Is it me or has 2018 really seemed to fly by in a flash? It's hard for me to believe that it's already been 10 months since I made my way over to Guelph, Ontario, to meet with Rick Valeriote, chief operating officer of Poly-Nova Technologies L.P.
I traveled up north to work on a profile of Valeriote, who had been selected as the 2017 Rubber & Plastics News Rubber Industry Executive of the Year. In meeting with Rick, his son Geoff and others on the staff of the rubber goods manufacturer, it would have been difficult not to be impressed by this veteran of more than four decades in the rubber industry.
It also was easy to see that Rick was humbled to have received the honor, and that it really meant a lot to him. Having been with RPN for more than 30 years now, I have been involved in selecting the Executive of the Year ever since we named Ivan Gorr of Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. as the first recipient in 1989.
Ed Noga, my predecessor as editor of RPN, started the award as a way to bring something special to our final print issue of each year. Over time, though, it has become much more than that. I have written a number of the profiles myself, including Stanley Gault on two occasions—once each with Rubbermaid and Goodyear—Daniel Hertz Jr. of Seals Eastern and Chuck Chaffee of BRC Rubber & Plastics. The only downside of the interview with Chaffee was that I had to do it over the phone, rather than Hawaii, where he was vacationing at the time.
All of this, though, is just a prelude for reminding everyone that it's once again time for you to nominate someone who you feel is worthy to be named Executive of the Year for 2018, the 30th time we will have given out the award. While members of our publication's editorial staff can nominate someone, most winners come from candidates submitted by our readers.
It's an easy process to nominate a candidate, and 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 can nominate a manufacturer who is.
There are several ways to submit your nomination. You can fill out the online submission 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. Please send enough documentation for us to get a good read on the nominee's qualifications.
Deadline for nominations is Nov. 2. The RPN editorial staff determines the winner, who will be announced in our Dec. 10 issue.