Learning & Resource Center
Learn the history of the Ohio Rubber Group. Find archived newsletters, historian reports and technical presentations here.
Ohio Rubber Group
Fall Technical Meeting - September 26, 2023
Nicki Hershberger, Senior Technical Advisor, Akron Rubber Development Laboratories
William Mars, President, Endurica LLC
Spring Technical Meeting - April 18, 2023
Abhishek Banerjee, Grad. Student in Polymer Science, The University of Akron
Ryan Furno, Sr. Materials Engineer, Sigmasoft
Lucas Dos Santos, Senior Research Associate, PPG Silica Products, and Chris Tolliver, Physical Scientist, Army
Winter Technical Meeting - January 24, 2023
Jessica Gialamas, Alpha Technologies
Pete Spanos, Sr. Technical Manager, Arlanxeo North America
Justin Barone, Biological Systems Engineering, Center for Soft Matter and Biological Physics, Macromolecules Innovation Institute, Virginia Tech
2022 Technical Meetings:
Fall Technical Meeting - September 27, 2022
Stephen Merriman, ORG Scholarship Recipient, PhD Candidate, Polymer Engineering, The University of Akron
Todd E. Riley, CISM, Cyber Security Manufacturing Leader, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.
Spring Technical Meeting - April 12, 2022
Dr. Jason Poulton, Senior Technical Advisor, Akron Rubber Development Laboratory
Arnob Banik, ORG Scholarship Recipient, Global Technology Intern, The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, PhD Candidate, Mechanical Engineering, The University of Akron
John Dick, Richard Hanzlik, Alpha Technologies
Winter Technical Meeting - January 25, 2022
David Helmick, Engineering Academy Polymer Testing Instructor, Stow-Munroe Falls High School
Paul Boulier, Vice President for Industry and Innovation, Team NEO
History of the Ohio Rubber Group
The Ohio Rubber Group was formed on January 1, 2008. Since 1928 when the first rubber group was formed, there have been several rubber groups in the Ohio geographical area which are no longer active.
The Inaugural meeting for the Ohio Rubber Group was held on January 22, 2008, at the Hilton Garden Inn in Twinsburg, Ohio. The officers were installed at the Board Meeting held earlier in the day prior to the Technical meeting and dinner.
The Group holds three Technical meetings yearly. The Winter Technical meeting is held in January, followed by the Spring Technical meeting in April. The Fall Technical meeting is held in September. There are two annual golf outings, one in June and a second outing in August.
History of the Northeast Ohio Rubber Group
On November 7, 1965, forty-eight men representing eighteen rubber companies and ten suppliers held an organizational meting at Howard Johnson’s Motor inn in Geneva, Ohio. Mr. Cecil Draper of Geneva Rubber Company and Mr. Ben Larson of Naugatuck were most instrumental in making this meeting possible.
At the first regular meeting on February 8, 1966, one hundred-one members elected the following slate of officers:
Chairman: Howard Laney, Geneva Rubber Co.
Vice Chairman: John Frankfurth, Harwick Chemical Corp.
Secretary: Robert Betancourt, Packard Electric
Treasurer: Mike Domenick, Shell Chemical
The Group met at various locations in Northeast Ohio until 1971 when they moved to the Casa di Borally in Richmond Heights. All technical meetings have been held there since.
History of the Akron Rubber Group
In 1928, Harry L. Fisher, then Rubber Division, ACS chairman, suggested the formation of regional or local rubber groups. With his encouragement, affiliated regional groups were established in Akron, Los Angeles, Boston and Chicago. The original purpose of these regionally focused organizations was to encourage the exchange of industry related technical information by eliminating the barriers imposed by long distance travel.
The main objectives and intended benefits of this pioneer effort were to create an atmosphere for the sharing of current or innovative technical information and to establish an effective means for all rubber industry personnel to become acquainted. Currently, membership is offered to anyone with an interest or activity in the rubber industry. Because a top priority remains keeping the industry unified, the group enjoys a number of exciting activities.
The ideal location of local rubber groups, in general, was initiated in 1927 at a Richmond, Virginia meeting of the Rubber Division, ACS. At that time, four U.S. cities, Akron, Chicago, Los Angeles and Boston were targeted as sites for the formation of these groups. The groups would ideally serve as forums for discussion on industry hot topics, products and more while providing unity to the rubber community.
As a result of this initial discussion, the Akron Rubber Group was formed, holding their first meeting in February 1928 with Dr. R. P. Dinsmore heading the operation. Since then, the group has enjoyed a number of successful “firsts”, establishing a mode of operation familiar and effective for all members, new and old.
First public disclosure of a new polymer, Duprene (now known as Neoprene®. Present at this landmark meeting was Father Julius Niewland, head of the Dept. of Chemistry at Notre Dame whose early work in acetylene paved the way for Neoprene’s development by DuPont chemists.
First summer outing as a unified group. A golf and tennis party was held at Silver Lake Country Club for all members to enjoy. Aside from several years during World War II, this outing has been an annual event to which members look forward even now.
First panel discussion format was used, setting forth a standard in presentation and discussion on which the group has continued to build. This pioneer format has since evolved into an afternoon symposium of papers covering rubber industry topics including engineering, marketing, quality control, processing and chemicals.
Scholarship Program is established in cooperation with The University of Akron. The program to this day is designed to support a total of four chemistry or chemical engineering students.
Akron Rubber Group was incorporated.
Technical Lecture Series is established, also in cooperation with The University of Akron. To date this series has been instrumental in bringing together the top minds from the many industry related disciplines.
For a long time, memberships came solely from the tire companies so heavily concentrated in the Akron area creating a focus on tire related topics for all symposia and events. Around this time however, the Akron Rubber Group forged a concentrated effort to expand coverage to the rubber industry as a whole, an effort that continues today. Established also at this time were guidelines setting forth standards for annual meetings and symposia.
Rubber Division, ACS Meetings for 2023
Spring Technical Meeting, April 25 – 27, 2023, Marriott Cleveland East, 26300 Harvard Road, Warrensville Heights, Ohio
International Elastomer Conference, Technical Meeting & Educational Symposium, October 16 – 19, 2023, Cleveland, OH
Archived Historian Reports
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