The Plastics Pioneers Association welcomed 13 new members at its spring meeting March 31 in Orlando. PPA officials are calling it a baker's dozen of inductees. They are:
Dan Cykana, an extrusion authority. From 1978-2012, he worked for Bemis Manufacturing Co., most recently as engineering director. For 15 years before that, he was director of custom extruder Northland Plastics Inc. Cykana currently runs his own consulting firm, Extrusion Solutions. He is co-holder of 13 patents.
The husband-and-wife team of Sal and Erika Monte, respectively the president, and vice president and treasurer, of Kenrich Petrochemicals Inc., a maker of additives for polymers in Bayonne, N.J. Erika Monte is a member of several trade groups, including the American Chemical Society's Rubber Division, the Middle Atlantic Plastics and Rubber Group, the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. and the Society of Plastics Engineers. Sal Monte, who holds 29 patents, is an SPE fellow and honored service member.
Dave Murdock has held a variety of technical and management positions in more than 25 years in the extrusion industry. He has worked for then-Cincinnati Milacron's twin-screw extrusion business, has been president of Michigan Roll Form Inc. and was business area manager for twin-screw extrusion at Davis-Standard Corp. He now is business development director at Fiberon LLC, a composite decking, railing and fence maker.
Gary Oliver, a 40-year industry veteran who is chief technical officer for flat-die maker Extrusion Dies Inc. His career began at thermoforming machinery maker Brown Machine. After a stint at a Michigan tool builder, Oliver went on to Dow Chemical Co., where he worked for 12 years as a technician, research engineer and in technical service. He spent two years as director of plastics package engineering at Ball Plastics Packaging before joining Cloeren Inc., a flat-die maker, where he worked for 18 years as senior corporate scientist. Oliver has been a member of SPE for 25 years and involved with the TAPPI Polymer Division for 20 years. He has five patents pending in the areas of die/feed-block design, micro-layer coextrusion and coextrusion structure composition.
Bob Slawska is a pioneer in industrial blow molding machinery, having spent 48 years in the field. In 1964, he began his career with Hartig. He also worked for Black Clawson, Barr Polymer Systems and Sterling Extruder, which entered the blow molding market. (Sterling is now part of Davis-Standard LLC.) Slawska now is a consultant to Graham Engineering Corp. and owner of Proven Technology Inc., a consulting firm in Hillsborough, N.J.
Scott Steele has spent more than 30 years in blow molding. beginning at Owens-Illinois Inc.'s Plastics Division, where he held a variety of engineering positions. In 1986, he helped found Plastic Technologies Inc., which designs, develops and tests packaging. This year, he was named president of PTI in Holland, Ohio. Steele holds 10 U.S. patents.
Frederick Steil began his career as a mold-making apprentice in 1958. In the early 1970s, he moved to injection molding sales at KraussMaffei Corp. He then went to mold-components maker DME Co., where he managed mechanical engineering and technical services until 2005. He owns 10 U.S. patents related to injection molds.
John Vandenbergh started his 30-year plastics career at AEC Inc., then spent 15 years at Conair Group, before joining Riverdale Color Co. He now is operations vice president at biomaterials firm Ecospan LLC in Greenbrae, Calif.
Mark Wolverton started at LNP Engineering Plastics, where he received the Employee of the Year award in 1988. He worked for Black & Decker Inc., Riddell Inc. and Montell USA Inc. before joining Huntsman Corp., now Flint Hills Resources, as senior technical service engineer. He has written 18 publications on thermoplastic composites, runnerless molds and risk management of new-product development.
David Bernardi, senior sales and marketing manager at Ube Machinery Inc. and a veteran of the plastics machinery industry since the 1970s. While at Cincinnati Milacron's Plastics Group, he advanced the development of all-electric injection molding machines, before moving to Ube. He holds a patent on an electrically driven apparatus for ejecting injection molded parts.
John Blundy, a 35-year industry veteran who most recently was vice president of business development for hot-runner supplier Incoe Corp. Blundy began his career at Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd. in 1976 as an area manager. He also has held management positions at Mannesmann Demag and Krupp Corpoplast. He holds two patents.
Richard Bopp, a materials expert during his 40 years in plastics. He spent 21 years at GE Plastics. Since 1996, he has been at NatureWorks LLC. He holds over 20 patents and has authored about 30 technical articles.