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1990 annual report of Society of Plastics Engineers.

1990 ANNUAL REPORT Society of Plastics Engineers


At ANTEC 1990 in Dallas, Texas, I established a theme for my Presidential year around the word "VISION." Having chaired the Society's Strategic Plan Revisit Committee, I wanted to set a course of action using the plans established by this committee. I also wanted to determine how the Executive Committee, staff, and all the leadership of the Society could operate and lead effectively. In addition I sought a VISION that would become a living VISION for future administrations.

The VISION established was that each year when the President reviews the Society's accomplishments, he or she could say that they have been the best and that they have done the best of any of the Society's leadership teams. In other words, to establish a system or VISION for continuous, year-over-year improvement with the realization that next year's leadership will even be better. Thus, I stated my VISION as:






The goals for my year have been basted on this VISION statement. Highlights of the accomplishments for 1990-1991 are as follows:


Goal: To satisfy the needs of our membership.

We have evaluated and made improvements to the services offered by the Society. A salary and benefits survey has been completed; excerpts appear in the May 1991 issue of PLASTICS ENGINEERING. The need for an expanded and improved employment service has been identified and work has started on developing an SPE employment clearing house service. To strengthen and support our Sections an additional staff person will be added. To recognize long-term service to the Society, a new membership grade has been proposed called "Honored Service Member." This membership grade will follow criteria similar to those of the Fellow grade. To encourage student involvement, a Society level scholarship program has been initiated, with the first four recipients receiving their awards at ANTEC '91. Thanks to the contributions of many Sections, Divisions, and individual members, the scholarship fund has exceeded 60% of its $250,000 goal. A consultants directory is being published so that our members can find help and assistance when needed. Recognizing that students are the lifeblood of our Society, we have increased our student activity both on campus and at ANTEC.


Goal: Improve and enhance the plastics engineering profession.

To encourage high school students to enter our profession, a film on carrers in plastics has been developed, produced, and premiered at ANTEC '91. An ad hoc committee was established to insure we are meeting the needs of the R&D member, the applied member, and the new member within the Society. SPE became an affiliate member of the ABET program to insure quality education in our colleges and universities. The plastic engineer certification program came one step closer to introduction. This effort will recognize and promote technical competence. An ad hoc committee was established to improve the prestige of our profession. Through our Management Involvement activity, senior level managers are becoming more knowledgeable about SPE while they become involved in special programming and activity. To insure that the Society is staying at the forefront of technology, the New Technology Committee has sought the assistance of distinguished faculty members and select corporate individuals to identify new programs and SIGs.


GOAL: Improve the quality of the Society.

Leadership identification, improved leadership skills, and membership involvement are critically needed. To improve in these areas thirteen ad hoc committees were established this year. These committees not only are working on programs to improve the Society, but have allowed an estimated 65 additional members the opportunity of becoming involved and showing leadership potential. Through various review processes, potential leaders are being identified and given assignments to further their knowledge and exposure within the Society. In addition, two team-building workshops were conducted for the Executive Committee and key staff members. To improve ANTEC quality, committees have dealt with the paper selection process, improved presentations and general program funding. Our ties with SPI have never been stronger. We not only attend their board meetings, but are actively involved with NPE and Plastics USA. To insure an exciting, memorable, and rewarding year, plans have been developed to celebrate the Society's 50th anniversary year in 1992. In addition an ad hoc committee has been working to better understand what it means to be an international technical society. They are also exploring how the Society should be structured to handle non-North American Sections and members.

New educational programs have included an extrusion safety video and workbook. In addition the purchase of hardware and software has allowed the completion of a computer-based training program dealing with the subject "Introduction to Plastics."

Our seminar programs continue to be outstanding and well attended. This year an injection molding seminar was conducted in Mexico in Spanish. It not only was successful, but proved that international seminars run by SPE can be successful.

PRIDE and STAR recognition programs continue to show how well our Sections and Divisions are operating. They have also been an incentive for groups needing support.

After reviewing the concept of centralizing the Society's education activities, the Plastics Education Foundation with the support of the Executive Committee has recommended that an umbrella organization be established. The organization, called Edccation Policy and Planning, will be chartered to establish and maintain policy while coordinating and integrating the Society's education objectives and goals.


GOAL: Inform the public on the facts regarding plastics so that they can make educated decisions.

To meet this goal I have challenged SPE members to become involved in plastics recycling and to make their family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and government officials knowledgeable about this very important topic. ANTEC '90 and ANTEC '91 both have had Super Sessions dealing with this subject. The Recycling Division has prepared a booklet entitled "Plastics Facts" and a kit for use by our members and Sections.

I have developed a theme and presentation entitled "Plastics Are Recyclable--Ask Me!" I have given this presentation many times literally around the world. In addition, a button has been made available so that our members can easily approach the public on this matter. Furthermore, two outstanding articles have been published in PLASTICS ENGINEERING on the technology regarding recycling.


During the course of this past year, I am honored to say, your leadership and staff have been the best and they have done their best to meet their goals, the Society's goals, and our VISION. It has been a privilege and an honor to work with a dedicated and talented Executive Committee and an outstanding staff organization headed by our Executive Director, Robert D. Forger.

Today SPE is alive, healthy, and vibrant. Programs have been established and implemented that will carry us well beyond the five years left on our current Strategic Plan. By June of this year our membership will exceed 36,000 members, representing 47% growth over the past four years. Financially we are sound, with an income exceeding $5,500,000, based on the anticipated success of ANTEC 1991 and ANTEC and NPE seminar programs.

ANTEC has always been the focal point of SPE's year and this year is no exception. Under the fine leadership of Jim Edward and Nelson Wright and their respective General Operating and Technical Program Committees, this year's ANTEC will be outstanding not only because of the numbers, but, more important, because of the quality.

If SPE is to continue to meet the VISION I have outlined, we will need your support and your involvement in every aspect of SPE's life. I know that George Thorne, 1991-1992 SPE President, will continue in this pursuit. I wish him and his Executive Committee the best of luck for a very successful year.

I close by issuing a challenge to each and every one involved with SPE: Help George and each President and leadership team that comes after "TO BE THE BEST AND TO DO THE BEST."

Thank you.

Leonard H. Drexler PRESIDENT
COPYRIGHT 1991 Society of Plastics Engineers, Inc.
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Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Plastics Engineering
Date:May 1, 1991
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