GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. (Oct. 2, 8:20 a.m. ET) — The Society of Plastics Engineers Thermoforming Division lost some money last year, but leaders decided to fully fund important education programs, division Chairman Phil Barhouse said.
“Our mission is to promote and educate. And we did choose to support our educational expenses this year, regardless of some of the lower revenues,” Barhouse said after the business luncheon Sept. 25 at the Thermoforming Conference in Grand Rapids.
The Thermoforming Division lost $45,268 in its fiscal year ended Jan. 31, Barhouse told members at the Thermoforming Conference 2012 business lunch on Sept. 25, in Grand Rapids. He said the loss mainly came from reduced income from the newsletter, Thermoforming Quarterly, and a decline from the 2011 conference, held in Schaumburg, Ill.
Despite the loss, Barhouse said the division continues to give out scholarships, provide matching funds for schools to buy equipment and sponsor a student reception at SPE's Antec conference.
Barhouse is packaging support engineer at sheet extruder Spartech Corp. in Ripon, Wis.
The Thermoforming Division paid all expenses for 30 students to attend the conference in Grand Rapids.
That included both 2012 scholarship winners. Sharna-Kay Dobney received the $5,000 Segen Griep Memorial Scholarship. An international student from Jamaica, she is pursuing a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from Kettering University in Flint, Mich. She will graduate in the spring of 2013.
The other scholarship winner, Harry Koshulsky, gets $2,000. He is a senior at Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport, Pa., where he will graduate in May 2013 with a bachelor's degree in plastics and polymer engineering technology.
The Thermoforming Division named its board member of the year: Clarissa Schroeder of Auriga Polymers in Spartanburg, S.C. Barhouse said she led the communications committee, which has completely redone the division's web site.
Gwen Mathis, the longtime Thermoforming Conference coordinator and industry activist, was named an emeritus director.