SPE Detroit recognizes the efforts of Outstanding Members every year. Below are our award recipients from the past 10 years

Laura Shereda
Pete Grelle
Eve Vitale
Wayne Hertlein​
Dr. Adrian Merrington
Bob Petrach
Sassan Tarahomi
Dr. Rose Ryntz
Jim Keeler
Todd Hogan
Gary Kogowski
Sandra McClelland
Bill Windscheif
Cindy Hammer
Ron Price
Tom Miller

Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE)


Detroit Section Awards Review

NOTE on dates for all Detroit awards (DATES HAVE MOVED AROUND OVER THE YEARS – most awards have tended towards consolidated presentation at “Kick off” meeting, however, that meeting has all but died since 2020)

  1. SPE Detroit’s Lifetime Achievement Award 1 or 2:
    Primary Responsibility for nomination…Awards Chair with Awards committee along with President and Past-President. Board approves nominations.

    Nominations by Feb. Presentation in April

    Criteria: “SPE members out there who have had Long productive careers and belong to Section” yet not necessarily been active on the BODs. Considered calling the award the “Unsung Hero Award” at points in time but awardees typically have been awarded numerous other awards before this honor, so name really isn’t good.

    Awarded 3 in 2004: George Sheele, Larry Kushkin and Robert Williams. 2 in
    2005: Irv Poston and Ron Price. 2 in 2010 Norm Kakarala and Don Root. 3 in 2013, John Haas, Tom Powers and Nippani Rao; 2014: Bill Windscheif; 2015 Pete Grelle

  2. Individual Section Star awards, Award 1 or 2 a year
    Primary Responsibility for nomination…President, board approves

    Nominations by January. Presentation in May (Same note as above on timing and presentation)

    Criteria: Section Individual achievement over 2+ years. Max 2 recipients per year. TBD by vote of Board. Repeat winners possible after 5 years lapse.

    Some past winners 2015: Gary Kogowski and Adrian Marrington2014: Chris Surbrook and Dawn Cooper, 2013: Pete Grelle and Sassan Tarahomi: 2010: Kelly Beauchamp and Bob Petrach, 2008: Sandra McClelland and Lori Stephens, 2007 Matt Carroll and Norm Kakarala, 2006: Tom Powers and Tom Pickett

  3. Outstanding Achievement Award, 1 (Discontinued. Same as Special Recognition award

    Primary Responsibility…President
    Nomination by April. Presentation in May.
    Criteria: President’s Choice.

    2014: Sandra McClelland, 2011:Jim Keeler, Others include, Cindy Hammer, Don Root, Ron Price, Tom Miller, Alison Knapp, Don Meadows, Nippani Rao, Ted Combs, Mike Schumaker and Tom Powers.

  4. Community Service Award, 1,2 or 3: Primary responsibility…Awards Chair

    Nominations by April. Presentation in Oct.

    Criteria: Significant volunteer and financial contributions to the section for a minimum of 5 years. A maximum of 3 companies, Large, medium and small.

    Recent recipients: 2010: Ticona, Exxon Mobil, Uniplas and Delphi/Inteva

  5. Outstanding Member Award: Primary Responsibility… President-Elect &

    The Nominator. Board ratifies (or makes final selection if more than one nominee – this happened on 2013-2014 when both Gary Kogowski and Kim Keeler were nominated) Also note 2014-2015 where there were two selections. This was done to highlight the merger of Mid-Michigcan and Detroit Sections by selecting one from each of the previously independent sections.

    Nomination by April. Presentation in Sept.

    Criteria: Exceptional contributions to Detroit Section for a minimum of 7 years. Significant contributions to plastic industry and participation in the greater society (SPE)

    SPE Detroit recognizes the efforts of Outstanding Members every year. others: Tom Powers, Norm
    Kakarala, Doug Stratton, Chuck Lutton, Lou Lewallen

  6. Special Recognition: Primary Responsibility…President

    Nomination by April. Presentation in May/June
    President’s Choice.
    2015 Sandra McClleland, 2014: Gary Kogowski

  7. Past President Award: Primary Responsibility…President-Elect

    Presentation at the June or Sept meeting

  8. Diamond Award: Primary Responsibility… Awards Chair

    Criteria: Detroit Section member for 30+ years. Every 3 to 5 years

    Presentation at AutoEPCON, April 30, 2013

  9. Honored Service Member: May be nominated by any Section Board Member. Nomination approved by Committee then board

    This is an award presented by SPE International and submission follows format they set and is evaluated by /HSM award committee.

    Criteria: REVIEW CRITERIA AND FORMAT GIVEN BY SPE. This has changed over the years. It is a significant amount of work for the nominee and Awards Committee champion.

    Submit by Oct.30 to National HQ.* typically, 10-30 but changes by a few says year to year.

    2015: Bill Windscheif, 2014: Jim Keeler did not submit to SPE as committee decided SPE committee would not apporve, 2013: Tom Miller,

    2012: Sandra McClelland, 2010: Irv Poston, 2008: Ron Price, 2007: Tom Pickett,

    2006: Don Root,2005: Nippani Rao, 2004: Tom Powers, 2003: Norm Kakarala, plus 8 others from 1987

    A list of the 50 Mid-Michigan – Detroit Section members (all not necessarily nominated by the section) is available “2024-06-10 list of HSM Awardees that were or are Mid-MI or Detroit sections.xlsx”

  10. Fellow of the Society: May be nominated by any Section Board Member

    Criteria: To be elected a Fellow of the Society a candidate must have demonstrated outstanding achievements, sponsored by a section or division, have a minimum of 18 experience credits and a senior member in good standing for six consecutive years. REVIEW CRITERIA AND FORMAT GIVEN BY SPE. This has changed over the years. It is a significant amount of work for the nominee and Awards Committee champion.

    2014: Sassan Tarahomi, 2013: Irv Poston, 2006: Rose Ryntz and 2004: Norm Kakarala. (complete listing 2024-04-24 Detroit – Mid Michigan fellows listing.xlsx)

  11. ESD Gold Award. Nominated by Detroit Section Board member

    Selected and recommended by the Detroit Section Board and submitted to ESD Affiliate Council in application form provided.

    Past Chairs of Affiliate Council select. Precise criteria or exact selection process is not given.

    Presented at the ESD Annual Gold Award Banquet in February each year.

    Last SPE Detroit nomination that was selected was Irv Poston in 2015 (after several years of submissions) Previously selected memebrs of SPE Detroit were Rose A. Ryntz, PhD 1994, Norm Kakarala, PhD 2003, and Suresh Shah, PhD , 2009

Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) Pinnacle
The Pinnacle program of SPE recognizes Sections and Divisions that successfully
create and deliver member value during year. Sections and Divisions are reviewed
in four categories of achievement: organization, technical programming,
membership and communication. SPE Detroit received the Pinnacle award in 2015
and 2016.

R. Petrach note – I can find no information on SPE Pinnacle program

Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) Plastics for Life
“PLASTICS FOR LIFE” last mention I find of that award is from 2019 ANTEC in Detroit.

Nippani Rao, Awards Chair
Awards Committee: Nippani Rao, Irv Poston, Tom Powers, Norm Kakarala, Ron Price,
Sassan Tarahomi and Pete Grelle