People &
Larry Widmann headshot
CartierWilson LLC announced the recent hire of Larry Widmann as territory manager for the Pacific/West Coast region. He comes to CartierWilson with more than 20 years of experience in the performance plastics industry, with 16 years in manufacturing. Widmann appreciates collaboration with colleagues and is always willing to dive into any assignment with ambition and integrity.

“We are honored to have Larry join the CartierWilson team. Larry’s professionalism, market knowledge and work ethic precede him in the territory and we are excited to continue building strong relationships on the West Coast with distribution through our manufacturing partners,” said Vice President Alicia Spence.

Widmann lives in the Seattle, WA, USA area with his wife Missy and their son Nate, who is departing the nest for college in 2022. In his spare time, he enjoys swinging the golf club, hiking and traveling with family, reading a good page turner and watching movies.

Yamily Almaguer
Matt Nixon
Leo Lara
A&C Plastics, Inc. proudly announced the recent promotions of some integral members of their team.
Yamily Almaguer headshot
Yamily Almaguer was promoted to accounting manager just over a year after joining the A&C team. Since joining A&C, Almaguer has taken the lead with a new collection software and integrated it with the company’s new accounting database software, as well as introduced new techniques to improve efficiency within the accounting team. A&C is confident her leadership will help bring the company to new heights of success.
Matt Nixon headshot
Matt Nixon was named logistics and branch manager after less than two years with A&C Plastics. Although his time has been short, he has proven his ability to lead and take ownership of his team and will continue to do so as the company grows. Nixon’s ability to build and maintain cohesive teams, meet deadlines and improve A&C warehouse efficiencies make him a great candidate for this position and the company is excited to see where he leads them next.
Leo Lara headshot
Leo Lara was promoted to director of warehouse operations for all A&C branches after eight years of dedicated service. Throughout his time with A&C, Lara has developed a deep and complex knowledge of warehouse operations, customer service and inventory practices. During the challenges of the last two years, Lara stepped up and showcased his talents. Thanks to him, A&C’s warehouse is serving customers more efficiently than ever. A&C is thrilled to see how he will grow in the future.
Armand Ajdari headshot
Armand Ajdari joined Arkema as chief technology officer effective January 1, 2022. He reports to Thierry Le Hénaff, Chairman and CEO and is a member of the management committee. This appointment is aligned with the strategic direction of Arkema, which places innovation and the development of sustainable solutions at the heart of its strategy.

With more than 30 years dedicated to research and development in international environments, particularly within the Saint-Gobain group, Ajdari will bring his passion for innovation, his scientific culture, his experience of technological and commercial relationships with key partners and his understanding of the planet’s megatrends.

After a PhD in Theoretical Physics at the Pierre et Marie Curie University in Paris and an engineering diploma at the École Polytechnique (France), Ajdari undertook various multidisciplinary research activities within the CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique) for 15 years. He then joined the Saint-Gobain group in 2007 where he held different positions, including senior vice president R&D for the innovative materials sector. Since 2017, he has been executive vice president R&D of the Saint-Gobain group.

Bob Umphress headshot
Bob Umphress is retiring from Interstate Plastics in March 2022 after 44 years in the plastics distribution industry, 36 of which were with Interstate Plastics. Umphress started his career in 1978 with Port Plastics in Sunnyvale, CA, USA, and joined the Interstate team in January 1986. He was instrumental in opening Interstate Plastics’ Boise, ID, USA facility in 1991 and has been branch manager since the outset.

Umphress has been a steward of the industry, and his impact on Interstate Plastics and the industry cannot be understated. He has dedicated his many years with Interstate Plastics to building strong brand awareness in the Idaho market and surrounding states. Umphress is a mentor to many employees and imparted his plastics knowledge and passion for customer service to all. He operated from a place of integrity and incredible product knowledge; his impact will be felt for years to come.

With mixed emotions but a great deal of appreciation, Interstate Plastics wishes him the best in retirement. They are sure he will enjoy the time available to spend with family, and his bass guitar, doing what he loves.

Flyer for Introducing Piedmont Plastics New York
Piedmont Plastics announced the opening of a branch in Thornwood, NY, USA. Located approximately 30 minutes north of New York City, this location is Piedmont’s 52nd in North America. The New York branch will operate as a full-service distribution facility with a comprehensive inventory, cut-to-size services, routing capabilities and local delivery options. “We are thrilled to officially open our New York branch,” said John Colleluori, branch general manager at Piedmont Plastics. “This new location will serve as a critical distribution hub for Piedmont Plastics and will allow us to better serve our customers in the greater New York metro area.”
Braskem and Repauno Port & Rail Terminal have successfully completed the first propylene import in more than a decade to the East Coast of the United States. The vessel arrived at Repauno’s new multi-use port terminal facility for energy products in Gibbstown, NJ, USA. This announcement follows a strategic initiative by Braskem to further enhance its feedstock optionality to supply propylene to its polypropylene (PP) manufacturing facility located in Marcus Hook, PA, USA and allow the business to capture arbitrage opportunities for competitive propylene abroad.

Alexandre Elias, vice president polypropylene, Braskem America, said, “Our new partnership with Repauno provides Braskem with increased flexibility and optionality to import propylene, particularly when international prices are competitive. Additionally, it provides the flexibility to import in the event of supply disruptions. I am extremely proud of our team for bringing this opportunity to fruition and successfully completing the import delivery.”

Braskem’s Marcus Hook facility produces 415 kilotons of polypropylene each year, which are used in medical, automotive, food packaging and appliance applications. Since Braskem acquired the plant in 2010, it has expanded the production capacity of the plant by 25 percent through multiple improvement projects. In early 2020 during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Braskem’s Marcus Hook manufacturing team members lived on site at the production facility for 28 days to ensure the continuous supply of raw material to produce medical personal protective equipment (PPE) such as N-95 respirator masks and medical gowns, as well as other healthcare packaging caps and closures.

Repauno Port & Rail Terminal is located on a 1,600-acre site along the Delaware River in Greenwich Township, NJ, USA, one of the most active maritime markets in the nation. Repauno offers tremendous logistical optionality as it sits directly on the Delaware River, served by Conrail with access to CSX and Norfolk Southern, and easy truck access to I-295 and I-95 highways. Additionally, the site features a new multi-purpose dock with 40-foot draft, capable of safely handling a wide variety of products and available acreage with build-to-suit logistical solutions available for development.

table top scattered with papers
Thermwood Corporation routinely applies for patent protection on technology it develops for its large-scale additive manufacturing (LSAM) systems. During COVID, they received electronic copies of patents that were granted, as the hard copies were temporarily withheld. In late December 2021, they received a package containing the official hard copy of 32 additive manufacturing patents, a one-day record for the company. According to the company, although it is nice to have been granted these patents, it is even nicer to have the official hard copies in hand.
Mitchell Dendy, Congressman Moore, and Deborah Ragsdale
From left to right: Polymer Industries Press and Fabrication Manager Mitchell Dendy, Congressman Moore and Polymer Industries Director of Relations Deborah Ragsdale.
U.S. Congressman Barry Moore (R-AL-02) toured the Polymer Industries manufacturing plant in Henagar, AL, USA on January 26. Congressman Moore was able to see the latest manufacturing technology for high-performance plastics and understand how products manufactured in Alabama are used in numerous markets across the world for infrastructure, manufacturing, food and agriculture industries. “The polyolefin and mechanical products manufactured by Polymer Industries are used in the top manufacturing, transportation and construction projects across the country. It is important for our leaders to understand the role our local manufacturing facilities play in a national and worldwide marketplace,” said Polymer Industries Director of Relations and IAPD President Deborah Ragsdale.

Alro Plastics acquired Johnson Plastics in Evansville, IN, USA on December 17, 2021. Johnson Plastics was founded in 1995 and specializes in designing and engineering products. Their offerings include custom plastic fabrication and vacuum forming. They are a distributor of sheet and engineering plastics, plastic films, packaging products and industrial supplies. The Johnson Plastics team, led by Richie Johnson, will join Alro and continue to serve customers from the Johnson Plastics location.

Arkema plans to double its UV-curable resins production capacity at its Nansha plant in China to support the demand in Asia for cutting-edge solutions in electronics, driven by 5G technology, and renewable energies. This investment is aligned with the company’s strategy to develop its Coating Solutions segment with high value-added solutions and reinforce its downstream acrylics activities in Asia. It will enable Arkema to grow its high-performance and solvent-free solutions portfolio for UV curing marketed under the brand Sartomer®. This new expansion is scheduled to come on stream in the second half of 2023 and will provide best-in-class regional supply to customers in Asia. In addition to this new production capacity, the plant aims at carbon neutral growth thanks to an energy efficiency program, green electricity purchasing and the installation of solar panels.

“We are committed to continuously develop innovative materials and sustainable technologies to meet the robust demand driven by megatrends such as new technologies, clean mobility and urbanization,” explained Laurent Peyronneau, vice president of Arkema’s coating solutions. “This new capacity will enable us to provide our latest innovative photocure resin solutions and tailored services to our customers and partners in Asia.”

IAPD welcomes new fabricator member Erie Industrial Plastics. Erie Industrial Plastics (EIP) is a full-service industrial plastic distribution and fabrication facility offering a wide range of plastic products and value-added services to support the regional manufacturing and commercial markets. EIP specializes in the machining and fabrication of plastic components from the initial material selection and development stages straight through the production, assembly and final distribution of the parts. Erie Industrial Plastics has been serving the Erie, PA, USA and surrounding area for more than 20 years. Originally founded by Mark DiPlacido, who was the sole employee, EIP has grown into a highly qualified and locally recognized leader in industrial plastic fabrication and distribution.

In Memoriam
In Memory of Sharilyn Lee Beem
Sharilyn Lee Beem, 79, passed away on Saturday, November 27, 2021 with her family by her side. She was the daughter of the late Dwight W. and Mozelle O. (Bach) Cope. In her early years, Sharilyn worked at the family business, Cope Plastics, before staying home to raise her girls, all the while remaining a member of the company Board of Directors. She married Donald F. Beem on December 23, 1961.

Sharilyn is survived by her husband; daughters Cynthia Smalley (David) of Godfrey, Roxanne Wittman (Michael) of Alton, Jane Saale (Steve) of Brighton and Donna Rintoul (Dave) of Brighton; five grandchildren, Nicholas Wittman DC (Jenni), Hannah Combs (Jack), Haley, Taylor and Logan Jansen; four great grandchildren, Lily and Olive Wittman and Christian and Callie Combs; and her twin sister, Marilyn Kuhn (Andy). She is also survived by her step-grandchildren David Smalley Jr., Austin Spitler and Phillip Saale and step great-grandchildren Cody Smalley, Abbi Smalley, Cameron Spitler, Dallin Spitler, Hatley Saale and Hayden Saale and many nieces and nephews. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by a grandson, Alex Beem Wittman.

Sharilyn was a member of Godfrey First United Methodist Church since 1958. She was a member of the United Methodist Women, Board of Trustees and chair of the Memorial Committee. Active in her community, she was a longtime financial supporter of Lewis & Clark Community College and many other local organizations. She served in the Godfrey Women’s Club where she was the historian for many years and president from May 1978-December 1979 and then again in 1998. She won the Silver Spoon Award in 1983 and she was co-chairman of the carousel four times.

Sharilyn was a survivor of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma cancer and breast cancer. She was a proud supporter of the Susan G. Komen Walk for Breast Cancer on Team Cope Plastics for many years. She also supported the Southwest Illinois Division of United Way and Friends of Kids with Cancer.

She was an avid bridge player and loved to play euchre. She loved paper crafts and enjoyed getting together with friends. Sharilyn supported everything her girls were involved in. She was an excellent cook and baker and seamstress. She baked and decorated wedding cakes for her four daughters and all her grandchildren. Sharilyn loved her family and was taken much too soon.

Memorials may be made to the Godfrey First United Methodist Church or the Godfrey Women’s Club. Online guestbook and information may be found at

Black and white headshot of Mark “Bud” Grusin
Mark “Bud” Grusin, known to all as Buddy, found peace on Friday, December 10, 2021 in Naples, FL, USA. Buddy is survived by his wife Linda, with whom he shared a 57-year storybook love affair through all of life’s adventures and challenges. Buddy and Linda created a loving family that also survives him: daughter and son-in-law Julie and Daniel Hess, daughter Jamie Natal and grandchildren Brooke and Tanner Natal. He also leaves sister-in-law and brother-in-law Judy and Michael Goodman, sister-in-law Brina Grusin, sister and brother-in-law Judy and Richard Welch, nieces and nephews Elizabeth and David Sherman, Andy and Amy Hayman, Marty Grusin, Glen Grusin and Beth Grusin and their children. Buddy was preceded in death by son-in-law Howard Natal and brother Leslie “Butch” Grusin.

Originally from Chicago, IL, USA, Buddy earned a degree in accounting from the University of Illinois. He joined his family business, Standard Grinding & Manufacturing, and later started and built a second company, Atlas Fibre Company. Over 50 years, Buddy and his partners led Atlas Fibre and Standard Grinding to become leaders in specialty plastics distribution and precision fabrication services. Atlas and Standard were sought out and trusted by customers across aerospace, medical, defense, construction and other critical industries. Buddy’s industry colleagues showed their respect by electing him President of the International Association of Plastics Distribution (IAPD) for the 1993-1994 term.

Anyone who met Buddy quickly found that he was kind, smart, generous and always funny. At holidays, Buddy and Linda’s home was a welcome place for anyone who didn’t have another place to go. Buddy could quickly summon a joke for any crowd, improvise in any accent and have all around him laughing out loud. While he never called attention to it, Buddy frequently supported charitable causes in healthcare, education and the arts.

During more than 50 years in the North Shore suburbs of Chicago and more recently in Naples, Buddy was a passionate player and lover of golf and was a long-time member of Northmoor Country Club and Pelican Marsh Golf Club.

Above all, Buddy supported his friends and family through thick and thin and will be missed by all.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research ( or the Evans Scholars Foundation (