Foster Headshot 1

The Pennsylvania Chemical Industry Council (PCIC) has named public affairs veteran Abby Foster as its next president.

Foster was confirmed April 20 by the PCIC executive board to replace Jeff Logan, who is retiring after three years at the helm.

“Pennsylvania’s chemical industry is a significant economic driver for the state, and the council certainly benefited from Jeff’s leadership in laying out a path forward,” Foster said. “I’m motivated to continue his work and explore new opportunities for the public and private sectors to work together to capitalize on the state’s energy resources and to ensure a business climate that attracts and supports investments related to the chemical and petrochemical industries.”

Foster brings more than a decade of experience working with trade groups and industries ranging from health care and energy to human services. She has forged relationships statewide with policymakers, media and industry organizations, and their leadership.

She said she is looking forward to the opportunity to leverage those relationships and her experience to reinforce and increase the value of PCIC in supporting Pennsylvania’s chemical industry.

Pennsylvania's $24 billion chemical industry provides more than 40,000 direct jobs and another 38,000 related jobs, generating more than $410 million in state and local taxes and $933 million in federal taxes on an annual basis.

Logan’s retirement is effective at the end of April, and he is assisting in the transition.

“In the last few years, we have been able to raise the awareness and the importance of PCIC in the Legislature,” Logan said. “Together with Bravo Group’s government relations team, our efforts on behalf of our members led to new legislation that provides a process for Pennsylvania to review and adopt model building codes.”

In addition to PCIC’s legislative wins, Logan said he is proud of the strong relationships the council has developed with the American Chemistry Council and with neighboring states. By speaking at hearings on behalf of local pipeline projects, Logan has made strides to connect the chemical industry with projects that transport its raw materials.

“I am looking forward to seeing Abby infuse her energy and expertise as she takes PCIC to the next level and continues to grow the organization and provide value to our members,” Logan said. “Beyond that, Abby will work to see policies through, which will expand the workforce and the economic benefits of the industry by attracting new investments in the state.”

The Pennsylvania chemical industry continues to innovate. We need look no further than to Pittsburgh, where Braskem America has developed a new polymer allowing frozen foods to be sold in clear containers. On Dec. 7, the company took took home an inaugural Pittsburgh Business Times Innovation Award for the polymer, impact copolymer DP202A.

“Our new DP202A impact copolymer is a thermoplastic resin technology that allows for the toughness of an impact copolymer, clarity similar to a random copolymer, and stiffness of a homopolymer,” said Leslie Bockman, Braskem America’s product technology leader. “Potential end-use applications include a variety of food, beverage and consumer goods packaging containers."

The Pittsburgh Business Times Innovation Award recognizes companies in western Pennsylvania that “made extraordinary advances in their respective fields, challenging conventional thinking,” according to the newspaper. The companies recognized “are the disruptors, creating new products and developing new approaches that challenge traditional approaches.”

The Marcellus Shale play offers more than a clean, affordable energy resource: It offers a potential resurgence in Pennsylvania manufacturing.

That was the message Denise Brinley, senior energy adviser with the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development (DCED), spread during the Global Plastics Summit (GPS) 2017 in Chicago.

"We're sitting on an enormous amount of feedstock to promote a renaissance in manufacturing," Brinley told the GPS crowd.

Here are three takeaways from GPS 2017:

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