The Society of Plastics Engineers Thermoforming Division lost some money last year, but leaders decided to fully fund important education programs, said the division's chairman, Phil Barhouse.
“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 division lost $45,268 in its fiscal year ended Jan. 31, mainly from reduced income from its Thermoforming Quarterly newsletter and the 2011 conference 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 in chemical engineering from Kettering University in Flint, Mich., and will graduate in spring 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 next May with a bachelor's in plastics and polymer engineering technology.
The division named its board member of the year: Clarissa Schroeder of Auriga Polymers Inc., with a plant in Spartanburg, S.C. Barhouse said she led the communications committee, which has completely redone the division's website.
Gwen Mathis, longtime Thermoforming Conference coordinator and industry activist, was named an emeritus director.