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Plastics Association Leader Bill Carteaux Dies at Age 59

Hil Anderson
, Senior Editor
December 23, 2018
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WASHINGTON – Bill Carteaux, who helped lead the dramatic growth of one of the leading trade shows for the plastics industry, died Dec 10 at the age of 59 of complications of acute myeloid leukemia.

A memorial service was scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 13 at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, DC to celebrate the life of Carteaux, who was President & CEO of the Plastics Industry Association since 2005, according to the family’s Facebook page.

“Bill was more than just an inspiring, larger-than-life leader for our industry; he was a dear friend to each of us who were lucky enough to know him,” the association said in its announcement.

Chief Operating Officer Patricia Long was named interim President and CEO of the association in December pending a search for a permanent replacement. Long’s resume includes some 20 years with the National Association of Manufacturers and two at the National Asphalt Pavement Association.

Replacing Carteaux could be a tall order given his strong track record in the plastics industry and the trade show arena. In 2015, Carteaux was the youngest person to ever be inducted into the Plastics Industry Hall of Fame. He also served on the boards of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and the National Association of Manufacturers.

Carteaux spent 20 years in plastics manufacturing before joining the association, which was known at the time as SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association. The SPI portfolio was, and still is, led by NPE: The Plastics Show, a triennial manufacturing and machinery show that easily earns a spot on the Trade Show Executive (TSE) Gold 100 once every three years. The most recent show, NPE:2018, in Orlando, was the largest in the event’s history with more than 1.2 million net square feet of exhibit space, 56,000 attendees, and more than 21.7 million pounds of freight was hauled into the Orange County Convention Center.

Carteaux and SPI Senior Vice President Gene Sanders moved NPE to Orlando in 2012 after four decades in Chicago in the wake of the 2008 recession, which had knocked the 2009 show on its heels. The result was NPE debuting in its new digs with heady double-digit increases in the show metrics.

The accomplishment helped land Carteaux and Sanders, who is currently Executive Director of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, as the guests of honor for the Power Lunch cover story in the June 2012 edition of TSE In the issue, Carteaux told TSE’s Bob Dallmeyer: “A successful show is one that maximizes return on investment for the attendees and the exhibitors. Those are not mutually exclusive.”

Reach Patricia Long at 202.974.5216 or; Gene Sanders at (703) 997-6704 or

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