WASHINGTON (June 2) — The Polyurethane Foam Association inducted three industry pioneers into its Flexible Polyurethane Foam Hall of Fame at the PFA General Business Meeting held this month in Washington.
Two of the inductions were made posthumously, but Robert J. Hay, chairman emeritus of Foamex International, Inc. was on hand to accept his award.
Hay was a founder of the PFA in 1980, but his Hall of Fame induction was a result of his accomplishments over a half-century in the industry. Hay began his career as a chemist and became a driving force within the foam division of the Firestone Tire & Rubber Co.
The company later became Foamex International, one of the largest flexible polyurethane foam manufacturers in the world. During Hay´s reign, the company acquired eight companies and built five plants, growing to $600 million in annual sales from $20 million.
Also honored was Robert Schiffler, who, along with his two brothers, founded Fecken-Kirfel, a Germany-based company that manufactures equipment used to cut and form polyurethane foam. Accepting the award for Schiffler, who died in 2000, were his children, Dagmar and Claus Schiffler, from Germany; Michael Anders, vice president of Fecken-Kirfel America; and Robert Ubben, senior executive vice president of Fecken-Kirfel.
Harold (Harry) Kushnarov also was inducted into the Hall of Fame posthumously for his contributions to the industry during the 1970s. Kushnarov helped define and introduce high resilience foam.
HR foam was introduced originally for use in automotive seating, and it soon enjoyed wide use among bedding manufacturers and upholstered furniture manufacturers.