People &
Headshot of Jennifer Lisciandrello-Crocco
CartierWilson LLC recently hired Jennifer Lisciandrello-Crocco as territory manager for the Midwest region. She will cover the states of Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

“We are thrilled to bring Jen’s talent and energy to our team. Her extensive knowledge of performance plastics and thermoforming combined with her ability to develop new and existing business will be a great asset to CartierWilson. Jen is highly motivated, self-driven and thrives on the technical aspect of solution selling. We are confident that her core values will equip her to be successful with our principal manufacturers through our distribution partners, thermoformers and OEMs,” said Vice President Alicia Spence.

Lisciandrello-Crocco comes to CartierWilson with more than 20 years of experience in specifying the right materials in applications throughout various markets. “My intent is to be an asset and add value to every client I meet while ensuring that each customer receives the highest level of care and service. Plastics is in my DNA after many years in the industry and I understand the value that performance plastics brings across all markets CartierWilson serves,” stated Liscinadrello-Crocco.

Steve Briggs
Mike Nye
Cast Nylons Limited announced the promotion of Steve Briggs to president and Mike Nye to chief financial officer.
Headshot of Steve Briggs
Steve Briggs joined the company a year ago, bringing a wealth of global executive leadership and business development experience to the role. During his first year as COO at Cast Nylons, he has delivered growth, operational improvements and made an impact on organizational development. Briggs 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 degree in materials and operations management from Bowling Green State University and an MBA from Cleveland State University.
Headshot of Mike Nye
Mike Nye started at Cast Nylons Ltd. as an intern more than nine years ago, developing personally and professionally over the years. He has an ever-growing and complex work environment, continuous challenges and a wide range of day-to-day pursuits including financial reporting, controls, tax calculations and strategy, mentorship and overall business strategy. Nye has developed numerous business analytics reports using powerful Excel and ODBC on business metrics, such as margin analysis, operational productivity and yields to name a few. He has a Bachelor of Science in marketing and Master of Science in accounting from Kent State University (KSU) and he became a Certified Public Accountant in 2016.
Headshot of Steve Gugger
Steve Gugger has joined Interstate Plastics as the company’s new branch manager for its Kent, WA, USA location. He comes to Interstate Plastics with a wealth of experience, including 10 years in the distribution business, six years in logistics and extensive knowledge of the Seattle and Pacific Northwest markets. Gugger’s expertise and extensive local knowledge in this market will help him as he understands the intricacies of building a successful team and has proven it many times over.
Headshot of Scott Mold
Scott Mold has been promoted to general manager of TempRite® Engineered Polymers – CPVC at Lubrizol Advanced Materials, Inc. In this role, Mold will be responsible for the development and implementation of growth strategies and building a diverse and inclusive leadership team with a continued focus on organizational sustainability. Additionally, he will be accountable for business development initiatives that will deliver innovative, market-leading solutions and value for TempRite’s partners and the markets they serve. Mold joined Lubrizol in 2002 and has held a variety of leadership positions, including business management, supply chain, project management, finance and corporate planning. Mold holds a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Purdue University and an MBA from The Ohio State University.
Headshot of Andrew Cwalinski
Andrew Cwalinski joined Plazit-Polygal Group as the Midwest regional manager. He will be responsible for managing sales and serving the company’s distribution channel partners in the Midwestern states. Cwalinski brings more than 14 years of experience in the plastics industry in various roles and the company is confident that he will be a valuable addition to the team.
Headshot of Don Snyder
After 13 years with A&C Plastics, Inc., Don Snyder is celebrating his retirement. Snyder served as the warehouse manager at the company’s location in Schiller Park, IL, USA. He ran the facility with an eye for detail and a service-based attitude. In his retirement, Snyder is looking forward to fishing and spending time with his family.
Derek Couch Ken Coleman Julie Zuniga
James Amano Michelle Kounlavong Bob Owen
Professional Plastics announced several promotions and new hires.
Headshot of Derek Couch
Derek Couch recently relocated to Phoenix, AZ, USA for his new role as regional sales manager, where he will drive sales and manage business plans for the company’s Arizona, Utah and Bay Area, CA, USA branches. His efforts will include a strategic approach to selling to specific markets, key accounts and target accounts while closing new business and representing the company’s overall product line. Since joining Professional Plastics in 2012, Couch has built a reputation for succeeding in a variety of sales positions, including inside and outside sales. He also managed the company’s Portland, OR, USA branch for the last two years. His experience, skillset and drive to succeed are ideal for his continued success.
Headshot of Ken Coleman
After five years managing outside sales, Ken Coleman accepted a new role as inside sales manager at the San Jose, CA, USA branch. In his new position, he will oversee the local inside sales team and support efforts to secure new business and serve, maintain and grow existing accounts. Coleman brings more than 30 years of plastics industry sales experience to his new role. For the last 19 years he has been an integral part of the Professional Plastics sales team. He began his time with the company focused on territory sales and has worked in a variety of sales and management roles since, including key accounts and most recently as outside sales manager. His wealth of experience with the company on both sides of sales position him for continued success in his new role.
Headshot of Julie Zuniga
Julie Zuniga was promoted to credit and collections manager. In her new role, Zuniga will manage the accounts receivable (A/R) department and oversee the credit and collection processes, including application of policies and conducting credit reviews. Zuniga joined the Professional Plastics A/R team as a credit analyst in March 2020. She has more than 12 years of credit and collections experience that she will apply to her new role. As manager, she will focus on supporting and motivating the team to meet their objectives, while overseeing the company’s A/R functions. She said, “I’m excited for the opportunity to help the company grow.”
Headshot of James Amano
James Amano was promoted to business manager for the Portland, OR, USA branch. Amano is responsible for overseeing day-to-day operations including sales, operations, personnel, inventory and all branch assets. He will develop and execute a business plan to achieve sales and profit goals and administer company policy and procedures. He will also develop strategic business relationships with clients and vendors to drive overall success of the business unit. Amano has worked in the region for Professional Plastics for the last nine years. His time in outside sales and as a national market development manager have prepared him for this new endeavor. His knowledge of the local market, operations and customer base will be an asset in his new position.
Headshot of Michelle Kounlavong
Michelle Kounlavong joined Professional Plastics as territory manager – Southern California where she will develop relationships and close business with new and existing customers in the Orange County, Riverside County and San Diego County areas of California, USA. She will focus her efforts on cultivating new opportunities while serving and growing existing accounts in the territory. Kounlavong joins the team with key insight into the plastics customer base and product portfolio having worked in inside sales at affiliate company Paragon Plastics since 2020. She has a proactive approach to selling and a passion for succeeding that will help keep her motivated to meet her goals as territory manager.
Headshot of Robert (Bob) Owen
Professional Plastics hired Robert (Bob) Owen as inside sales representative – Phoenix, AZ, USA. In his new role, Owen will provide product information, pricing and support to customers to maintain and grow existing accounts. He will also develop targeted accounts and help ensure an outstanding customer experience for each account and order. Owen comes to Professional Plastics with more than six years of inside sales experience in the metal decking industry. “His sales skills and knowledge are easy to recognize and customers are quickly taking a liking to him,” said Business Manager Jacquie Nine. “We look forward to Bob achieving great things and helping the team reach new heights.”
Headshot of Rick Hopkins
Rick Hopkins has joined SIMONA AMERICA Industries as business segment manager for industrial products. Hopkins will be responsible for leading business development, expanding applications for PVC and PP materials, market research and working with sales and customers to define new product development opportunities.

Prior to joining SIMONA, Hopkins worked in the abrasives industry with a focus on steel for the tank and pressure-vessel segments. He will now focus on promoting the capabilities that PP, PE and PVC deliver to these segments, while developing opportunities for these materials in applications that have been dominated by steel or other metals.

“I am excited to lead the key PP and PVC segment initiatives and eager to visit our customers to fully understand their business, pain-points, needs and expectations, and vision for the future,” said Hopkins.

“We are thrilled to have Rick join SIMONA. Rick has worked for the past few years in abrasives and brushes commonly used in metals and spent multiple years prior managing international R&D product development initiatives including onsite injection mold tooling inspections for PP, PE, nylon and other polymers. As our industrial segment has grown over the past few years, Rick’s comprehensive industrial knowledge will further position SIMONA AMERICA as a leader in PP and PVC materials and applications. We are pleased to welcome Rick to the SIMONA AMERICA team,” said Chris Art, vice president of sales for SIMONA AMERICA Industries.

Headshot of John Shepherd
John Shepherd has joined Cast Nylons Ltd. as vice president, business development. Shepherd is a long-time plastics industry veteran, including service on the IAPD Board of Directors. Shepherd will be a business-wide strategic member of the executive team and be responsible for all growth activities. Shepherd brings more than 20 years of experience in plastics distribution, serving most recently as president of ThyssenKrupp Plastics.

“John’s channel perspective and relationships with our distribution partners is extremely valuable to Cast Nylons and aligns with our future growth objectives,” said Derek Publicover, chief commercial officer. “John brings the leadership and change management qualities that will help us scale our business. He understands engineered plastics and the customers that use them.”

“We are building our commercial organization for the future,” said Cast Nylons President Steve Briggs. “We are evolving into a broader engineered polymers business and the addition of Shepherd is another strong commercial asset and confirmation of our growth agenda.”

Alaina Swaller
Matt Armstrong
A&C Plastics, Inc. promoted Alaina Swaller and Matt Armstrong to account managers in Houston, TX, USA. They both started out as ecommerce sales associates and were promoted after only a year with the company due to their hard work, great attitudes and excellence in handling customer relationships. A&C Plastics offers fast-paced training, videos and hands-on experience to make sure that young sales talents like Swaller and Armstrong understand their product offerings and provide the best service possible. According to Armstrong, “I’m on a mission to sell a million before the end of the year,” and Swaller said that she “enjoys staying busy and growing her career with a fun-loving company.”
Headshot of Alaina Swaller Headshot of Matt Armstrong
Alaina Swaller Matt Armstrong

Headshot of Alaina Swaller Headshot of Matt Armstrong
Alaina Swaller Matt Armstrong

Headshot of Alaina Swaller Headshot of Matt Armstrong
Alaina Swaller Matt Armstrong
Bernadette Chupela Blake Munns
Anne Rupp Kate Khrunova
SEKISUI KYDEX is pleased to share recent promotions in their business development team.
Headshot of Bernadette Chupela
Bernadette Chupela has been promoted to Northeast regional business manager. Chupela is well regarded in the industry, and the customer perspective that she has gained over the years in her customer-facing roles make her a natural fit for this territory. “Bernie brings a wealth of knowledge to this position and we are excited to see her put her talents to work as we expand our digital marketing and new product development efforts. This is an exciting step for Bernie and SEKISUI KYDEX, and we wish her well in her new role as Northeast RBM,” said Nik Taritas, vice president of sales.
Headshot of Blake Munns
Blake Munns has been promoted to customer experience manager. Munns has developed deep customer insights and a true understanding of the value of the KYDEX® brand as market development coordinator. She has become an integral part of the design process for aviation designers and OEMs and SEKISUI KYDEX looks forward to using her amazing customer skills to continue to develop a best-in-class customer experience.
Headshot of Anne Rupp
Anne Rupp, who has been assisting the customer collaboration team, will be resuming her role as inside sales specialist. “We are excited to see Anne apply her skills to new and exciting programs that we develop through our various digital marketing platforms. Anne has invested her time over the past year learning how to drive the business through our marketing automation efforts and we are excited to see Anne’s renewed focus on inside sales and our lead conversion journey,” said Taritas.
Headshot of Kate Khrunova
Kate Khrunova has joined SEKISUI KYDEX as customer collaboration specialist. Khrunova brings energy, enthusiasm and a “can do” attitude that is contagious. She is fearless. She is curious. She asks great questions and she is always willing to help customers. Khrunova will support SEKISUI KYDEX customers through their entire ordering process.
Headshot of Kurt Broll
Kurt Broll joined Interstate Plastics’ executive management team in the role of national business development manager. He has more than 25 years of experience in the industry. Broll started his career in distribution with Cadillac Plastics, has manufacturing experience with Westlake Plastics as well as served as a manufacturers’ representative for CartierWilson LLC. His most recent and extensive experience comes from Cast Nylons Limited where he held numerous leadership roles.

Drake Plastics Ltd. Co. has been awarded certification as a manufacturer of extruded shapes and precision parts under AS9100D(2016), an international quality management system that includes the ISO 9001:2015 standard and additional requirements for the aerospace industry.

The achievement puts Drake Plastics in esteemed company. Of the million plus organizations worldwide that are ISO 9001 certified, less than 2 percent hold AS9100 certifications. “Our compliance enables us to meet the rigorous demands of aviation, space and defense clients worldwide,” stated Drake Plastics President Steven Quance. “It also elevates our quality systems and procedures to the benefit of all customers, regardless of industry.”

Orion Registrar, Inc. USA, a firm accredited by ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB) performed the certification audit in accordance with AS9104/1:2012. Their assessment found Drake Plastics was compliant with the standard as a manufacturer and precision fabricator of extruded and injection molded specialty, high-performance polymer stock shapes and precision parts for the aerospace and defense industries. The rigorous procedures of the AS9100D standard will apply to all products the company manufactures including those for its customers in semiconductor, energy, transportation, medical, life science and many other industries.

The divestment of Arkema’s PMMA business to Trinseo, fully in line with the company’s plan to become a pure specialty materials player by 2024, was finalized on May 3, 2021. Following the announcement made on December 14, 2020, Arkema’s and Trinseo’s teams have carried out all the steps leading to the closing of the transaction. The divested business, which employs 860 people and operates seven production sites (four in Europe and three in North America), will be joining Trinseo, a company specialized in the production of plastics, synthetic rubber and latex binders.

GEHR Plastics is making a further contribution to reducing CO2 and, by switching to eco-gas at their plant in Mannheim, Germany, they implemented CO2 neutral production in accordance with the GHG Protocol Scope 1 and Scope 2 guidelines in Germany as well as in the United States. Environmental protection and sustainability are of great importance to the company. Following the conversion to green electricity implemented in 2016 in Mannheim and in 2020 in their plant in the United States, they took another step toward CO2 neutral production: the entire heating system in their Mannheim plant was switched to eco-gas. As a result, they can produce in a climate-neutral manner.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of AAG Tailored Cutting Solutions. AAG started in 1991 as AXYZ International by Alf Zeuner and Gary Harvey, two friends who embarked on a router repair initiative. Before long, the focus shifted to creating modular machines to better fit their customers’ needs. Today, the company has restructured into AAG Tailored Cutting Solutions, a manufacturer of routers and waterjets. With AAG officially representing the brands AXYZ, WARDJet and the newly revamped ecommerce site,, the company is optimistic about the future.

Family gathering around for a photo
Clockwise from top left: Kevin, Kyle, Carey, Petrice and Richard Lachenmeier.
Multi-Craft Inc. was founded in 1946 by four veterans of World War II. Each of the founders possessed skills in different areas — metal, leather, plastic and wood — hence the name Multi-Craft. Over the years, one man — Emil Lachenmeier — with an optimistic vision of the future and a passion for his field of plastics, became the major stockholder in the company and renamed it Multi-Craft Plastics. The company is now in the third generation of ownership. Emil and Grace Lachenmeier’s son Richard is president and CEO. His sons Kevin, Carey and Kyle are vice presidents and manage oversight of the company’s three locations: Portland and Eugene, OR, USA and Kent, WA, USA. The company is celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2021.

GF Piping Systems (GF) has earned Intel’s Preferred Quality Supplier (PQS) Award for 2020. Through its dedication to continuous quality improvement, GF has achieved a level of performance that consistently exceeds Intel’s expectations. The Intel PQS Award recognizes success in the Intel SCQI Program, a multiyear road map for continuous improvement for high-performing Intel suppliers. Of the thousands of Intel suppliers around the world, only a few hundred qualify to participate in the SCQI Program. The PQS Award is the second-highest honor a supplier can achieve. In 2020, only 26 suppliers in the entire Intel supply chain earned a Preferred Quality Supplier Award.

“As one of only 26 Preferred Quality Supplier Award winners in the entire Intel supply chain, GF Piping Systems has been vital to our success, especially during this uniquely challenging year,” said Dr. Randhir Thakur, chief supply chain officer at Intel. “They provided standout service in a critical area of the Intel supply chain and met or exceeded their annual improvement goals. Earning this award represents years of hard work, continuous improvement and truly exceptional performance.”

To qualify for an Intel Preferred Quality Supplier Award, suppliers must exceed expectations, meet aggressive performance goals and score 80 percent or higher in performance assessments throughout the year. Suppliers must also meet 80 percent or more of their improvement plan and demonstrate outstanding quality and business systems.

Man and Woman with mask gathered in a field
NAW’s Alexandria Crenshaw (left) and Polymershapes Chief Operating Officer Rick Gough.
Polymershapes participated in a partnership with the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors (NAW) and wholesaler-distributors to support mass vaccination sites at NFL stadiums with donations of needed personal protective equipment. The Baltimore, MD, USA and Atlanta, GA, USA branch locations coordinated the donation of 1,000 faceshields for a mass vaccination site.

“As our country moves to a new phase in our pandemic recovery, it is no surprise that wholesaler-distributors are delivering by donating needed supplies to mass vaccination sites across America,” NAW President and CEO Eric Hoplin said. “NAW and wholesaler-distributors across the country are proud to help NFL teams and vaccination sites because we know how important it is to safely get more shots in arms as we seek to put the COVID-19 pandemic in the past.”

Polymer Industries employees celebrated Earth Day 2021 in an unusual way this year. To draw attention to the company’s commitment to recycling and sustainability, their employees chose to dress as hippies. Earth Day was a fun-filled day to educate all employees about how recycling is so important on caring for the earth.
Curbell Plastics, Inc. recently partnered with Bloomsburg University’s Department of Instructional Technology (DIT) to develop a learning module about performance plastics. The partnership came about while Bloomsburg’s DIT graduate program was recruiting community partners to participate in a 12-week capstone project. The project was a real-world simulation where students were paired with a “client” to create an instructional design product. Curbell’s Training and Development Department (T&D) jumped at the opportunity to partner with a university on an instructional design project.

The Curbell T&D team was paired with three Bloomsburg students pursuing their Master of Science in instructional technology. Throughout the semester the students interviewed and collected data from Curbell’s subject matter experts, created a storyboard concept and developed a final product for the client’s use and their portfolios. The final project was a module containing a series of videos with assessments that address the difference between single use and performance plastics, discuss the importance of life cycle analysis (LCA) and share information about Curbell’s commitment to sustainability.

This opportunity turned out to be a beneficial learning experience for the students and the T&D team. While the students learned about Curbell as a company and the world of performance plastics, the T&D team learned about new design software, techniques and how to work with an outside organization to create a product that would still be representative of Curbell’s brand.

“Instructional designers put so much time, dedication and effort into their creations, and one of the toughest parts of the job is receiving feedback,” shared Curbell Plastics’ Associate Director of Training and Development Jinny Kcehowski. “We talked a lot about the importance of understanding goals, objectives, requirements and getting feedback all along the way to ensure that the final product meets expectations. It was an absolute pleasure to work with this team of students.”

The Bloomsburg University graduate students’ final capstone project was a fully animated, entertaining and interactive eLearning module. “We especially loved the concept of Plastics Man,” Kcehowski said. “He’s a superhero whose mission is to inform the world about how important performance plastics are to our everyday lives.” The eLearning module features video lessons with original characters, staggered learning assessments and takes approximately 15 minutes to complete.

Visit the digital version of this issue to watch “The World of Plastics” eLearning module.

In Memoriam
Headshot of Morton R. French III
Morton R. French III, age 55, lost his fight against depression on April 13, 2021. He was a chronically late (despite his crazy driving!) Grateful Dead enthusiast with a passion for grilling massive amounts of meat for late-night dinners. Mort danced bare foot at weddings, swam wherever he could, enjoyed trap shooting and golf and, for some unknown reason, was a Minnesota Vikings fan. Mort loved spending time with his daughters. Mort loved deeply and fought hard.

Mort was born in Wynnewood, PA, USA on September 1, 1965 and attended Canterbury High School in Connecticut. He went to The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. before transferring to Boston University and graduating in 1988. He worked in the plastics industry for many years in his family business before striking out on his own with Centric Plastics.

Mort is survived by his wife Nina (nee Franco), four daughters, his parents, brothers and sister as well as aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial donation to the National Alliance on Mental Illness ( Condolences may be left at