PPA Adds Five to Membership Roster

Don, Knaus, Rahr, Royce, Schultz elected to group.

The Plastics Pioneers Association, McHenry, Ill.  last month announced that five new members had been elected to join the organization. The new members, who were officially elected during the PPA’s fall meeting Sept. 26-30 at the Seelbach Hilton in Louisville, Ken., are

Dennis Don: Dennis Don 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, N.Y., 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, Dennis Knaus is recognized as one of the leading experts in foam extrusion, holding several U.S. patents. He began his career in plastic with the National Rubber Machinery (NRM), where he designed extrusion machinery. Later, he became the director of research and development for Packaging Industries Group in Hyannis, Mass. In 1971, Knaus designed and built a system to extrude very low-density polyethylene foam. At this low density, it became economical to use this foam for protective packaging applications. It was also the first low cost reliable flotation foam for personal flotation devices. Today, Sealed Air Corp. and Pregis use Knaus’ technology to make most of their polyethylene foam products.

Knaus founded Enviro-Tek in 1991 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: Dan Raher is vice president of sales & marketing at Deltech Polymers. He has been in the plastics industry for more than 42 years and has also worked in various sales and marketing roles for Nova Chemicals, Huntsman Chemical (thru OVP Distribution), 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 Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS, formerly SPI), the Foodservice Packaging Institute (FPI), and the National Polystyrene Recycling Council, having fought for plastics initiatives during a period when foam packaging products and single- service items were under siege from those who favored paper and cardboard.

Wylie Royce: Wylie Royce is owner and director of Royce Global, which this year 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 also an inventor and was instrumental in developing early technologies for reprocessing and color of post-industrial polystyrene.

Royce is also the current chairman of the Plastics Industry Association. He is Treasurer of The Food Drug and Cosmetic Packaging Materials Committee of PLASTICS. 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 Division.

David Schultz: David Schultz is currently the technical director at Harwick Standard Distribution Co. in Akron. He has been in the plastics industry for over 40 years in technical service and leadership roles, having started his career at the Ohio Rubber Company.

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 member in SPE throughout his career, having served as Akron Section President, National Councilor, Secretary, and has been involved in various section activities within SPE’s Recycling and Polymer Modifiers and Additives divisions. He was inducted into 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 PPA is a non-profit 501c3 chartered organization comprised of industry leaders with a minimum of 20 years’ experience in the 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.