Fred O. Conley
Sales, Process, Management
Founder of the SPE. Conceived and implemented the formation of an organization of individuals dedicated to the exchange and dissemination of technical information in the then young plastics industry. He personally drafted the organization's constitution and bylaws, and the new SPE was chartered by the state of Michigan in 1942, when he became its first president.
The early formation of SPE was financed to a great extent from Conley's own funds. After he organized SPE's Detroit section, he established a section in Chicago and another in Cleveland. The SPE that Conley started -- with 130 charter members in the Detroit area -- today has grown in importance to the plastics industry with more than 33,000 members worldwide.
Conley first entered into plastics in 1920 as a consulting engineer and manufacturer's representative under the name of The F. Conley Co. He is credited with developing several plastics "firsts" in the automotive industry, such as a cowl ventilator and a patented interior sun visor. In 1932, he was instrumental in designing and developing a small portable radio cabinet -- reputedly the first plastics cabinet of its kind.
He is survived by his wife, Polly, who resides in Concord, NH.