After a four-month search, the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. has hired Al Damico to run the association's day-to-day operations as its No. 2 person.
Damico will start Sept. 8 as executive vice president.
SPI also will add a vice president of government affairs and public policy soon, as the association has decided to split the duties of former Executive Vice President Catherine Randazzo, who resigned in April after 29 years at SPI.
``Our advocacy efforts have increased at the federal, state and regulatory levels. This new position will let us put the right face on advocacy,'' Bill Carteaux, SPI's president and chief executive officer, said after the Aug. 19 announcement.
Damico has more than 20 years of plastics industry experience, much of it on the materials-supplier end of the business.
Most recently, he was sales and marketing operations manager at fluorochemicals maker Daikin America Inc., headquartered in Orangeburg, N.Y.
``We felt we needed someone from industry who can understand what our members go through every day,'' said Carteaux, who has a background in the plastics machinery sector. ``He is someone who can reach out to the industry, understand their issues and make sure that we remain relevant to our membership base.''
Damico has been active in SPI, serving as chairman of the fluoropolymers division and the communications and marketing advisory committee, which is spearheading the Web-centered industry promotional campaign that will be launched in the spring.
Carteaux said Damico will continue to work on securing broad membership and industry support for the campaign.
``He loves behind-the-scenes, detail work and is able to pull information out of people,'' Carteaux said.
``He lets the participants and members drive the agenda. He doesn't drive the agenda.''
Reporting to Damico will be SPI industry council vice presidents for material suppliers, processors and equipment, and the leaders of the four geographic regions.
Under the previous structure, equipment and processor groups reported to Carteaux.
Membership activities, human capital and workforce development, and the National Plastics Council and PlastiVan programs also will report to Damico.
Carteaux said he plans to focus on membership and ``big-picture items'' like working to bring the industry together and developing stronger ties with the plastics division of the American Chemistry Council.