Longevity in the rubber industry often is rare, something to acknowledge and admire. It's a volatile, competitive business, and if a company makes it to one of the benchmark years, it's worthy of note.
That's where Rubber & Plastics News will be in August—marking 40 years since Ernie Zielasko bet his fortune and future on creating a publication for the rubber industry. Four decades for a manufacturer surviving in the rubber industry is impressive; in publishing, it's not the norm.
I've been here for all the anniversaries, which we use as a vehicle to present something special to the readers. The first was the 10th anniversary, and we produced a recap of the events of the past 10 years. For the 20th—which to me remains one of the finest issues we ever created—we showed how the industry had changed in the past two decades through the stories of 20 companies.
We did another historical recap for the 25th anniversary. This time around, besides looking into the past, we're trying a different, forward-looking approach. And for this, we need your participation.
We intend to do profiles of people in the rubber industry who are under the age of 40. These are the faces of the future in the business, the up and comers who will lead the way as the industry morphs into whatever it will become in the next 10, 20 or 30 years.
We're looking for people in all sectors of the rubber industry, not just our core readers in the manufacturing segment. People on the supply side, distributors, trade group personnel—individuals from any area related to the rubber industry are eligible.
People from any discipline in the business qualify, too—chemists, engineers, marketing executives, production managersàyou name it. Yes, you name them, by giving us a bit of information about the person you feel is deserving of recognition.
If you have a candidate, send the following by May 2 to Dana Shaffer at [email protected]: Your name, business affiliation, e-mail address and phone number; the name and title of the person you are nominating; an informal statement—nothing too long or detailed is required—on why you believe that under-40 individual is a rising star in the rubber industry.
The editors will sort through and choose from the nominees, and those picked will be contacted so we can develop profiles and arrange for a photo to run in a special section of our Aug. 8 print issue. They also will appear on our primary website, www.rubbernews.com.
The rubber industry is a mature, basic business, no doubt about it. That doesn't mean it is lifeless, offering no opportunities for talented people.
Through this “under 40” section, we expect to reveal some of the next generation of movers and shakers in the business, and show that rubber does offer opportunities for the young and talented.
Just remember, the nominee must be under the age of 40 on Aug. 8, and work in some rubber industry-related capacity.
Noga is the editor of Rubber & Plastics News.