The five new members of the Plastics Pioneers Association (PPA; McHenry, IL) are:
Dennis Don. He has been in the plastics industry since September 1974, having spent his entire career with Bamberger Polymers. He started with Bamberger as a sales trainee after graduating from Stony Brook University and is currently the firm’s co-CEO and President. Headquartered in Jericho, NY, Bamberger sells 1.2 billion pounds of resin globally and employs 155 people.
Dennis Knaus. A graduate of Ohio University with a BS in mechanical engineering, Knaus is recognized as one of the leading experts in foam extrusion. He began his career in plastics with National Rubber Machinery, where he designed extrusion machinery. Later, he became the director of research and development for Packaging Industries Group in Hyannis, MA. In 1971, Knaus designed and built a system to extrude very low-density polyethylene foam. At this low density, it became economical to use the foam for protective packaging applications. It was also the first low-cost, reliable foam for personal flotation devices. Today, Sealed Air Corp. and Pregis use Knaus’ technology to make most of their polyethylene foam products. In 1991, Knaus founded Enviro-Tek to improve the environment through the development of new foam technologies. The United Nations hired Knaus in the early 1990s as its primary contractor to implement the Montreal Protocol. Knaus has been a member of the Society of Plastics Engineers since 1970.
Dan Raher. Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Deltech Polymers, Raher has been in the plastics industry for more than 42 years. He has worked in various sales and marketing roles for companies including Nova Chemicals, Huntsman Chemical and Univar USA. Raher received his BA in economics from St. Anselm College and his MA in plastics engineering from the University of Massachusetts-Lowell. He has been a member of SPE since 1978 and has also been involved with the Plastics Industry Association, the Foodservice Packaging Institute and the National Polystyrene Recycling Council, having fought for plastics initiatives during a period when foam packaging products and single-serve items were under siege from those who favored paper and cardboard.
Wylie Royce. He is the owner and director of Royce Global, which is celebrating its 89th anniversary as a global supplier and manufacturer of color concentrates, functional additive masterbatches and liquid color dispersions to the plastics industry. He is a speaker, author and advocate for plastics in food, drugs and cosmetics packaging. Royce is an inventor and was instrumental in developing early technologies for reprocessing post-industrial polystyrene. Royce is also the current chairman of the Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS), where he is treasurer of the Food Drug and Cosmetic Packaging Materials Committee. He is also a past board member of FPI, a member of Health Beauty America’s Technical Advisory Board and is past chair of PLASTICS’ Color and Additives Compounders Division.
David Schultz. Currently the technical director at Harwick Standard Distribution Co. in Akron, OH, Schultz has been in the plastics industry for over 40 years in technical service and leadership roles, having started his career at the Ohio Rubber Co. Schultz received his BS in chemistry from the University of Akron in 1978 and his MS in polymer science in 1984. He has been a very active SPE member, having served as Akron Section President, National Councilor and Secretary, and has been involved in various section activities within SPE’s Recycling and Polymer Modifiers and Additives divisions. He was inducted into the Plastics Hall of Honor in Akron in 1995. Schultz has also been involved with the Intersociety Polymer Education Council as a leader for Polymer Ambassadors, helping promote education on polymers to teachers and pre-college students.
Celebrating its 70th anniversary in 2018, the Plastics Pioneers Association (PPA) is a non-profit 501c3 chartered organization comprised of industry leaders with a minimum of 20 years’ experience in the plastics Industry. The group’s objective is to ensure the preservation of the history of the plastics industry and support its future through industry-wide educational programs. The PPA actively fundraises to finance the PlastiVan program, the Polymer Ambassadors program and the Plastics Collection at Syracuse University.
For more information on donating to the PPA, or if you’re interested in joining this prominent group, please contact Cathy Connell at [email protected].