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Women in Plastics logo
The IAPD Women in Plastics group didn’t let the COVID-19 pandemic get in the way of a year of valuable programming, networking and fun. We hope this recap of the highlights of these events inspires more women (and men!) to join us in 2022.

he Women in Plastics leadership planned a full year of events so IAPD members could continue to learn, network and have fun. Read on to learn more about the 2021 programming, and be on the lookout for announcements about what’s planned for 2022.

Virtual Coffee Chat
On Wednesday, May 5, 2021, Women In Plastics hosted its first “virtual coffee chat.” This event provided a space for a casual morning chat to get the participants’ day started with intention, as well as offering a relaxed atmosphere for small group networking. The virtual event was led by Valerie Willms, a licensed professional in Ayurvedic Yoga Specialist (AYS) and Yoga Teacher (E-RYT). She employs Yoga and Ayurveda as therapeutic sciences and uses these foundations as the catalyst for personal transformation. She led the group on mindfulness, meditation and holistic self-care.
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Participants enjoyed a cup of coffee, tea or water and started with some simple yoga stretches that anyone can perform. During the poses, participants had the option to turn off their video or step out of the line of sight. The stretching helped everyone loosen up, as all too often we find our shoulders scrunched up to our ears as we spend time typing on our keyboards and absorbing the stress of the day.

Once shoulders were realigned, Willms guided the group through a short meditation that was focused on centering and preparing for the day. Meditation can instill a sense of calm, peace and balance that can benefit your emotional well-being and your overall health … and these benefits don’t end when your meditation session ends. Meditation can help carry you more calmly through your day. With closed eyes, and breathing intentionally, participants focused on what they heard in their surroundings. This let their senses explore their space and helped to let go of what had either just happened or what may happen. In other words, it reset the mind. With a clear mind, you can effectively think through a situation, problem or event. I challenge you to use this method the next time you find yourself being reactive or overthinking what the future may hold.

The intimate group setting of the coffee chat was another means of connecting and networking within our industry and our peers. While I greatly value the larger virtual events that the Women In Plastics have brought to our industry over the past year, I truly enjoyed this smaller, more intimate setting. Thank you, Valerie Willms, for equipping us with knowledge on how to reset our thoughts and move with intention throughout the day. And thank you to the Women In Plastics leadership team for your innovation and vision for the programs you presented in 2021.

— Deena Baker, CartierWilson LLC

Women in Plastics Virtual Events
The Women in Plastics Virtual Event Series launched in 2020 as a response to the travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although we still weren’t able to organize in-person educational workshops, we were able to continue with the popular virtual event series. In many instances, this series was able to introduce more women (and men!) in the industry to the valuable programming presented by Women in Plastics.
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The 2021 virtual event series was presented free of charge to attendees, thanks to the support of our sponsors:

  • World-Class Sponsors Curbell Plastics, Inc., North American Plastics, Polymershapes and SIMONA America Group.
  • Elite Sponsors CartierWilson LLC, Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials, PLASKOLITE and Piedmont Plastics.
  • Gold Sponsors Alro Plastics, Primex Plastics Corporation, SEKISUI KYDEX, Vycom and Roechling Engineering Plastics.
  • Silver Sponsor Inteplast Group.
  • Bronze Sponsors Ensinger, Finger Lakes Extrusion Corporation, Harker & Associates Inc. and Cope Plastics, Inc.

The six virtual events, presented every other month, provided valuable training and professional development on topics such as preventing burnout, presentation skills, negotiation strategies, how to have difficult conversations, the importance (and profitability) of respect and how to influence your world, regardless of your position of power.

If you missed any of these events — or would just like to see them again — visit the webinar archive on the IAPD website to watch the recordings.

We look forward to seeing you at future events, whether they’re virtual or in person!

Women In Plastics Magazine Issue
Women in Plastics Special Edition cover
The August/September issue of Performance Plastics magazine featured bylined articles either written by or procured by Women in Plastics volunteers. The special issue showed the breadth and depth of talent represented by the women in the industry and was phenomenally popular among IAPD members. We thank the following authors for their bylined articles:
  • Autumn Werner, SIMONA AMERICA Group
  • Lisa Kreinces, Vycom
  • Xenia Roman, Piedmont Plastics
  • Melissa Grace, AGRU America, Inc.
  • Jinny Kcehowski, Curbell Plastics, Inc.
  • Kim Reddick, CPMR, Martino Marketing Group
  • Deena Baker, CartierWilson LLC
  • Taylor Hamp, Curbell Plastics, Inc.
  • Averie Palovcak, Arkema
  • Amy Miller, Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials
  • Brenda Hogan, Palram Americas, Inc.
  • Suzette Plaisted, Polymershapes
  • Myra Gercken-Thurston, Piedmont Plastics
  • Tatia Wood, Polymershapes

In addition to the bylined articles, we thank the following women in the industry for sharing their perspectives about their careers, the challenges facing the industry and their outlook for the future:

  • Bernadette Chupela, SEKISUI KYDEX, LLC
  • Patsy Gono, Regal Plastic Supply Company, Inc.
  • Brittany Pellegrene, PLASKOLITE,
  • Andrea Herrmann, Plastifab Industries Inc.
  • Kimberly Edwards, PLASKOLITE
  • Stacy Torpey, Braskem
  • Angela Rodenburgh, Redwood Plastics and Rubber
  • Erica C. S. Wright, Finger Lakes Extrusion Corporation
  • Deborah Ragsdale, Polymer Industries
  • Tatia Wood, Polymershapes

We also thank the advertisers in that issue, many of whom created special ads to honor the women at their company and in the industry:

  • Artek, Inc.
  • Curbell Plastics, Inc.
  • Hudson Estrusions, Inc.
  • King Plastic Corporation
  • Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials
  • North American Plastics
  • Plazit-Polygal Group
  • Polymer Industries
  • Polymershapes

If you missed that issue, or just want to share it with your colleagues who might not have seen it, you can see the premium digital edition at the magazine archive on the IAPD website.

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Watch Me WIP Day
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Women in Plastics remains committed to their mission of developing and advancing women in the industry. In addition to attending professional development seminars, Women in Plastics encourages IAPD members to be physically active as well as support philanthropic endeavors by giving back to the community. On Saturday, September 25, Women in Plastics held its second annual virtual fitness and philanthropic event.

Members were encouraged to get out and move. We shared our results by posting screen shot summarizing the day’s physical activity. We were so pleased and encouraged with the turnout that we are looking for more creative ways to stay fit and stay connected.

Giving back to the community has been an important part of Women in Plastics’ mission since the group first formed. We strive to make a difference and have supported local charities in the city of each event. Women in Plastics hosts have found several charities supporting women with varying goals, including helping less fortunate woman get on their feet by providing a place to live and basic life necessities and finding a safe haven for those in domestic violence situations. Going virtual did not stop our mission. On #WatchMeWIP day, members donated food to local food banks of their in their communities. It gives us an incredible sense of pride and self-worth to make a difference in the lives of the less fortunate. Women in Plastics likes making a difference and will continue to find ways to better ourselves and our communities.

In an ongoing effort to support our mission and have our members voices heard, we encourage all to bring their suggestions for future philanthropic and get active days!