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WPP President’s Message – Volume 5 – Feb 2022


The Western Plastics Pioneers, (WPP) is an association that assists the future of the plastics Industry through student scholarships while preserving the fellowship and legacy of the industry.

Our mission is to continue to grow the bandwidth of scholarships to upcoming students through membership dues, social events and corporate donations. Last year the WPP awarded five (5) scholarships to local college students with an interest in our industry. Further, WPP is broadening its scope by reviewing/assisting in internship programs to help direct students towards fields in the plastics industry.

WPP membership is a library of information that continues to aid the industry at large.  It can be of assistance from equipment, design, tooling, reverse engineering, and material selection.  There are social events ranging from wine tasting, sport events, concerts, theater, and numerous luncheons where members can gather and take the opportunity to network.

To our existing members, Thank You for your continued support.  To our new members, Welcome.  Please join us on our journey to industry growth.


Troy Eubank
WPP President

New Members (15):

  • Rich Pope
  • Steve Hibdon
  • John Cessna
  • Curt Schmuhl
  • Mark Jacobsen
  • Arthur Kraatz
  • Evan Barnhart
  • Roger Renstrom
  • Gary Clauss
  • Robert Corley
  • Jose Garcia
  • Tom Gentile
  • Joseph McRoskey
  • Eric Rose
  • Kristen Jacobs

WPP Past President’s Message – Volume 4 – May 2021

On Tuesday, April 20th, the 2019-21 WPP Board of Directors met for the final time at a new venue, Hot Rods & Handguns Shooting and Social Club, in Huntington Beach. It was the first in person meeting in over a year.

First, I thank all of you for allowing me the privilege and honor of serving as your president over the past two years. We have been able to accomplish some significant steps forward, and some of those are highlighted below. Troy Eubank has enthusiastically assumed the reins for the coming term, and we look forward to our progress under his leadership.

Highlights of the meeting:

  • a motion was unanimously approved to schedule the WPP Annual Meeting for Sunday, October 17, 2021 at Los Coyotes Country Club in Buena Park
  • Membership:
    • Total: 86 (96 in 2020)
    • New Members (6):
      • John Cessna
      • Steve Hibdon
      • Rich Popp
      • Curt Schmuhl
      • Mark Jacobsen
      • Rick Hayes
  • A big shout out to Jeff Lawrence for his tireless efforts to retain members and find new members!
  • planning for 2021 social events includes a Wine Tasting in June, Pageant of the Masters in August, and WPP Annual Meeting in October
  • new WPP Bylaws were discussed and approved after amending Article III, Section 3, “Years Employed in the Plastics Industry …”, from twenty years to fifteen years. A very special thank you to Roger France and Lance Neward for the considerable time spent on this project! The new bylaws are attached.
  • the 2021-23 WPP Board of Directors and Officers were elected:
    • President: Troy Eubank
    • Secretary: Ed Laird
    • Treasurer: Roger France
    • President Elect: George Yule
    • Recording Secretary: Vivian Chavez
    • Assistant Treasurer: Susan Granger
    • Membership: Jeff Lawrence
    • Annual Luncheon: Rusty Miller
    • Social Events: Rodger Foster
    • Raffle: Joe La Fountain
    • Liaison: Richard Luciano
    • Education: George Yule
    • Scholarships: Mike Friend
    • Historian: Dee Ketner
    • Parliamentarian: Lance Neward
    • Communications (website/newsletter): Mark Jacobsen

We would appreciate your comments, suggestions, and participation. You are welcome to attend our next BoD meeting on June 1st. Contact any of the above Board members for details.

Wishing you all the best!
George Yule
WPP Immediate Past President, Education Chair.

Ed Laird, Vivian Chavez, Troy Eubank, Susan Granger, Jeff Lawrence, Dee Ketner, Rodger Foster, Skip Humphrey, Rick Hayes, Roger France

WPP President’s Message – Volume 3 – November 2020

As we continue to try and get our arms around a “new normal” I wanted to again update our membership on what your Western Plastics Pioneers Board has been doing.

Zoom Board Meetings:

  • Your WPP Board has been meeting regularly via Zoom to keep various activities moving (education/scholarships, membership, website, etc.). WPP members and others interested in WPP activities are welcomed to attend.
  • Financially we are healthy. Our Scholarship Fund balance is $19,243., and the General Fund balance is $7,794.44 (as of 9/30/20).

Three WPP Scholarships Awarded:

  • This summer, WPP awarded three $2,000.00 scholarships. The recipients were:
    • Juliana Covarrubias, Western Washington University
    • Allison Van Horn, Oregon State University
    • William Dayton, UC Davis
  • WPP member Mike Friend once again has donated the funds for a WPP scholarship.
  • Please visit the WPP website, www.westernplasticspioneers.org, under education to view the SPE Foundation, Western Plastics Pioneers 2020 Scholarship Report that details our 2020 recipients and the WPP scholarship history for the past four years, along with the personal note of thanks from the SPE Foundation.
  • A big THANK YOU to Richard Luciano and the scholarship selection committee for their efforts.

WPP Membership:

  • As of this writing, 75% of our members have mailed in their 2020 – 2021 dues. If you’ve already done this, thank you. We hope that this reminder will prompt you to send your annual dues of $45.00 to Jeff Lawrence. If there are reasons that you are reconsidering your membership in WPP, please contact me to discuss. Remember that WPP is about our plastic industry network and supporting scholarships.
  • If you have a friend, colleague, or knowledge of someone that should consider membership in WPP, please talk with them and forward their contact information to Jeff Lawrence at jeffslaw@earthlink.net.

WPP Website (www.westernplasticspioneers.org):

  • Check out the WPP Member Bio. tab in Membership. We encourage all WPP members to submit a biography and photo to Jeff Lawrence. Please review the current biographies as examples. (send info to Jeff at jeffslaw@earthlink.net)
  • See information on WPP scholarship winners in the Education section.

WPP Member feedback:

  • We want to hear from our members. Share your ideas, suggestions, and comments. Call (720-512-3935), or write (gyule48@gmail.com) or reach out to any of the WPP Board (see website for contact info.).
  • Invite colleagues to join WPP. Membership Application is on the website.

Know the Numbers

A Quick Guide to Safer Plastics

WPP President’s Message – Volume 2 – June 2020

What a year this has been …… and it’s not over yet. I want to bring you up to date on events and happenings in the Western Plastics Pioneers.

Your WPP is healthy and active:

  • Your WPP Board has been meeting every other month via Zoom to keep various activities moving (education/scholarships, membership, website, social activities, etc.)
  • Financially we are healthy. Our Scholarship Fund balance is $18,528, and the General Fund balance is $7,643.53.

2020 WPP Annual Meeting Postponed:

  • Your WPP Board has just voted to postpone the October Annual Meeting until next Spring. The health and safety of our members is paramount and the next several months are still uncertain. We will keep you updated.

2020 Pageant of the Masters has been cancelled

2020 – 21 WPP Membership Dues:

  • As of this writing, approximately 60% of our members have mailed in their 2020 – 21 dues. If you’ve already done this, thank you! If not, we hope that this reminder will prompt you to send your annual dues of $45.00 to Jeff Lawrence. An additional donation to the WPP Scholarship Fund would be greatly appreciated. If there are reasons that you are reconsidering your membership in WPP, please contact me to discuss. Remember that WPP is about your plastics industry network and supports scholarships.

WPP Education and Scholarships:

  • For the first time, WPP awarded three $2,000.00 scholarships in 2019. The recipients were:
    • Mikaela Sadri, Western Washington University□
    • Samuel Estes, Western Washington University
    • Jillian McKenzie, University of the Pacific
  • Also for the first time, a WPP member, Mike Friend, donated the fund for a WPP scholarship
  • The deadline for 2020 scholarship applications is approaching and we have seven great candidates.

WPP President’s Message – Volume 1 – February 2020

With the retirement of our long time and amazing Western Plastics Pioneers Newsletter Editor, Rick Roelen, the Board of Directors has agreed that a President’s Message be published quarterly on the website.  Feedback, suggestions and contributions are welcomed.

WPP invited to PPA Spring Meeting in San Diego:

You recently received an email from WPP regarding a unique event happening in San Diego on April 16th – 18th.  The Plastics Pioneers Association (PPA) has invited the WPP to be part of their Spring Meeting at the Mission Valley Marriott.  This is a special opportunity to meet other industry pioneers, hear about the history of the industry we are all a part of, tour the Del Coronado and the Midway aircraft carrier, and take part in a reception and dinner hosted by PPA and sponsored by Troy Eubank and Modified Plastics.  Call Rodger Foster (909/263-2124) or myself (720/512-3935) for more details.

WPP Website (https://www.westernplasticspioneers.org):

  • Troy Eubank is now heading up the website and working on adding content and features.
  • in a joint effort with Jeff Lawrence, WPP Membership Chair, we are starting to add biographies and pictures of our members.  Please visit the website to see the format and instructions on how to submit yours.

WPP Education and Scholarships:

Over the past two years the Education Committee, chaired by Richard Luciano, has been actively working on advancing our efforts to reach more students and offer more scholarships.  In 2019 we gave, for the first time ever, three scholarships with one being from the Mike Friend family.  Please keep visiting the website to keep up with the Education Committee activities.

What do our members want:

  • We want to hear from our members.  Share your ideas, suggestions, and comments.  Call (720/512-3935), or write (gyule48@gmail.com)
  • Invite colleagues to join WPP.  Membership Application is on the website.

George Yule, President
Western Plastics Pioneers

Hall of Fame Award and College Scholarship Award Luncheon

Sunday, October 14th, 2018

2018 WPP HOF Inductee Ed Laird

2018 WPP Scholarship Awarded to Levi Hamernik

Los Coyotes Country Club
8888 Los Coytoes Drive
Buena Park, CA

11:00AM Champagne Reception
12:00PM Luncheon
$50.00 per person

Choice of NY Steak, Roasted Chicken, or Salmon, Vegetables, Rolls, Sorbet, and Beverage.

Mail Reservations to:

Roger France
6 Rimani Drive
Mission Viejo, CA 92692

Ed Laird Selected 2018 WPP HOF Inductee

Huntington Beach – The Western Plastics Pioneers Hall of Fame selection for 2018 is Ed Laird, founder and owner of Laird Coatings Corporation. Ed is currently the Secretary of the Western Plastics Pioneers. Ed ex-pressed shock and surprise when in-formed of his selection. His hard work on industry issues and solutions make him an excellent selection for this award.

Ed Laird’s career in polymers began early, when he was hired for a summer job working in the coatings lab for Chrysler in Michigan. He went on to earn a degree in polymer science from RM Technical Institute in Michigan.

Ed recognized the opportunities that the plastics industry presented while he was a chemist work-ing for the Andrew Brown Company during the 1960s. When Mr. Andrew Brown was asked to develop a coat-ing for plastic for the aerospace industry he gave the challenge to Ed Laird. Ed, working as the chief coatings chemist, welcomed the opportunity, an opportunity that would open the door to his future. Mr. Brown told Ed, ‘Our company is not interested in developing coatings for plastics, but if you are, we will sup-port your efforts.’

The goal was to achieve adhesion to plastics like ABS, Lexan ®, Styrene, Polypropylene, Cellulous Acetate Butyrate and others. And, that was the beginning of a comp-any that moved three times in forty years as it grew into a multi-million coatings company creating compatible coatings to protect plastic parts for companies like Boeing, Hewlett Packard, Apple, Mattel (Barbie’s Lips), Plastics Dress-Up (Trophies), Sony TV bezels, and Oakley lenses.

Early on he recognized the importance of working with plastics suppliers like General Electric, Kodak, Borg Warner, etc. recognizing that there was a need for coatings that would adhere to plastics without causing part failure. It was that close contact with those suppliers that set the stage for a growing company, with ever expanding markets, and untapped potential. He developed coatings for trophies, air-plane windows and canopies, computer housings, keyboards, toys, and vacuum metalized plastics.

Truly, Laird Coatings helped to drive industry applications and growth through his pioneering development of coatings . These new coatings could enhance the appearance and/or performance of plastic substrates.. Plastics now could intrude on the markets previously dominated by glass, wood and metal where weather ability, chemical resistance, or color stability presented performance issues for plastics .

In 1982 Ed was elected President of the SPE driving several initiatives including unifying 5 separate divisions creating the largest SPE section by membership numbers. He worked to change minds, attitudes, and rules working closely with agencies like the Los Angeles Air Pollution District, later known as the Air Pollution Control District in Southern California. That agency set air quality standards for the entire region. He chaired the Society of Plastics Industry (SPI) Political Action Committee from 1996 to 2000.

Ed laird is not just a visionary plastics pioneer. He is a community activist. He is an active Executive with the Boy Scouts of America, and has been the chairman of several other community organizations including the American Cancer Society of Orange County, Orange County Cancer and Education Foundation, Bolsa Chica Conservancy, Kiwanis, and The Lincoln Training Center for the Developmentally Disabled to name just a few. He has been honored by more than 20 different community organizations for his work to better the lives of others.

Ed’s contributions and industry influence have set a high standard for a Western Plastics Pioneer Hall of Fame Inductee. He is forward thinking, honest, influential, trusted, confident, respected and respectful. As a communicator, an activist, influential change agent, a risk taker, and a motivator, Ed has a long track record of performance and service.

Annual Luncheon Raffle Funds Scholarships

Joe La Fountain took on the task of the annual luncheon raffle as a challenge to improve participation and increase the contribution to the Western Plastics Pioneers Scholarship Fund. Over the past four years, Joe as a major contributor, has set the bar high and encouraged others to participate by donating prizes and prize money to our luncheon raffle. Joe believes that everyone should leave the luncheon with a prize and a memory. He revised the ticket offering to encourage more participation. He increased the prize money as well as the number of prizes available. Joe hawks the tickets and encourages
attendees to buy more.

The results of the 2017 raffle indicate that Joe is on the right track. This year the raffle netted more than $2800 for the scholarship fund. Thanks to those who participated in the raffle the scholarship fund is on solid ground.

More importantly, the Board of Directors of the Western Plastics Pioneers wishes to thank all of those who donated prizes, prize money, and their time to accumulate, shop and assemble the raffle prizes. All too often we forget to say thanks for a job well done. Thanks to Joe and his crew of staff participants for all that you have done to make the raffle such a special part of the event.

Scholarship winners may not know of the effort that has been made to generate the funds that they receive, but they appreciate the source of those funds. The Western Plastics Pioneers can be proud of their charitable donations and the goodwill created.

Chuck Brewer III Joins WPP BOD

Chuck Brewer III, often referred to as “CB3”. Is a third generation Plastics industry “Pioneer” mentored by a family of mold makers. The Western Plastics Pioneers welcome his years of experience and knowledge to the leadership of the Board of Directors.

Chuck grew up in the molding business doing odd jobs in his grandfather’s tool and die shop; CAB Tool in Bell Gardens. During his early years, he was mentored and apprenticed in mold making, molding and business operations by his father who launched C. Brewer Co. in 1966.

CB3 attended California State University at Fuller-ton while apprenticing as a mold maker at C. Brewer Co. in the afternoon after classes. Upon earning a Bachelor of Arts in Business he joined the C. Brewer Co. sales team. It was 1975 when Chuck shed his shop coat for a sports coat and began his career selling the full line services of the C. Brewer Co. During his early career he also man-aged Customer Care, Marketing, and Project Teams for the rapidly growing company.

In 1981 Chuck joined the Society of Plastics Engineers as a member of the Board of Directors and eventually served as president of that organization . He chaired the RETEC Conference in Irvine, was Vice Chairman of the ANTEC Conference in Los Angeles and was recognized as SPE’s “Man of the Year” in 2003.

Like so many successful molding operations, the C. Brewer Company continued to grow and expand their influence after CB3 and his brother Michael Brewer bought the business from their father Chuck Brewer jr. in 1997. The brothers altered the business philosophy emphasizing scientific molding processes while focusing on the medical market and engineering plastics.

Meanwhile, Chuck Brewer jr. came out of retirement and purchased KRK in Irvine. He relaunched the company as Brevet Industries. After successfully managing the development and growth of that enterprise, Chuck Brewer jr. decided to retire again. So, CB3 and Michael Brewer acquired that operation as well as Care-Fusion’s molding operations in Ontario, California.

A few years later, a surprise offer in 2012 from Balda, AG resulted in the sale of the C. Brewer Company and all of its holdings. By then, the company had grown significantly, employing 500 people , at three geographic locations, and operating more than 100 molding ma-chines.