James Alongi has received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the thermoforming division of the Society of Plastics Engineers.
Alongi is president of Maac Machinery Corp. in Carol Stream, Ill. He's been a member of the division for nearly 25 years. The division's executive committee presented the award to Alongi Sept. 21, during its awards dinner in Grand Rapids, Mich., where its annual conference was held.
Alongi entered the plastics industry in 1997 as president of Maac, SPE thermoforming officials said in a news release. He soon learned the thermoforming business and, working closely his with his brother, Paul Alongi, developed business practices that improved efficiency and allowed the company to expand and flourish, they added.
Under James Alongi's leadership, Maac has become the world's largest thermoforming machinery manufacturer, focusing exclusively on cut-sheet applications. Officials said the firm is an innovator and leader in the thermoforming sector. Maac has been a longtime supporter of SPE and the thermoforming division because of Alongi's involvement.
Alongi is a member of the division's asset allocation review committee. In that role, he has enabled the delivery of Maac ASP thermoformers to universities around the country. These machines allow students to learn the thermoforming process using equipment that can perform all basic techniques.
As an active member of the division's board of directors, Alongi has served SPE in many different areas. He's a longtime member of the machinery technical committee and has also served as conference chair, technical program chair and session moderator. He currently serves as finance committee chair and has worked on technical articles for SPE Thermoforming Quarterly magazine.
In his longtime role as treasurer of the division, Alongi installed financial operating procedures and also was a member of the executive committee. Officials said he has provided advice to conference chairs and division chairs on the financial operation of the division. For many years, Alongi also prepared the required financial reports and filings for the division.
"James Alongi is the man behind the scenes who handles the details and makes the ideas work," said Steve Zamprelli, SPE thermoforming division chair. "His commitment to service — in his leadership roles at Maac and in the SPE Thermoforming division — has directly impacted the SPE thermoforming division and our industry as a whole."
Zamprelli added that Alongi's "quiet but determined leadership and willingness to help in any capacity makes him not only a role model but an inspiration to us all."
The division's mission is to facilitate the advancement of thermoforming technologies through education, application, promotion and research. The division also has funded more than $275,000 in equipment grants and tens of thousands of dollars in undergraduate scholarships over its history.