We're at the time of year that has become an annual rite of passage for us here at Rubber & Plastics News. Yes, it's time again for you to nominate someone for our Rubber Industry Executive of the Year Award.
I've been here since we gave out the first award in 1989. The winner that year? Ivan Gorr from Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., one of two firms that have had two executives win the honor, as Thomas Dattilo was Executive of the Year for 2004.
Bridgestone/Firestone also had two winners, with Masatoshi Ono winning in 2000 and John Lampe two years later for his handling of the Ford Explorer recall situation.
Only two people have been chosen twice: Stanley Gault with Rubbermaid in 1990 and Goodyear in 1995, and Richard Selip of Grand River Rubber & Plastics Co. in 1997 and then in 2014, when he shared the award with John Misinec, his partner at Grand River.
A handful of winners are from companies that no longer exist. Michael Plumley won in 1991 while at his family firm, Plumley Companies, which was later sold to Dana Corp.
The following year Jim Reid was chosen as leader at Standard Products Co. That firm was later sold to Cooper Tire, which ultimately divested it, and the operation became the framework for Cooper Standard, which, coincidently, had Jim McElya named Executive of the Year in 2012.
Other winners from firms that no longer exist as rubber companies include Charles Wright in 1998 from Denman Tire, and Neil Tillotson—our oldest winner—of Tillotson Corp. in 2000 (though his son started a revival of the glove making operation about three years ago).
Last year's honoree was Linda Katz of Molded Dimensions Inc., the first woman named Executive of the Year.
But enough reminiscing. It's time to get your thinking caps on and nominate someone who may become this year's winner. It's easy enough to do, and here are the guidelines.
The award goes to an executive in the North American rubber product industry who has been instrumental in the success of his or her company, or helped further the industry. The one caveat is that the executive must be from a manufacturer of finished rubber goods (including urethanes and TPEs). Suppliers to the industry aren't eligible, but are welcome to nominate a manufacturer who is.
Just email RPN Managing Editor Don Detore ([email protected]) the candidate's name, where he or she works, job title and why you believe the person deserves the honor. You also can send it to Don via mail at 1725 Merriman Road, Suite 300, Akron, OH 44313.
Send as much documentation as you like. Submit entries by Nov. 4. The RPN editorial staff determines the winner, who will be announced in our Dec. 12 issue.
Meyer is editor of Rubber & Plastics News. He can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @bmeyerRPN.