ACMA announces 2017 Membership Award Winners

ACMA will recognize these influential leaders of the composites industry at ACMA's Membership Awards and Recognition Ceremony during CAMX 2017.

The American Composites Manufacturers Assn. (ACMA, Arlington, Va.) has announced the winners of the 2017 ACMA Membership Awards, sponsored by BestBath, Johns Manville and North American Composites. Each year, ACMA provides a platform for its members to be honored for their work to develop and grow critical markets, advocate for composites and help make others in the industry successful.

This year’s winners are:

  • Lifetime Achievement: Bob Long, former CEO/owner of Marine Concepts
  • Hall of Fame: Robert Haberlein, owner of Engineering Environmental
  • Outstanding Volunteer: Robert Steffen, Ph.D., PE associate professor at Western Carolina University

Dr. Robert Steffen is the chairman of the standards committee of ACMA's Architectural Division. Under Dr. Steffen's leadership, the division published the 2016 edition of Guidelines and Recommended Practices for Fiber 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.

Dr. Robert Haberlein got his start in FRP composites in 1983 as the managing engineer at Cobalt Boats, a composite boat manufacturer in Neodesha, Kan. He became an independent consultant in 1991. Since 1997, he has worked continuously 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 labeling.

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. 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," says Long.

ACMA will celebrate and recognize these leaders of the composites industry at ACMA's Membership Awards and Recognition Ceremony on Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, from 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. during CAMX (Sept. 11-14, Orlando, Fla.). During the ceremony, ACMA will also announce the winner of its Chairman's Award.