales of $4.75 million.
SPI Western Region Vice Chairman Scott Whisler called the Schmids ``humble and totally committed'' to the plastics industry, as shown through their offerings of time and money.
Albert Schmid, president and chief executive officer, ``is often the first to send in a check for corporate sponsor - and this meeting is no exception,'' Brewer said at the Western Region annual meeting, held Sept. 22-24 in San Diego. Helga Schmid is vice president of administration and runs the company's accounting office.
``They do not seek the limelight. When they get the limelight, they'd rather not have it,'' said Whisler, who also is D-M-E Co.'s western regional sales manager, in Ontario.
German native Albert Schmid, 69, entered the plastics industry as a tool and die apprentice. He launched his own mold-making shop in 1972 and began injection molding parts in 1975.
Today the ISO-certified company is thriving, according to Brewer.
The firm's end markets include medical, automotive and electrical/electronics. Superior Mold also holds Food and Drug Administration and California device-manufacturing licenses and Underwriter Laboratories Inc. approval.
``The customer turnover is virtually zero,'' Brewer said.
``Though about half of the workforce is hired through an agency, they are considered part of the family - receiving profit sharing and taking part in the annual company outings,'' he said.
Brewer quoted some of Al Schmid's favorite maxims to help portray the man:
* There are no ranks; everyone is the same here.
* Get better, not bigger.
* Do better tomorrow than yesterday.
* Do what you say and say what you do.
The Western Region gave its Community Service Award to Donna Koebel, and its Distinguished Service Award went to Ray Dowling.
Koebel, owner and CEO of Prestige Mold Inc. in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., took over that business when her husband, Mike, died in 1998 at age 40. They had begun the company in a garage in 1983.
Koebel continues to support two major annual events her husband initiated through SPI's Western Moldmakers Division - the Mike Koebel Moldmakers Trade Fair, next held Oct. 26 in Pomona, Calif., and the Mike Koebel Golf Classic in the spring.
Donna Koebel is not new to awards, having been named the American Mold Builders Association's 2004 mold builder of the year the Society of Plastics Engineers' 2003 mold designer.
Her community service includes the Ladies Plastics Golf Organization, a charity she helped found in 2000 that raises funds to support breast cancer awareness.
She became a director on the Western Region's board in 2001.
Dowling, 72, chairman of Universal Plastic Mold Inc. of Baldwin Park, Calif., received the distinguished service award for his routine contributions of talent and funding to the industry and SPI programs.
Dowling left his home in Vancouver, British Columbia, at age 16 and worked across Canada in various jobs, first learning about plastics at Thermos Bottle Co. in Toronto at age 19.
He became a supervisor and, in 1957, relocated his family to Southern California.
He was mold superintendent at Jet Plastics Inc. in Los Angeles in 1962, when he borrowed $1,000 and started his own custom injection molding company.
In its 43rd year, family-owned UPM is one of a few privately held California-based custom molders that has operated without an ownership change. Dowling's son Steve is UPM president and his son Jason works in the sales department.
Dowling, 72, received the SPI award despite a penchant for operating behind the scenes.