Lori Luchak is the president of Miles Fiberglass and Composites in Portland, Ore., where she leads the second generation of siblings in the family business. Beginning July 1, Lori replaced Monty Felix as the new president of the American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA). She formerly served as training program speaker, president-elect/treasurer, and a participant in strategic planning sessions. Luchak is active in other industry trade associations, including the president of SPI’s Pacific Northwest Chapter and as a member of the Board for SPI’s Western Section. She also serves on the Advisory Board for Portland State University’s Manufacturing and Technology program, the local Chamber of Commerce, and Oregon State University’s Family Business Program.
What are key issues facing the composite industry right now?
Regulatory issues surrounding the styrene listing, fiberglass dust and styrene ppm worker exposure limits. We also face challenges as far as getting composites specified into markets where other materials have been traditionally specified. I’d say it’s also a challenge finding employees to replace our aging workforce.
Do you feel ACMA is addressing those needs?
Yes, our Governmental Affair Committee (GAC) has been working tirelessly to educate Congress, agencies, and others about using scientific evidence when it come to rulemaking for our industry. Our Composite Growth Initiative committees also have made great strides in passing codes and specifications for composites and the Green Composites Committee started the Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) process that will prove how green composites are compared to other traditional materials. As well, the Education Committee is reaching out to the academic community to educate the younger generation and expose them to the composite industry.
What are your goals as the new ACMA president?
I have three short term goals as the new president. First, enhance ACMA’s academic outreach by engaging community colleges and technical schools to expand CCT by adding a hands-on curriculum. Second, to increase partnerships with similar associations by being a spokesperson for ACMA at other association events and taking advantage of networking as opportunities arise. And lastly, enhancing the profile of composites on Capitol Hill by testifying before Congress and other government agencies when needed, planning needed congressional visits, and recruiting members of Congress to join the growing Composites Caucus.
My long term goals are, first to stabilize ACMA’s financial position, which will enable us to add more programs and offer even more to our members. Second, increase awareness of composites with young people, politicians, and engineers who make material choice decisions. Third, continue to grow and develop the benefits of composites as a green material and lastly, help people identify the value of ACMA by providing opportunities to get involved and participate on the various committees.