People &
Katherine Medford headshot
Katherine (Kat) Medford has accepted the position of territory manager at Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials, covering the Midwest and Great Lakes region. Medford has more than 15 years of experience within the organization, holding various positions in operations and, most recently, on the SystemTIVAR® engineering team. As a mechanical engineer, Medford’s journey with MCAM started right out of college at Michigan Tech as a process engineer for CCRP Extrusion and TIVAR® parts molding in the Scranton, PA, USA and Fort Wayne, IN, USA facilities. Medford also held the position of production supervisor at the same locations, before settling in Fort Wayne permanently and becoming a project development manager for the linings business group. As territory manager, Medford reports directly to Eastern Regional Sales Manager Scott Doherty and will be working out of the Fort Wayne facility.
Thomas Priewe headshot
Primex Plastics Corporation has appointed Thomas Priewe to the position of territory business manager for portions of Wisconsin and Illinois including the Milwaukee and Chicago metropolitan areas. Priewe has more than 15 years of experience in sales and sales management, most recently in plastics packaging sales to the medical device market. He is especially knowledgeable in the areas of thermoforming and plastics engineering.

“Primex offers the opportunity to fully utilize and expand my sales background and experience in the plastics industry,” said Priewe. “The wide range of leading products offered by Primex will allow me to grow the business while providing customized solutions to our customers.” According to Priewe, other things that attracted him to Primex were the company’s 50 years in business and its constant upgrades to its facilities and product lines. Prior to beginning his business career, Priewe served in the United States Marine Corps in San Diego, CA, USA.

Jason Arceo headshot
Curbell Plastics, Inc. has appointed Jason Arceo as business manager for their Phoenix, AZ, USA location. Arceo has extensive experience in industries ranging from point-of-purchase displays to industrial applications in mining, machine building and more. “I consider myself blessed to have this opportunity to work with Curbell,” Arceo said of his recent hiring. “I’m excited to encourage and lead our Phoenix team and provide solutions to businesses in the Valley. It’s a business manager’s job to find people’s strengths and build on them, and help them grow in areas they’re not as strong in.” Arceo’s years of industry experience have already been put to work assisting area customers with material and application challenges.
Tom Adelmann headshot
Biesse America customers in 13 Midwest states, Texas and Oklahoma have a new resource for exploring ways to use advanced materials to create great products using CNC routers, panel saws, waterjet cutting centers and other Biesse machining solutions. Tom Adelmann, new area manager for advanced materials, brings in-depth experience in effectively implementing innovative manufacturing methods, as well as machine and software solutions.

Adelmann started his career as a CNC programmer, experience he believes helped him understand the manufacturing process early on and has resulted in better service to customers all along the way. He moved to the sales side of the business in 2000 and subsequently learned advanced materials over five years with a company that manufactured plastics and nonferrous materials using a multitude of different technologies. He also worked as an application engineer and product specialist for CNCs, storage systems and panel saws.

“I am able to see the whole picture of what a company is trying to do. When someone goes in and tries to install a system quickly, they may bottleneck the next step. My lengthy experience in manufacturing makes me able to take a more comprehensive view. The fact that I have been exposed to so many kinds of software means I am able to address any fears a customer may have about integration. I’m also very experienced on the service side and have the mechanical aptitude to make sure every customer gets the machine that’s exactly right for them,” said Adelmann.

Erich Buchner headshot
Erich Buchner has been promoted to chief executive manager of Zell-Metall GmbH in Austria. He replaces Nick Kraguljac who, after 42 years, stepped down to follow new challenges within and without the plastics industry. Buchner joined Zell-Metall in 2019, bringing with him experience at a global supplier of advanced components and systems for aircraft and working in the technology division of Swarovski. After having successfully implemented SAP at Zell-Metall, Buchner is now focusing on marketing and sales, global business and product development as well as streamlining supply chains and leading employees in optimization and improvement projects. Kraguljac commented, “I trust Mr. Buchner will handle his duties with care and will be a great replacement for me. Zell-Metall has now a new, capable and motivated management team, which will lead my life’s work into a successful future.” Buchner has two academic titles in physics and construction and is a graduate of the University of Innsbruck. He holds a black belt in Six-Sigma.
Kurt Hagemann headshot
Biesse America has succeeded in giving customers new avenues for reaching their goals by attracting experts in plastic and advanced materials. Kurt Hagemann recently joined the company as advanced materials and plastics area manager for the East Coast.

Hagemann earned his bachelor of science degree in plastics technology and began building experience in everything from plastic welding processes to injection molding equipment. He also spent 14 years working in contract manufacturing on the procurement side, outsourcing plastic and composite components to CNC suppliers, thermoforming, injection, extrusion, rotational, blow and reaction injection molding.

“Advanced materials are the forerunner of the future in components manufacturing,” Hagemann said. “Whatever you can machine using a conventional material, such as wood, you can do in a synthetic, man-made material. As new materials continue to be developed, we have endless opportunities to rethink the ways things can be done. My intent is to use my knowledge in materials and experiences to explore new CNC possibilities on this adventure with our team and customers.”

Nick Kraguljac headshot
Longtime IAPD and EPDA member Nick Kraguljac of Austrian-based Zell-Metall GmbH has shared the following message with the community:

Dear IAPD and EPDA members, dear friends!

I just turned 66 years old, and as Austrian songwriter Udo Jürgens sang: ‘Life begins at 66!’ Therefore, after 42 years, I ended my professional engagement in the Zell-Metall Group on September 30 and resigned from all my positions. This step has been planned for several years and discussed and coordinated with my cousin KR DI Wilhelm Klepsch, Chairman of the Klepsch-Group.

Since a generation change, especially in family businesses cannot happen overnight, the two of us have prepared a change of guard since 2016 and have forged a capable, highly motivated team. My successor Erich Buchner is well prepared for his tasks and will take over the commercial management of Zell-Metall. Believe me, if I did not have trust in him, I would not hand over.

A major highlight of my career was my involvement in IAPD and EPDA. For me these two associations have affected and changed our industry. My first IAPD Convention was 1982 in Big Bear, MT, USA, my first EPDA Meeting in Athens, Greece. Zell-Metall was the first European manufacturer to attend an IAPD convention. During the general session, someone asked how to keep foreigners out. My answer was: I am not a foreigner; I am a U.S. citizen! This was my first address to the audience, but not my last. Out of NAPD became IAPD. EPDA joined forces with IAPD, thus moving Europe and North America closer together. I still feel honored that I was trusted with writing the first bylaws for EPDA, which did not exist at that time. I am proud having been part of IAPD and EPDA, serving on both boards and so having been able to contribute a bit to the evolution of these associations.

For me there has been tremendous value and personal benefit getting involved in EPDA and IAPD. Getting involved in IAPD or EPDA gives you the unique opportunity to grow intellectually, ethically, in business and foremost to get rid of the tunnel vision focusing only on your own company, local needs, national challenges and global opportunities. Besides the advantages for your businesses, the real payback you get out of participating are the many friendships between people who have polymers circulating in their veins. Believe me: the more you put in the more you get out! Get active! Do not miss the opportunity to be part of those who make the change!

My professional paths lead me now to new frontiers. My primary focus will be on environmental projects in water management and saving, reusing and recycling of resources. Plastics will still be a part of what I will be doing, but with a focus on specialties, international networking as well as mergers and acquisitions.

Although I am now looking forward to new tasks inside and outside of the plastics industry, the most important phase of my business life is ending. I appreciate very much the cordiality you all have shown to me, the many good and vivid discussions, the fun and fellowship we shared and over all the opportunity to work with you.

Thank you for accompanying me during my career!


Steve Briggs headshot
Cast Nylons Ltd. has appointed Steve Briggs as chief operating officer. Briggs will lead the Cast Nylons business and be accountable for all business operations and expanding beyond its historic focus in cast nylon. His priorities will be on expanding the technical and commercial expertise to drive new materials, markets and applications. Briggs brings a wealth of global executive leadership and business development experience to the role. He is a 25-year executive from GE and most recently was president of a start-up smart home tech company. Throughout his career, he has led multiple size business units and developed expertise in scaling business operations. Briggs holds a Bachelor of Science in materials and operations management from Bowling Green State University and an MBA from Cleveland State University.
Jim McCormick headshot
Cast Nylons Ltd. has announced that longtime sales executive Jim McCormick is retiring at the end of 2020. McCormick spent 35 years in the plastics industry as vice president sales for three different organizations: Alcan Composites (today known as 3A Composites USA, Inc.), Cope Plastics, Inc. and Cast Nylons Ltd. McCormick’s tenure included time on both sides of the IAPD supply chain, including time in plastics distribution and fabrication, as well as time representing manufacturing to the channel. McCormick served for many years on the IAPD Manufacturers Council and represented distribution on long term IAPD planning committees focused on the annual IAPD convention and trade show. McCormick attended every IAPD annual convention from 1988 through 2019, and attended the Atlanta Greg Berry Charity event annually, as well as many other IAPD regional golf events, during in his time in the industry. Many IAPD members know McCormick well, as a supplier, a distributor or a competitor; the respect and knowledge he had for the IAPD plastics distribution and manufacturing supply chain was substantial, to say the least. In retirement, McCormick plans to spend time with his five children and their spouses, his six grandchildren (and counting) and, of course, work on his golf game. McCormick has promised to see his IAPD friends again, to share a toast, post pandemic, by coming to future IAPD conventions and golf outings. Please join Cast Nylons Ltd. in wishing him a healthy and long retirement.
Leslie Case headshot
Interstate Plastics is pleased to announce that Leslie Case has accepted the position of sales development manager and will work primarily in the Utah and Colorado territories. Case has an extensive background in plastics distribution, manufacturing and purchasing. Most recently, she worked in plastics sheet extrusion, serving a broad range of customers across industrial, commercial and agricultural applications. According to the company, her background in solution-based selling and high energy makes her an excellent fit for the position.
Sebastian Galbato headshot
Sebastian Galbato joined the Professional Plastics team as national market development manager – fluoropolymer shapes. Galbato has more than 30 years of plastics industry experience, including 22 years of specializing in fluoropolymers manufacturing and distribution. In his new role, Galbato is responsible for developing new and existing fluoropolymers markets. He will work to grow that business sector and customer base for the company. His goal is to position Professional Plastics as the unmatched source for fluoropolymer shapes and PTFE parts nationwide. “We are excited to have Sebastian back at Professional Plastics. His extensive industry knowledge and proven market development skills are valuable additions to our team,” said Mark Casey, executive vice president of North American operations.
Mike Neisen headshot
Professional Plastics named Mike Neisen as its new Fullerton business manager. Neisen has worked in a variety of roles during his 15-year tenure with the company, including warehouse, customer service, inside sales, outside sales and management. He most recently managed the Professional Plastics Denver distribution and manufacturing location for the last six years. His primary focus in his new role is to continue growing the company’s Fullerton, CA, USA location. He is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations including sales, operations, personnel, inventory and branch assets. As Fullerton Business Manager, Neisen plans to achieve growth using a balanced approach of aggressively pursuing standard distribution business while also solving issues through value added services such as fabrication.
Rick Lopez headshot
Professional Plastics has promoted Rick Lopez to manager of supply chain – West. Lopez joined the company in 2009 and has more than 21 years of plastics industry experience, including sales and purchasing. In his new role, Lopez is responsible for the overall management of the company’s purchasing department in the western region. He will apply his vast experience to lead the department in a creative new direction and optimize inventory. Lopez will work with products and vendors to approach purchasing and inventory management using commodity buying, MRP and centralized warehousing. He also plans to work with vendors to grow existing partnerships and develop new ones.
Marty Mazurkiewicz headshot
Professional Plastics appointed Marty Mazurkiewicz as manager of supply chain – East. His new position involves overseeing the eastern region purchasing group. One of his focus areas will be enhancing the company’s business system and implementing MRP capabilities. Mazurkiewicz has been developing his purchasing skills and leadership abilities throughout his 30+ year career. His experience spans across various industries, ranging from injection molding machine components and ball valve manufacturing to his current expertise in plastics. He has managed inventory and steadily grown his role as a manager at Professional Plastics since 2017. Mazurkiewicz said, “I am very proud and excited to work with our talented team to build a strong purchasing department that will bring additional value to the growth of Professional Plastics.”
Rick Suminski headshot
Rick Suminski was appointed business manager at Professional Plastics. Suminski will lead the operations and sales efforts for a territory spanning the three states of Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas. He is responsible for the overall management and growth in these locations. Suminski brings 14 years of plastics industry experience to his new role. He has steadily grown his market development and business management skills throughout his career, and is poised for continued success in his new position. “I’m excited for the opportunity to grow the plastics, films and fabricated parts business in Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas,” said Suminski. “I look forward to driving sales, contributing to the positive development of our people and progressing as a leader within Professional Plastics.”
Larry Schorr
Adam Mellen
After six years as SIMONA AMERICA Group chief executive officer, Larry Schorr has announced that he will retire on December 31, 2020. Schorr has served as CEO of SIMONA’s North American subsidiaries since selling his Ohio-based company, then known as Boltaron Performance Products, to SIMONA AG in 2014. Following taking over as president of Boltaron’s predecessor Empire Plastics in 1996 and then purchasing its assets with Dean Li in 2004, Schorr helped lead the company to impressive profitability, which has continued past its acquisition by SIMONA.

Under Schorr’s leadership, SIMONA merged the assets of Laminations, Inc. with SIMONA AMERICA Industries, as well as acquired a third manufacturer, Premier Material Concepts, LLC in 2018 and established a single management structure and operating team for all North American Operations – the SIMONA AMERICA Group.

“It has been a wonderful experience to help lead the SIMONA AMERICA team these past six plus years. I am most proud of the team we have assembled and the resiliency we have demonstrated in good and more difficult times,” said Schorr.

The company has elected Adam Mellen, current chief sales officer for SIMONA AMERICA Group, as CEO effective January 1, 2021.

“I want to especially thank Wolfgang Moyses, Matthias Schoenberg and Michael Schmitz for their support and confidence in me and our team these past years. I am also excited about the leadership that Adam Mellen will bring to his new responsibilities and the creative technical leadership that Dr. Dean Li has always brought to his responsibilities. I wish everyone great success and good health in the future,” said Schorr.

“Larry’s leadership brought the SIMONA AMERICA Group to a new level – we have enjoyed years of profitably growing our plastics business in North America and years of global growth in our aviation business. Larry built up a highly motivated and successful team and as a great leader, he also prepared his succession by grooming Adam to become the new CEO of SIMONA AMERICA Group. I sincerely thank Larry for being an inspiring leader within our global organization and wish him all the best for the future,” said Matthias Schoenberg, CEO of SIMONA AG.

With more than 20 years in thermoplastic sales and management, Mellen served as former director of outside sales at Boltaron Performance Products until being appointed vice president of sales and marketing of SIMONA’s North American operations following the uniting of its subsidiaries in 2014.

“I believe Adam’s strong sales background, knowledge of the business, our customers, our associates, as well as his empathy and management style will serve the company well in the years ahead,” said Schorr.

“Larry has been an incredible mentor and has taught me the importance of patience, humility and generosity in leadership. I’m excited to follow in Larry’s footsteps and lead this excellent team at SIMONA AMERICA Group,” said Mellen. “My mother used to say that you should always leave something in better shape than how you found it, and Larry has done that for all aspects of our businesses, as well as through his encouragement of personal growth for our entire team.”

Larry Schorr and Adam Mellen headshots
Larry Schorr headshot
Larry Schorr
Adam Mellen headshot
Adam Mellen
Curbell Plastics, Inc inside look at warehouse
Curbell Plastics, Inc. completed combining their two Arlington, TX, USA locations into the larger Timberlake Drive facility. On August 26, 2019, Curbell Plastics, Inc. acquired Nationwide Plastics, Inc. with three locations including the one at 2001 Timberlake Drive, Arlington, TX. In August of 2020, the sales teams from both Curbell Plastics Arlington locations were combined at the Timberlake facility to facilitate a seamless customer service experience.

“Combining the warehouse and operations side of the business took longer due to the large inventories and conversion equipment maintained at both locations,” said Tim Cassani, senior regional director for Curbell Plastics, Inc. “Facility upgrades are now complete. The warehouse has been reconfigured to allow for more inventory capacity, and our conversion equipment has been combined along with our operations teams to create a larger more efficient conversion center to fulfill customer requirements.”

Covestro LLC — Specialty Films was recognized as Manufacturer of the Year in its senate district. Covestro was nominated to receive this award by Senator Jo Comerford (D-Northampton) through the Legislature’s Manufacturing Caucus.

The materials manufactured at Covestro are used in everyday products spanning multiple industries, including automotive, electronics, packaging and healthcare. Because of their crucial role in producing products to protect frontline health care workers, such as face shield material and protective gowns, Covestro has remained open as an essential business throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Everyone has had to make a lot of changes and sacrifices as a result of the pandemic so the timing of this award is particularly special. Our employees deserve to be recognized for how well they’ve adapted during these challenging times and I’m proud to accept the award on their behalf,” said Jim Boehm, the general manager of specialty films at Covestro.

Covestro employs more than 180 people in the company’s South Deerfield, MA, USA location and is a 24/7 operation. In addition to the work done by Covestro’s employees in making health care materials, Covestro’s employees are also passionate about giving back to the surrounding community. Covestro provides employees with 16 hours of paid time for community service and many are active with the United Way of Franklin County. Additionally, Covestro partners with UMass Amherst, the MassHire Franklin Hampshire Workforce Board and Greenfield Community College to recruit workers and keep jobs in the Connecticut River Valley region.

Arkema Inc. has climbed to 11th place in the Wall Street Journal’s ranking of the 100 most sustainably managed companies, in recognition of its ability to create value over the long term. The company has the top spot in the chemical sector. In ranking the 165 global companies from the 5,500 on the shortlist, Wall Street Journal analysts evaluated four areas: business model and innovation capacity, environment, social capital (external social and product issues) and human capital (employee and workplace issues).

“We are particularly proud of this recognition which acknowledges our proactive and ambitious approach to corporate social responsibility since Arkema’s creation. Companies today are poised to play a major role in the ecological transition and the evolution of society: our mission as a chemical manufacturer is more than ever to engage in leveraging our expertise and innovation in materials science to contribute to the transition to a more sustainable world. Being the leading chemical manufacturer in this ranking bears testimony to the merits of our societal commitment, the real foundation of our development strategy,” stated Thierry Le Hénaff, Chairman and CEO of Arkema.

Outside of Empire Plastics, Inc. building
Piedmont Plastics has acquired Empire Plastics, Inc. located in Sioux Falls, SD, USA. Piedmont Plastics is retaining the current Empire Plastics building in Sioux Falls, which will be its 50th branch location in North America. All Empire Plastics, Inc. employees will be joining Piedmont Plastics in addition to Doug Edwards, former owner, who will remain on board through the end of the year to assist with the transition.

“We are excited and grateful to have the Empire Plastics, Inc. family join ours,” said Tyler Booth, president of Piedmont Plastics. “This part of the country is a natural extension of our growing branch network and we feel that Empire Plastics is a great fit both culturally and strategically.”

“We are eager to have Empire Plastics join the Piedmont Plastics organization,” said Doug Edwards. “We look forward to continuing to serve our customers and provide them with the excellent products and services they’ve grown to expect from us over the years.”

AmeriLux International LLC has acquired Shape Products. Shape Products, located in Menomonie, WI, USA, manufactures standard window wells, egress window wells and window well covers. Shape Products also has expertise in thermoforming and compression molding. The acquisition was finalized on August 1, 2020, expanding AmeriLux International’s product offerings and further enforces the De Pere, WI, USA company’s win-win philosophy for all stakeholders.

“I’m a firm believer in the magic of momentum,” said AmeriLux CEO Kurt Voss. “The strategic acquisition of Shape Products continues our strong growth trajectory since starting from scratch in 2004. By integrating our teams and incorporating these products and services into our existing portfolio, we can bring even more value to our customers and continue to build a sustainable enterprise.” Along with AmeriLux International’s additional transportation and logistics entities, the acquisition of Shape Products means AmeriLux will employ a total of 135 employees.

Mike Ringquist
Steve Zagami
CartierWilson LLC has hired Mike Ringquist and Steve Zagami, expanding their coverage in the Midwest and adding the New England territory. Both will continue their roles as territory managers for SIMONA PMC, while also adding the SIMONA Boltaron product line. Ringquist and Zagami both join CartierWilson with more than 25 years of experience, each, in plastic distribution and manufacturing. Ringquist lives in Grand Haven, MI, USA and Zagami lives in Milford, CT, USA.

“We are excited to add two new members to our team, specializing in technical specification to OEMs and plastics processors in the Midwest and New England markets,” says Alicia Spence, vice president of CartierWilson, LLC. “This is a strategic move to increase our support to the thermoforming community, as well as our bandwidth for OEM development. We look forward to Steve and Mike continuing CartierWilson’s emphasis on product and process knowledge, while also providing industry leading service and expertise to both our principals and distribution partners.”

“Our customers demand our sales team be able to offer a broad range of thermoplastic solutions specific to their application needs,” says Eric Short, vice president and general manager of SIMONA PMC. “We are excited to offer this sales channel synergy to our customer base.”

Mike Ringquist and Steve Zagami headshots
Mike Ringquist headshot
Mike Ringquist
Steve Zagami headshot
Steve Zagami
Trish Beeman headshot
Trish Beeman joined Professional Plastics as director of communications. Beeman is responsible for the strategic direction and execution of the company’s communication efforts, go-to-market initiatives and brand management. She will develop communications programs that support corporate priorities and work with key stakeholders to support the brand consistently and effectively. During her 20-year career, Beeman has worked in every capacity of international marketing and communications. Her background managing global communications for a Fortune 500 company will be a valuable asset in her new role. “My goal is to engage internal and external audiences to increase awareness of all the great work Professional Plastics does,” said Beeman.
Shawn Madonna headshot
Seelye-Eiler Plastics has promoted Shawn Madonna from account executive to sales and customer service manager. Madonna’s background is in green energy, medical device OEM and semiconductor. Since joining Seelye, he has demonstrated in-depth knowledge of the industry and the ability to build key relationships. In his new role, Madonna will focus on customer satisfaction and supply chain partnerships.
In Memoriam
John Downs Jr. headshot
John Downs Jr. passed away on November 10, 2020 at age 62. He was predeceased by his father John Sr. and survived by his mother Betty, wife Mary-Lou, sister Elizabeth (Douglas Barker), son Dereck and daughter Caitlin. Adored Uncle to Sarah and William.

John was born on January 21, 1958. He graduated from New Toronto Secondary School and worked in the family business, J.J. Downs Industrial Plastics Inc., for more than 40 years. John was loving and generous to his family and friends and had a great passion for hockey and lacrosse.

For visitation and funeral details, please visit In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Toronto General & Western Foundation, Movement Disorders Research Fund:

Eric V. Marshall headshot
Eric V. Marshall, managing director of E-Plas P/L passed away on Friday, October 30. He was born on November 15, 1942. He was one of the great pioneers of the engineering and performance plastics industry in Australia and was loved and respected by staff (past and present), industry colleagues and many overseas friends and associates. He made a huge impression on those he met and was a great contributor to the community through his years in Rotary and Probus, serving as president of both organizations. He was inspiring to the many who knew him as friend or colleague, often both, over many years. His achievements leave a legacy from which many will benefit and grow. He was managing director of the business to the end, a beloved leader and well-loved and respected man, all round. He never officially retired. July 1, 2021 is the 40th anniversary of E-Plas P/L. The company will celebrate his life and achievements at that time.