After 18 years in plastics and nine years as president of the Washington-based Plastic Pipe Institute, Rich Gottwald is stepping down.
The PPI board plans to hire a replacement by Feb. 1, said Chairman Kurt Waldhauer, president and chief executive officer of McPherson, Kan.-based American Maplan Corp.
PPI represents predominantly makers of polyethylene pipe used for conduit as well as underground fuel and water transfer.
Gottwald's resignation is effective Dec. 2. He accepted a job as executive vice president of the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation in Ballston, Va. The organization does not work in plastics, Gottwald said Nov. 14 by phone.
Since splitting from the Washington-based Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. in 1999, PPI has grown from 35 members to 140.
``Products like concrete and copper for years have had the vast majority of the market,'' Gottwald said. ``They are now seeing their turf invaded, eaten away by plastics.''
Waldhauer said PPI is undergoing major transformation, from a technically focused organization to one that also addresses market development.
``The association is looking to penetrate markets and to develop new uses, codes and applications for our association members' products,'' Waldhauer said.