media release

Date: September 27, 2022
Contact: Kailee Canty, Marketing and Education Manager, +913.345.1005


IAPD Immediate Past President Craig Saunders Receives Prestigious Paul Davis Award of Merit

Overland Park, Kans. – IAPD - The Performance Plastics Association, is pleased to announce that IAPD Immediate Past President Craig Saunders of North American Plastics is the recipient of the 2022 IAPD Paul Davis Award of Merit. This announcement was made at the opening general session of the 66th Annual IAPD Convention and connecX in Tampa, FL, USA, on Wednesday, September 14, 2022.

Saunders served on the IAPD Board of Directors, Executive Committee and two terms as IAPD president from 2019 through 2021. His term as president had just begun a few short months prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent shutting down of the world economies. Performance plastics distributors and manufacturers were deemed essential businesses during the pandemic. Many IAPD members supplied the world with critical personal protection equipment, medical applications and barriers that protected essential workers from the virus.

“Craig had a whole extra challenge to take on during his term,” said IAPD CEO Susan Avery, CAE. “He was IAPD President and the face of the performance plastics industry, which global media outlets were now very much interested in. Craig took more media interviews on behalf of the association and our industry, in one year, than the combination of all previous IAPD presidents combined.”

Saunders was the perfect person for the media spotlight. He knew both the manufacturing and distribution sides of the industry. He understood that the positive media attention was temporary and that, once again, the prevailing public and government assaults on plastics would arise. His answers and explanations were the perfect match for the environment the industry found itself in.

Avery continued, “Craig was unflappable, a pillar of calm in the middle of the chaos. There is no one else that I would have wanted as president of the association during the pandemic. His calm presence, understanding of the performance plastics industry, wisdom and great sense of humor helped keep me focused on IAPD coming out of the pandemic stronger than ever.”

In addition, Saunders led IAPD’s Supply Chain Efficiencies Task Force that helped provide guidance on California’s Proposition 65 compliance, as well as guidance for how to mitigate freight and transportation costs. It was the first time that distributors and manufacturers in the industry came together to work on critical issues affecting members. He helped pave the path of member companies collaborating to find answers to issues that can be done much more effectively together, rather than individually. Future task force work was made possible thanks to the model that Saunders implemented.

About Paul Davis
Paul Davis of Plastics Manufacturing and Supply Corporation in Cleveland, Ohio, USA, recognized how difficult it was for a small independent plastics distributor to compete with a much larger distributor, and he longed for the same buying power that a multi-branch distributor enjoyed. In the summer of 1956, he began calling other small distributors to see if the owners were interested in teaming up to become a larger voice in the trade. Davis recruited six individuals, representing four plastics distributors at that first meeting. This small group launched what was initially named the United Plastics Warehouse Corporation and today is known as the IAPD – The Performance Plastics Association. In 1986, IAPD created the Paul Davis Award of Merit to recognize members who have performed exceptional, extraordinary or outstanding service on behalf of the association and the plastics distribution industry and bestowed Paul Davis as the first recipient of this most esteemed award.

About IAPD

IAPD – The Performance Plastics Association (IAPD), established in 1956, brings together performance plastics distributors, fabricators, manufacturers, manufacturers' representatives, recyclers, resin manufacturers/distributors and service providers in an environment which encourages a free flow of ideas and information that help members build their businesses. Every program and service we provide is designed with the simple goal of helping our members increase profitability. IAPD provides training, connections with customers and suppliers and information about developments that impact the industry.

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