FORT MILL, SC – AIMCAL, the association of international metallizers, coaters and laminators, is beginning 2020 with a new Executive Director. Chris Kerscher is succeeding Craig Sheppard, who retired at the end of 2019 after 21 years at the helm of the association.

Kerscher has worked with international teams and all stages of the plastics and specialty material value chain and brings to AIMCAL a strong background in technology, marketing, sales, association management and strategy.

“This is an exciting time to join AIMCAL,” Kerscher said. “Major markets and applications for coating, laminating and metallizing are evolving. Dynamic conditions create a favorable environment for AIMCAL to continue successful programs and simultaneously explore new services aligned with changing industry needs.”

Kerscher’s background includes many years of association board experience, primarily with the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE), Flexible Packaging Division, where he served as Marketing Chair (2007-2009), Technical Program Chair (2013-2015), and Board Chairman (2016-2018). As the Technical Program Chair, he was instrumental in coordinating efforts for the first joint AIMCAL/SPE conference (now R2R Conference USA/FlexPackCon). As Board Chair, he led the volunteer board and motivated committee chairs. He also oversaw the annual budgeting process including operations, fundraising, investments and scholarships.

Other nonprofit board experience includes the Northwood Little League, Taylors, South Carolina, where he serves as Safety Director, publishes an annual safety plan, documents procedures and provides training. He also processes background checks and manages communication with volunteers. 

He comes to AIMCAL from A. Schulman, Akron, Ohio, now LyondellBasell, where he most recently served as Market Development Manager for the additive masterbatch business unit. In that position, he directed strategic planning, market development, product management and pricing. He worked across the value chain supporting resin companies, film extruders, converters and large global brands.

Prior to joining A. Schulman, Kerscher worked at Milliken & Co., Chemical Division, Spartanburg, South Carolina, in market development for plastics additives. Other titles at Milliken include National Account Manager and Research and Development Engineer.

Sheppard was appointed Executive Director of AIMCAL (then the Association of Industrial Metallizers, Coaters and Laminators) in June 1998. He brought 15 years of experience in the converting industry, including overseeing new business development and global communications at Rexam Custom. One of his first tasks as Executive Director was to create a member directory (The AIMCAL SourceBook) and expand the association’s web presence. Early on he stressed the global nature of the industry and worked to grow membership and program offerings beyond North America. During his tenure, membership grew from 103 to nearly 300 companies/organizations, the staff has grown from one to five, and conferences are organized in North America, Europe and Asia. 

Although he retired at the end of 2019, Sheppard will be involved in AIMCAL’s 50th anniversary celebration at its 2020 Executive Leadership Conference, taking place March 24-25, at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina.

“Directing AIMCAL has been a wonderful experience,” said Sheppard. “While I am pleased with the progress that AIMCAL has made, I am most excited about the opportunities that lie ahead. AIMCAL will always be driven by its mission and vision to provide value to the membership and the industry,” he concluded.