Danbury, Conn. — To honor longtime plastics journalist Bill Bregar, SPE and Crain Communications have launched the Bill Bregar Memorial Scholarship Fund, which will support aspiring journalists and business communicators in the plastics and manufacturing industries.
Bregar, who died on April 5 of an apparent heart attack, spent 31 years reporting on the plastics industry. He joined Crain Communications' Plastics News as a staff reporter shortly before the publication's launch in 1989.
"I think Bill liked the reporting part of journalism best," Editor Don Loepp said. "Meeting people, calling people on the phone, asking them questions, learning about them and about their business. He was an excellent writer, too, and his style came through in almost everything he wrote, even briefs about new products. But his real gift was his reporting skill. He also enjoyed mentoring young reporters, sharing his knowledge and sources freely when they showed interest."
Bregar, who was a resident of Ashtabula, Ohio, also reported on SPE events and news. Because he was considered a longtime friend and asset to the SPE Akron Section, Bregar was recently inducted into the Section's 2020 Plastics Hall of Honor. This award recognizes individuals whose quiet service and support are often overshadowed by the celebrity of people or programs deemed of higher rank or visibility; the unsung heroes, the everyday foot soldiers in the plastics industry whose accomplishments are lacking only in recognition. He was nominated by Keith Pelfrey, awards chair of SPE's Akron Section.
"Bill has been a huge supporter of the Akron chapter over the years. We enjoyed his wit and humor," Pelfrey said. "He was scheduled to be inducted into our Hall of Honor in May and we are very saddened that he passed away. It is our privilege to induct him into the Hall of Honor posthumously. He will be missed."
The Bill Bregar Memorial Scholarship Fund was established on behalf of the Bregar family by SPE and Crain Communications. Crain Communications will provide initial funding of $5,000 with additional funding coming through donations. The SPE Foundation is accepting donations through the Bill Bregar Scholarship Fund website.
"The SPE Foundation's mission is to support the development of plastics professionals along the whole value chain through scholarships, grants and educational programs," said Eve Vitale, chief executive of the SPE Foundation. "By honoring Bill's memory with a scholarship for a journalism or communications student, we are affirming his life's work as well as his excellence in reporting on an industry we all hold dear."
Scholarship applications will be accepted from Dec. 1 through April 1 on the SPE Foundation website.