Sonoma, Calif. — The Western Plastics Association saluted the accomplishments of board member Roger Hewson Jr. at a conference session before he started the next chapter in his life.
On May 26, capping almost 48 years in business, Hewson retired from his position as western territory sales manager for Windmoeller & Hoelscher Corp. of Lincoln, R.I. He covered 22 states selling W&H film extrusion, printing, laminating and converting equipment.
Customers praised him.
"Roger helped us buy four W&H printing presses since 1999 including our most recent Miraflex in 2017," said Kevin Kelly, CEO of Emerald Packaging Inc. of Union City, Calif. "I say 'helped' because he has incredible technical expertise that enabled us to choose and outfit the exact press we needed."
Robert Bateman, president of Roplast Industries Inc. in Oroville, Calif., knows Hewson's extensive knowledge of converting equipment stems from his real-world experiences and his helpful willingness to share that technical wisdom openly.
Hewson, 67, served as the 1990 president of the WPA predecessor California Film Extruders & Converters Association and was a CFECA director for six years. He received CFECA's 2005 Leo Shluker Award for his service.
CFECA had recognized his father, Roger Hewson Sr., posthumously with the 1987 Leo Shluker Award. The Hewsons are the first father and son to win the award.
Roger Sr. relocated his family from Wayland, Mass., to the Los Angeles area in 1966 to work initially at polybag machine maker G.T. Schjeldahl Co. He started a manufacturers' representative business in 1976 with W&H as a client.
The oldest of seven siblings, Roger Jr. started at Marvelene Extrusions and, over a decade, operated bag machines, extruders and printing presses. He worked his way through classes at California State University, Long Beach, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in history.
In the mid 1970s, he tried his hand at small converting operations in Los Angeles and Albuquerque, N.M.
He returned to California and joined his father's business in 1979, inherited the operation including the W&H account following his father's death in 1986, and grew the business with the help of two brothers, two sisters and his wife, Jeanne.
Hewson became a W&H employee in 2004.
He said he plans to continue pursuing his hobby of outboard boat racing, work on his Huntington Beach, Calif., home, spend more time with three grandchildren and perhaps travel.