Robert D. Forger
As Executive Director of SPE he was a key force in the growth of the society as an important worldwide professional association.
As the longtime head of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE), Robert Forger played a central role in helping SPE to become an important worldwide professional association for the plastics industry. During his 21 years as executive director, SPE more than doubled in size, and the number and scope of its activities grew even more rapidly.
Forger is widely recognized for his leadership abilties and management skills. From 1971 until 1992, while he served as Executive Director, SPE achieved substantial gains as measured by the following increases:
- Membership: from 16,500 to 37,000.
- Revenues: from $805,000 to $5,500,000.
- Range of groups within SPE: sections, from 67 to 91; technical divisions, from 10 to 18; and student chapters, from 1 to 84.
- Educational seminars: from 2 to 162.
- Technical conferences: from 10 to 20.
- Annual Technical Conference (ANTEC): number of papers, from 148 to 506; attendance, from 2300 to 4800.
Considerable economic inflation occurred during the same period, yet, in the midst of expansion of SPE's activities, membership dues increased from $25 per year to $60. The number of employees on the permanent staff grew from 23 to 37.
Forgers joined SPE in 1954, and served as director of member activities (1959-1964), conference manager (1964-1967), and associate executive secretary (1967-1971) before becoming executive director.
Born in 1928, Robert Forger received a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Norwich University (Northfield, VT) in 1949. That year he joined Dorr-Oliver Inc., a Stamford CT, manufacturer of equipment systems, where he held positions as engineer, advertising assistant, and manager of technical publicity.
Named a Distinguished Member of SPE, Forger has also served as president of the Council of Engineering and Scientific Society Executives. He retired from the U.S. Army Reserves as a lieutenant colonel in 1971.
He and his wife, the former Eleanor M. Goddard, live in Wilton, CT. They have two sons.