Ed Laird’s polymer career began while he was s6ll in high school when he was hired for a summer job working in the coatings lab for Chrysler in Michigan. From there, 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 working for the Andrew Brown Company during the 1960s. When Mr. Andrew Brown was asked to develop a coating for plastic specifically for the aerospace industry he gave the challenge to Ed Laird. Ed, working as the chief coatings chemist welcomed the opportunity, one 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 support your efforts.’ The goal was to achieve adhesion to plastics like Polycarbonate, ABS, Styrene, Polypropylene, Cellulose Acetate Butyrate and others. And, that was the beginning of a company 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 Ed realized the importance of working with plastics suppliers like General Electric, Kodak, Borg Warner, BASF, Dow, and others, 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, airplane windows and canopies, computer housings, keyboards, toys, and vacuum metalized plastics.
Laird Coatings helped to drive industry applications and growth through his pioneering development of coatings that would enhance appearance and performance of plastic substrates.. Ed worked to change minds, attitudes, and rules, working closely with agencies like the Air Pollution Control District in Southern California. That agency set air quality standards for the en6re region. He chaired the Society of Plastics Industry (SPI) Political Ac6on 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 efforts to better the lives of others.