Steve Anton, the president and co-owner of Rahco Rubber, has just about two more months in his reign as Rubber & Plastics News Rubber Industry Executive of the Year. Then it will be time for another deserving candidate to become the 29th recipient of the award, which we first gave out in 1989.
Candidates can come from rubber product companies big or small, but in the last three years it's been the top executives from smaller shops that have gotten the nod. Before Anton, the winner in 2015 was Linda Katz of Molded Dimensions, and in 2014 the honor was shared by Richard Selip and Joseph Misinec of Grand River Rubber & Plastics Co.
But that doesn't mean there haven't been large company recipients as well. James Hawk of Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. was the RPN Executive of the Year in 2013, a year after James McElya of automotive components supplier Cooper Standard was the winner. There also have been winners from Bridgestone, Cooper Tire and Goodyear.
So the field is wide open. And that's where we need your help: We need you to nominate somebody you think deserves to hold the title for the next year.
While members of the RPN editorial staff can nominate someone, most winners come from candidates submitted from our readers (Anton was nominated by three people).
It's really an easy procedure, so you have no excuse not to nominate someone. Here's all you need to know:
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.
To nominate someone for the award, fill out an online form, or email RPN News Editor Chris Sweeney the candidate's name, where he or she works, job title and why you believe the person deserves the honor. You also can mail it to Chris at 1725 Merriman Road, Suite 300, Akron, OH, 44313.
Send as much documentation as you like. Deadline for nominations is Nov. 3.
The RPN editorial staff determines the winner, who will be announced in our Dec. 11 issue.