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Composites Historian Looks to Restore the Link between the Industry’s Past and Future Success

  • Friday, 20th August 2004
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  • Reading time: about 2 minutes

To reconnect the future of composites with its past, a composites industry historian is seeking detailed information about winners of the Clare Bacon Person of Year Award of the former Composites Institute.

The biographical sketches will be an essential part of a new composites industry chronicle. Most of the winners’ list was compiled ten years ago when communications professional and former Owens Corning executive Denny Beck was commissioned to serve as historian for the 50th anniversary of the former Composites Institute.

“When the Composites Institute ceased operations in 1999, more than a half century of industry heritage lost its curator,” Beck comments. “In a splendid move, the American Composites Manufacturers Association is restoring part of this heritage by making Clare Bacon Award winners charter inductees in the new Industry Hall of Fame,” he says. Some of these individuals are industry icons who achievements are well known, but many of the names are not so easily recognized and have stories that are worth telling.”

Because Person of the Year names were compiled alphabetically for the anniversary, Beck wishes to arrange them chronologically. He is also looking to expand and update other historical features he prepared for the anniversary. Beck’s database includes a list of Grand Design Award winners, a timeline of industry milestones, and interviews with visionary Brandt Goldsworthy, automotive pioneer Bob Morrison and inventor Tom Philipps.

“History is just as important to an industry as it is to a nation,” says Beck. “History inspires, informs and enlightens. It can guide individuals, businesses and the industry as a whole toward more profitable courses of success and growth.”

Industry members who choose to participate in this industry history survey will receive Clare Bacon Award, Grand Design Award and industry milestone documents with a request to “fill in the blanks,” provide additional information and share favourite stories.

Beck has been a leading communicator and advocate for the composites industry and its people for more than 30 years. His experience includes marketing communications manager for Owens Corning’s composites business, senior editor for Composites Brief newsletter, and president of Corporate PR Services, specializing in composites and plastics. He has served as committee chair, session moderator, author, presenter, panelist and judge for several composites and plastics industry trade associations.


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