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ACMA Announces 2017 Membership Award Winners

  • Tuesday, 27th June 2017
  • Reading time: about 3 minutes

The American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA) has named the winners of the 2017 ACMA Membership Awards.

The awards provide a platform for ACMA members to be honoured for their work to develop and grow critical markets, advocate for composites and help make others in the industry successful.

“Our industry depends on the selfless dedication of outstanding individuals who go above and beyond to grow markets and develop standards,” says Tom Dobbins, ACMA President. “Without these leaders, our association and the composites industry at large would not be where it is today.”

This year’s winners are:

  • Lifetime Achievement: Bob Long, Former CEO/Owner, Marine Concepts:
  • Hall of Fame: Robert Haberlein, Owner, Engineering Environmental; and
  • Outstanding Volunteer: Robert Steffen, Associate Professor, Western Carolina University.

“Through their passion for composites and commitment to ACMA, these people have made an indelible impact,” notes Gary Multanen, CEO of BestBath and Chairman of the ACMA Awards Committee. “Each of their accomplishments represents a major piece of the story of our industry.”

Steffen is the chairman of the standards committee of ACMA’s Architectural Division. Under his leadership the division published the 2016 edition of Guidelines and Recommended Practices for Fibre Reinforced Polymer (FRP) Architectural Products. The latest edition is the culmination of a major initiative to update the original edition of guidelines released in 1997. These guidelines and recommendations address the application of composites in architecture and help architects better understand how, when, where and why to use composites.

“Being a part of ACMA has helped open the door for me to work with the greater architectural community, and to help architects employ composite material systems in their designs,” says Steffen.

Haberlein got his start in FRP composites in 1983 as the Managing Engineer at Cobalt Boats, a composite boat manufacturer in Neodesha, Kansas. He became an independent consultant in 1991. Since 1997, he has worked as a technical consultant to ACMA on a wide range of regulatory issues. He played a seminal role in the development of the industry’s unified emission factors, which resulted in the EPA’s Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) Standard for the composites industry that is reasonable and economically viable. He was also able to use styrene residual data to estimate lifetime exposure estimates for typical consumer products, which the industry can use to avoid potentially unnecessary Prop 65 labelling.

Bob Long is a marine industry icon. During his 18-year tenure at Wellcraft Marine, he led a team that reached more than $300 million in sales. Under his leadership, Wellcraft was awarded Boating Magazine’s Boat of the Year award an unprecedented 25 times. Long was named the magazine’s Man of the Decade in 1989. In his more than 20 years at Marine Concepts, Long has invested tens of thousands of dollars in research and development to stay at the forefront in composite tooling production in technical equipment. He attributes a great deal of his success to the people around him.

“Over the years, I’ve hired some excellent people,” he says. “I think it’s so important to take care of and hire the right people. I’ve had excellent engineers, technicians and factory workers who are coming up with excellent ideas.”

ACMA’s Membership Awards and Recognition Ceremony will take place on 11 September 2017 during the CAMX trade show in Orlando, Florida. During the ceremony, ACMA will also announce the winner of its Chairman’s Award.

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