Plastics Hall of Fame names 2021 inductees

Dec. 23, 2020
Ten individuals, including eight involved in machinery, will be inducted into the Plastics Hall of Fame May 16 in Orlando, Fla., on the eve of NPE2021’s opening day.

Ten individuals, including eight involved in machinery, have been named the newest inductees to the Plastics Hall of Fame. The ceremony is planned for May 16 in Orlando, Fla., on the eve of NPE2021’s opening day.   

The lineup includes the fourth woman to be honored by the hall, which recognizes people who have made significant breakthroughs in plastics or important contributions to the field, developed outstanding products, or have a record of working with groups, such as governments or regulatory bodies, on behalf of the industry.  

We are proud of the 2021 class of the Plastics Hall of Fame. The winners come from all across the globe and represent many different disciplines,” said Jay Gardiner, president of the Plastics Academy. “In this difficult year, we look to these inductees as a reaffirmation of the vitality and strength of the plastics industry. 

The inductees include:  

  • Yoshiharu Inaba, chairman of Fanuc Corp., Oshino, Japan. The owner of more than 110 design patents, he joined the company in 1983 and has guided its focus on all-electric injection molding technologies 

  • Mayumi Kotanipresident of Kyoto, Japan-based Yushin Precision Equipment Co. Ltd., which she helped start in 1973. She served as VP of sales for 12 years before being named president in 2002.  

  • Salvatore Monte, president and co-owner of Kenrich Petrochemicals Inc., Bayonne, N.J. Considered an expert in the development and commercialization of coupling and compatibilizing agents, he holds numerous patents. He is a member, fellow and honorary service member in the SPE and a longtime leader of the Plastics Pioneers Association. 

  • Peter Neumann, a former leader of Engel Holding GmbHSchwertberg, Austria, and president of Euromap, the European committee of manufacturers of plastic and rubber machinery. Neumann joined Engel in the early 1980s and oversaw its rapid growth in the 1990s, as it adopted innovations that included tie-bar-less and two-platen machines.  

  • Donald Paulson, founder of Paulson Training Programs Inc., Chester, Conn. He launched his career in 1963 when he developed a plastics processing research laboratory at General Motors Institute. Using the results of his research, in 1968 he started Control Process Inc., the first company to use cavity pressure to control machine injection pressure. In 1998, he was named one of the six most important inventors in the plastics industry. In addition, he is a recipient of the SPE Lifetime Engineering and Technical Achievement Award. 

  • Joseph Prischakfounder of Plastek Group, a major global injection molder and toolmaker, based in Erie, Pa. With two partners, he founded Triangle Tool Co., a leader in mold design and manufacturing, in 1956. They moved into plastics molding in 1971. He is considered the father of the Plastics Engineering Technology program at Penn State Behrend, which has produced more than 1,000 graduates and is the largest undergraduate plastics program in the country. He is the founder of African 6000 International, a nonprofit that drills deep freshwater wells across the African continent. 

  • Ulrich Reifenhäuser, who joined extrusion machinery group Reifenhäuser GmbH & Co., Troisdorf, Germany, in 1983 and, with his brothers Klaus and Bernd, built the family company into a global OEMThe chairman of the K Show since 2004, he has played an active role in VDMA and frequently acts as spokesman for the German plastics machinery community. He currently serves as his companys chief sales officer.  

  • Wylie Royceexecutive VP of colorant and specialty chemicals company Royce Global, East Rutherford, N.J., and a partner and director of Royce International. He is past chairman of the Plastics Industry Association and treasurer of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Packaging Materials committee. He is a board member of the Foodservice Packaging Institute, as well as a member of Health Beauty Americatechnical advisory board.   

  • Suresh Shah, a retired General Motors and Inteva engineer, who served in numerous roles for the SPE. He invented and introduced the plastics module concept 27 years ago, leading a team that designed and developed the all-plastic door inner module dubbed the SuperPlug. The component, which replaced 50 metal pieces, was the first and most complex part commercialized using gas injection molding technology. He has served in numerous volunteer roles with SPE, and in 2017, received the divisions Lifetime Achievement Award. 

  • Vince Witherup, a former executive at Franklin, Pa.-based auxiliary equipment maker Conair Group Inc. and an ambassador for NPE. He has been involved in plastics for more than 50 years, beginning as a salesman at Conair and working his way up to executive VPHe held volunteer leadership positions for the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. (SPI), now known as the Plastics Industry Association. He served as chairperson of NPE2000, where he was honored as SPIs International Businessperson of the Year.  

In 2019-2020, the Academy received a total of 38 nominations, the largest number to date. 

While NPE2021 is slated for May 17-21, some potential participants have voiced concerns related to the pandemic. For more information, see