The Plastic Pioneers Assn. (PPA), an "old school” social network formed in the 1940s to bring together plastics experts in the U.S., inducted two new members at its most recent meeting, held last February. The group has evolved into something akin to a plastics social fraternity, committed to the further advancement and betterment of the industry.
Joining the ranks of the Association this year are Robert Lammie and Richard Giddes. Lammie is vice president of sales, North America and export for plastics and concentrates at Ampacet Corp., while Giddes is a senior project engineer with medical equipment supplier Becton, Dickinson and Co. PPA membership is limited to 250 active members who must have 25 or more years of service in the industry to be considered, and must be sponsored by a current PPA member. Industry expertise and experience gets people noticed but it generally takes a substantial commitment to activities for the common good before a person is inducted. For instance, Lammie is extremely involved with veterans associations and charitable organizations and is a member of the Umbrella Club, an organization of 50 business executives dedicated to raising funds for children without medical insurance. Giddes not only has 30-plus years of mold design experience, including groundbreaking work on plastic syringes, to his credit, but also dedicates much of his non-working hours to coaching youth sports.
PPA’s Ted Debreceni (right) tries on the Much Traveled Shirt.
The PPA also honored one of its members, Theodore Debreceni, with its Much Traveled Shirt award, an acknowledgement of the member who most typifies the spirit of PPA. Debreceni is the immediate past president of the PPA and retired past president of Plastics Systems Inc.
Awarded each February during the group’s annual meeting, the Much Traveled Shirt award dates back to 1954, when one of the founding PPA members, Gordon Brown, arrived at a breakfast meeting wearing an attention-getting Hawaiian shirt. As fellow PPA members joked about the shirt, Brown took it off and presented it to his loudest fashion critic, A.R. Van Horne, who was directed to safeguard the shirt until it could be presented to another deserving member at the following year’s annual meeting. The 54-year old shirt, now adorned with the signature of each of the past recipients, was bestowed upon Debreceni at the PPA’s February meeting. —[email protected]