ACMA Honors People and Products at CAMX

Piyali Das Press Releases

American Composite Manufacturers Association’s ACE Awards and ACMA Awards recognize industry innovation and exceptional leadership

Oct. 16, 2014, (Orlando, Fla.) – The American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA) today honored innovation, research and dedicated industry volunteers at CAMX – The Composites and Advanced Materials Expo.

For the past 21 years, ACMA’s Awards for Composites Excellence (ACE) have recognized the superior product and process achievements that help bring the composites industry to the forefront of innovation. The products, equipment and processes that receive this distinguished recognition have made a significant impact within the composites market and demonstrate a proven understanding of the industry.

Design Category:

  • The Innovation in Green Composites Design Award is presented to the composites product that best exemplifies innovation that lowers/minimizes the environmental footprint or offers an attractive life cycle assessment (LCA) of the product. The award was presented to Blackbird Guitars of San Francisco for the Blackbird Ukulele Made of Lingrove’s Ekoa Flax/Bioresin Prepreg.
  • The Most Creative Application Award is presented to the composites product that showcases composites use in a unique, new application or use composites’ attributes in imaginative, innovative, or artistic ways. Celanese Corporation of Winona, Minn. and Southwire Company, LLC of Carrollton, Ga. won the award for Stranded Composite Core for High Voltage Transmission Conductors.

Manufacturing Category:

  • The Equipment and Tooling Innovation Award is presented to the equipment, tooling, production aid or software that is designed to improve manufacturing production, environmental sustainability, or product quality and performance in composites manufacturing. TSE Industries Inc. of Clearwater, Fl. won the award for Near Dripless Resin Impregnation Applicator for Filament Winding Applications.
  • The Materials and Process Innovation Award is presented to a material or process that best contributes to efficient manufacturing and product sustainability. The award was won by MarkForged of Somerville, Mass. for 3D Printing Continuous Strand Carbon Fiber, Glass Fiber and Kevlar Composites.

Market Growth Category:

  • The Composites Sustainability Award is presented to the composites product that clearly demonstrates an improvement in the environmental impact of the product’s use. The award was presented to Cargo Composites of Charleston, S. C. for Lightweight Composite Air Cargo Container Lowers Lifecycle Costs.
  • The Infinite Possibility for Market Growth Award is presented to the composites product that demonstrates the potential to significantly increase the use of composites in existing markets or generate the greatest impact to open new and emerging markets for composites. Composite Panel Systems, LLC of Eagle River, Wisc. won the award for Epitome Quality Foundation Walls.

In addition to honoring industry innovations with the ACE awards, ACMA also recognized the exceptional people who have played a great role in advancing the field of composites.

The Outstanding Volunteer Award is given to ACMA members who have contributed significant volunteer time and effort to achieve positive results on behalf of the industry through service to ACMA. The 2014 ACMA Outstanding Volunteer Award winners are:

  • Kenneth Lipovsky, Cast Polymer Application Specialist, Reichold Inc. Lipovsky has been chair of the ICPA Technical Committee for more than 20 years. He has served on the ICPA Board of Advisors for many years, run the “Cast Polymer Hotline” for years and has presented numerous times at conventions. In his previous position with Reichhold, he solved a variety of technical, material and manufacturing problems for hundreds of composites companies.
  • Thomas Johnson- Corrosion Industry Manager, Ashland Performance Materials. Johnson has devoted years of his technical expertise and industry knowledge to ACMA and led the very successful 2012 and 2013 ACMA Chemical Processing Symposiums. Johnson is a collaborative leader who has strengthened ACMA’s partnership with NACE and the corrosion community. From the Corrosion Control Division, to conference presentations and technical expertise to the launch of, Johnson’s dedication to ACMA and his willingness to take on a significant amount of volunteer responsibility continually proves to be an invaluable resource for ACMA’s membership and staff.

The ACMA Hall of Fame honors those who have attained distinction among their peers through their efforts, involvement and accomplishments in the composites industry and its associations. The 2014 ACMA Hall of Fame inductees are:

  • David Denny, Executive Vice President, Molded Fiber Glass Companies. Denny is known for his pioneering spirit and is regarded as a friendly, dependable resource and a mentor to many. He launched a new, high-tech focused factory with self-managed work teams that is very profitable and a leader in the industry. He also negotiated one of the first five-year contracts with the UAW that included profit sharing. Denny also established one of the leading market analyses for the composites industry detailing products, customers and competitor profiles; this market study was used to help develop the strategic direction of the company.
  • Kenneth Lipovsky, Cast Polymer Application Specialist, Reichold Inc. In addition to receiving the Outstanding Volunteer Award, Lipovsky was also inducted into the ACMA Hall of Fame. His contribution to the industry has been immense, but colleagues say that even more important is his willingness to help people with problems and act as a “friend of the industry.”

The Chairman’s Award is an ACMA tradition, chosen by the chairman of the ACMA board. Current chairman Jay Merrell gave the award to Bill Kreysler of Kreysler & Associates and to Monty Felix of Alaglas Swimming Pools for their enthusiasm, creativity, leadership and dedication to ACMA and the composites industry.

ACMA’s Lifetime Achievement Award is given to someone who has been involved in the composites industry for at least 20 years, who has made a significant and lasting contribution to the industry. The 2014 ACMA Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Dave Mohnke, Chairman of E-T-M Enterprises.

An FRP pioneer, Mohnke began his career at Oldsmobile, where he became a Journeyman wood model maker. He then became General Manager of Eaton Model and Pattern, a tooling shop supporting Dow/Smith Corp. in Ionia, Mich. There he developed and produced the hood and rear deck composite molds for the 1967 Boss Mustang; these were the first low-volume automotive cold-molded FRP parts. Mohnke also tooled and produced the rear spoiler for American Motors “Troy Donahue” Trans-Am race car. Seeing the potential for cold molding, Mohnke launched E-T-M Enterprises in 1970. In the early years, Mohnke and his team refined the process and developed specific criteria for producing closedmold, matched, laminate molds used in the Cold Mold process. Mohnke also spent those early years evangelizing customers and prospects on the value and viability of cold molding. For more than 40 years, E-T-M grew steadily, working for customers in a variety of industries. Starting from a workforce of one in his garage more than forty years ago, Mohnke now operates a composites business that has employed thousands of people and is a valued customer and supplier in the composites industry.

E-T-M has been the largest employer in Grand Ledge, Mich. for more than 30 years. Mohnke and his company have enjoyed an illustrious history of achievement. In 1971, E-T-M produced the largest compression molded part (120 pounds) in the country, the Diamond Reo roof. He instituted an apprentice program at E-T-M in 1972, graduating 27 Journeymen. In 1973, E-T-M produced all the composite tooling for the Bricklin (sports car) and provided training in the Cold Mold process to the Bricklin plant in Minto, New Brunswick, Canada. E-T-M molded the first Integral Sleeper Cab Roof for Volvo Truck in 1986 and partnered with Freightliner in 1992 to develop their first SkyRise Sleeper Roof, the first for the heavy truck industry. In 2008, the company expanded into wind energy with a new production facility supporting Siemens Wind Power.

Mohnke is action-oriented, passionate and a tireless proponent of composites. He has taken his leadership capabilities into his community where he has held responsible management positions with a number of community and charitable organizations. He has presented at numerous industry conferences over the course of 40 years.

“Our ACE and ACMA award winners exemplify the spirit of our association,” said Jay Merrell, Chair of the ACMA board and Vice President, Norplex-Micarta. “I’d like to congratulate all of the award winners today for representing the innovation and leadership found throughout ACMA. Together, we are truly shaping the future of the composites industry.”

To learn more about the ACMA awards, visit To learn more about the ACE awards, visit