LOUISVILLE, Ky.—For every chair of the ACS Rubber Division, all the years of moving up through the ranks culminates by playing host during the fall International Elastomer Conference and Rubber Expo.
During the Rubber Division's event in Louisville, the honor went to Jerry McCall, vice president of R.D. Abbott Co. Inc.'s Integrated Solutions Business Unit. McCall said he enjoyed the week, though he acknowledged that it's a bit "bittersweet," knowing that the long years of commitment going through the series of offices leading to chair are about to end, but that the experience will be missed nonetheless.
McCall made the journey up the Rubber Division's leadership ladder in four years rather than the customary five because of the death of Paul Glasgow, who would have been chair during 2018.
"I love working with the division," McCall said during the International Elastomer Conference and Rubber Expo, held Oct. 9-11 in Louisville. "I think it's very rewarding from a career standpoint obviously, but also just getting connected within the industry. But it is bittersweet. It's kind of like, 'It's great it's over,' but then you're somewhat melancholy about it. Next year I won't be part of the fray, so to speak."
But the 20-year rubber industry veteran plans to stay involved during his year as past chair in 2019, and beyond that. He currently sits on the Future Sites and Exhibits Committee, and he plans to continue to do that, as well as find other possible committees to get involved with.
McCall spent the first 11 years of his career with TSE Industries in Florida, and part of his job was to organize all booth and setup responsibilities for all the expos TSE participated in, including the Rubber Division.
And during his time with R.D. Abbott, he said he has been fortunate to work for a company that supported involvement in associations. He gives particular kudos to CEO Keith Thomas and President Scott Kearns.
"These guys believe in giving back to the industry," McCall said. "It's really a privilege to work for gentlemen and a company like this. They're deeply interested in making sure the rubber industry progresses and moves forward."
And it's not just at the national level, but at the local and regional level as well. "If you look at the numbers as they stand now, you'd be hard-pressed to find a rubber group we're not involved with in North America," he said.
The R.D. Abbott officials see the long-term value in these activities, understanding that not all compensation comes in the form of monetary payment, McCall said.