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The Society of Plastics Engineers’ Thermoforming Board of Directors has named Tray-Pak Corp. chairman David Bestwick as its 2009 Thermoformer of the Year. The award will be presented during a special reception held in his honor at NPE2009 in Chicago on Tuesday, June 23 from 4-6 p.m. in the Thermoforming Pavilion at the show (Booth W119025).

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Tray-Pak chairman David Bestwick wins Thermoformer of the Year

The Society of Plastics Engineers’ Thermoforming Board of Directors has named Tray-Pak Corp. chairman David Bestwick as its 2009 Thermoformer of the Year. The award will be presented during a special reception held in his honor at NPE2009 in Chicago on Tuesday, June 23 from 4-6 p.m. in the Thermoforming Pavilion at the show (Booth W119025).

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David Bestwick


Bestwick and his partners acquired the thermoforming operation of W.R. Grace in 1975 and renamed it Tray-Pak (Reading, PA), starting the operation with 11 machines and 36 employees, processing cookie and candy trays. In 1981, he bought his partners’ shares and took over sole ownership. Reading is at the heart of Pennsylvania’s mushroom country, and Bestwick and Tray-Pak are credited with introducing high-impact polystyrene (HIPS) trays to the mushroom industry in 1977. The transition from pulp to thermoformed trays increased shelf life in the supermarkets 30-40%.

Tray-Pak was involved in the early development of dual ovenable (microwave and conventional) crystalline polyethylene terephthalate (C-PET) trays in the 1980s, and it also was among the first to work with thermoforming of recycled or postconsumer PET. The company has grown to include more than 250 employees and 44 machines in a 200,000-ft2 facility, and recently added a Class 8 cleanroom to its facility.

Bestwick and Tray-Pak have also received the 2002 Pennsylvania Dept. of Commerce Award, the 2003 Ben Franklin Technology Partners Grant for Economic Development, and the 2007 Ben Franklin Technology Innovation Award. To be considered for the SPE thermoforming award, candidates must have founded or owned a company that uses the thermoforming process; developed patents or made technical advances to the thermoforming processes; created new markets through innovative means; or played a key role on the Thermoforming Div. Board of Directors. [email protected]

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