Who We Are

Chair

Dr. Chitai Carey Yang is a polymer materials, extrusion and packaging professional with more than 27 years of cross-industry experience engaging in a wide range of R&D, process engineering, product development & commercialization capacities. Before joining MeadWestvaco (now WestRock Company) in early 2014, Dr. Yang had worked with Sealed Air Corporation for 14 years where he was involved in monolayer, multilayer and microlayer coextrusion film in consumer, industrial and food packaging products.  He’s also experienced in other packaging materials and substrates including kraft paper, foam, foil, adhesive & cohesive coating and film lamination.  Prior to that, he spent 4 years with A. Schulman (now LyondellBasell Industries) and Formosa Plastics in product development and process engineering in additives & fillers compounding and plastic resin manufacturing. Currently at WestRock Company, Dr. Yang is responsible for materials innovation and extrusion technology platforms to identify, evaluate & commercialize a range of polymers & biopolymers, functional fillers & additives, cellulose fibers and blends in monolayer extrusion and multilayer co-extrusion coated and film laminated paperboard products for high barrier and high-performance food and non-food packaging applications. Dr. Yang is the author of two book chapters in foam extrusion and has more than 35 publications and patents.


Secretary

Past Chair

Director

Donna S. Davis  recently retired from her position as Sustainability and Advocacy Manager, Polyethylene, at ExxonMobil Chemical Company.  Over her career at ExxonMobil, she has led New Product Development efforts such as the introduction of Exact™ plastomers and other specialty polymers.  She entered the polymers world via process design, going back to ExxonMobil’s first gas-phase polyethylene plants in Texas, Saudi Arabia, and Canada.  She has been heavily engaged in packaging markets and applications, particularly developing opportunities for ethylene- and propylene-copolymers.  Ms. Davis has championed industry-wide technical interaction by organizing programming for Thermoplastic Materials and Foams, Flexible Packaging, Polyolefins, and Sustainability.  She has also chaired SPE’s Technical Program Committees and General Operating Committees for SPE’s Annual Technical Conference. She was inducted into the Plastics Hall of Fame in 2018 and served as the 2003-2004 president of the Society of Plastics Engineers. Sponsored by SPE Flexible Packaging division.


Past Chair (2018-2020)

Finance Committee Chair

Councilor

Ken Forziati is a Professional Engineer with 20+ years of experience in the plastics industry and currently serves as Director of Business Development and Product Management at Parkinson Technologies Inc. in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, where he has worked since 2005.  He is an also an active member of the Society of Plastics Engineers, where he is currently serving as Chair of the Flexible Packaging Division and is a member of the Extrusion Division. 


Treasurer

John Wagner graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a BS and MS in Chemical Engineering. He was co-captain of the Fencing team and assistant coach while in graduate school. He worked in the plastic processing industry for 34 years. First at BF Goodrich Chemical Company in Louisville, KY making PVC resin, compounds and monomers and then at Mobil Chemical Co. Films Division in Macedon, NY doing research and development on biaxial oriented polypropylene (BOPP) retiring in 1998.  He has 24 patents, edited and co-edited seven books, authored several book chapters, journal articles and presented papers at national and international seminars. He is a SPE fellow (1998) and honored service member (2015). He is the Treasurer for both the Flexible Packaging Division (2007-present) and the Extrusion Division (2001-present) and has served as Extrusion Division Chair (1996). He became assistant editor for the Journal of Plastic Film & Sheeting in 2001, co-editor in 2007 and now is the editor in chief since 2010. He is also president of Crescent Associates, Inc., a consulting firm that specializes in plastic processing, expert witness testimony and intellectual property. John is married and has two daughters. He enjoys woodworking, traveling and teaching T’ai Chi.


Director

Communications Chair

For about 20 years, Narasimharao (Rao) Dontula has worked in the field of materials and associated processes to create masterbatches, films, sheets, for active packaging, imaging, display, membranes, antimicrobials and automotive applications. This work has catalyzed atleast 7 new product and process innovations some of which are protected by the 48 US patents he is associated with. He has published in SPE journals and presented at ANTEC, Polymer Processing Society conferences and FlexPackCon. He holds B.S. M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Chemical Engineering and has been an SPE member since 1990. Earlier, he was on the board of Applied Rheology Division. He has also served on board of 501c(3) non-profit organizations.

Rao is currently interested in developments made in the areas of active flexible packaging and sustainable flexible packaging. He works at Multisorb (part of Filtration group) in the Healthcare segment.


Membership Committee Chair

Dan Falla is the Senior Technical Service Specialist in Films at Shell Polymers and has spent more than 30 years in the polymer industry with Dow and NOVA Chemicals in product development and food packaging.  He holds 19 US patents, written numerous articles and presented many conferences and webinars. He also functions as a focal point for Shell’s sustainability goal of chemically recycling 1 million tons of waste plastic by 2025. Dan was recognized by the Canadian Plastics Industry Association and received the distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award and is also a Fellow with the Society of Plastics Engineers,
Councilor with the Recycling Section and Membership Chair with the Flexible Packaging Division.


Director

Scholarship Committee Chair

Barry A. Morris retired as an R&D Fellow at Dow, having spent his career in a variety of technology and research positions supporting DuPont’s and Dow’s ethylene polymer businesses.    Barry has over 30 years of experience in packaging technology and developed many resins for the film and coating markets. He continues to be active in the industry as a part time consultant. He has been a member of SPE since 1992, an SPE Fellow since 2005, and a frequent contributor to ANTEC and other SPE conferences with over 125 industry-wide publications, including the recently published 2nd edition to his comprehensive text on flexible packaging (The science and technology of flexible packaging, Elsevier). Barry was involved in the formation of the SPE Flexible Packaging Division and has served the division in a variety of roles including Chair, Director, content developer for conferences, and Chair of the Scholarship Committee. He is also a former Chair of the SPE Extrusion Division and is currently their Councilor.


Director

E&S Chair FlexPackCon®

Pierre Sarazin is the Vice President of R&D and Sustainability at Polyexpert with demonstrated intensive industrial R&D experience, combining fundamental and industrial research in the areas of bioplastics and plastics, with an in-depth understanding of formulations tailored for specific processing technologies.


Director

Technical Program Chair – ANTEC 2023

Paul Zerfas Paul has 35 years of experience in the plastics industry in the areas of injection molding, extrusion, thermoforming and plastic package testing.  He has 17 patented inventions and has extensive experience in intellectual property.  Paul recently retired from his position as a Principal Engineer at Mondelēz International where he held the role of Rigid Packaging Subject Matter Expert and Intellectual Property Lead within the Packaging R&D Function.  Paul is an original founding member of the Society of Plastics Engineers Flexible Packaging Division, has been an officer in the Division since its creation and has held multiple leadership roles, including 3 terms as Chair.  


Director

Treasurer Elect

Brennan Wodrig is the Blown Film Technical Service Engineer at Shell Polymers. He has more than 10 years of experience in the polymer processing field. Prior to joining Shell Polymers, he worked for Pennsylvania College of Technology training the workforce helping to innovate their processes. He has been a member of SPE over 5 years.


Director

Dr. Allison Calhoun is the VP of Research and Development for Incoa Performance Minerals. Allison earned her Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry and BS.Ed. from the University of Georgia. Prior to joining Incoa, Allison was an Associate Professor at Whitman College and spent five years upon completing her graduate degree at Imerys Pigments & Additives focused on mineral additives in polymeric systems. Allison has authored nearly 20 publications, patents, presentations or invited chapters in books, co-edited an SPE series of books in fundamentals of polymers and extrusion, and co-authored a polymer science textbook. Allison was a Board Member of the Flexible Packaging Division from 2002-2008, during which time she acted as secretary (2006-2007), was a member of the conference committee (2002-2006), was TPC for FlexPack  Division at ANTEC 2006 and ANTEC 2008, and was the recipient of the Outstanding Service Award in May 2002.


Director

Dr. Ying (Lora) Liang is a Research Principal at the global packaging core technology group in Mondelēz International, working on Research & Development and commercialization of enabling innovative technologies spanning multiple food package formats/categories.  Dr. Liang earned her Ph.D. from Michigan State & MBA from DePaul University.  With more than 20 years industry experience, she actively advocates industrial collaboration across the supply chain to deliver breakthrough innovations.  Prior to Mondelēz, Dr. Liang worked 11 years at Nanocor, where she spearheaded nanocomposite technology development & commercialization.  Dr. Liang’s patents range from polymer composite to barrier/sealant technologies.  She is a frequent speaker at numerous conferences.  Dr. Liang currently serves as treasurer for SPE Bioplastics & Renewable Technologies Division, and Board of Directors of the Flexible Packaging Division.  She is also the editor for Plastic Film and Sheeting. Sponsored by SPE Engineering & Property Structure division.


Director

Mr. Robert L. McGee (Bob) is a Research Scientist for Transcendia in new business development group.  In this role, he serves as a technical leader for the development and introduction of new polymer film based products for use in Medical, Industrial, and Food and Beverage markets. He has expertise in cast and blown co-extrusion as well as film formulation development. Bob previously worked in various R&D positions at The Dow Chemical Company for 33 years and closely collaborated with the value chain on new product development and implementation during those years. In these various capacities at both companies, he authored or coauthored more than 185 internal scientific reports, has 16 external publications and holds 21 patents.  He certified as a Six Sigma Green Belt in 2002.  Bob received his Bachelor of Science in Chemistry with a minor in Psychology from Muskingum College and then earned a Master of Science in Chemical Engineering from Ohio University, Athens, where he investigated polymer-processing innovations.  He has been a member of the Society of Plastic Engineers since 1994.