Frank S. Marra
Played an important role in the worldwide expansion of injection molding and has been a leader in many industry causes, especially plastics education.
Frank Marra has contributed to the expansion of the injection molding field and has been a leader in industry causes such as plastics education.
Marra joined D-M-E Company as a sales engineer in 1949 to commercialize the then-revolutionary concept of pre-engineered standard mold bases. He became president in 1965 and served as chief executive officer until 1983.
During his tenure, he expanded the company's product line to include many more standardized mold components and accessories, which served to dramatically reduce the time and cost of tool design and construction. Under his direction, the company also devised standard systems for pre-engineered runnerless molds. At the same time, Marra developed the firm into an international organization, with operations on four continents.
In 1982 he was named president of VSI Corp., D-M-E's parent company and in 1983 was named senior v.p. of Fairchild Industries, which acquired VSI.
Since retiring from Fairchild in 1985, Marra has operated a consultancy specializing in international technology exchange in injection molding.
Marra was instrumental in establishing the Plastics Engineering Center at Ferris State University, from which he received an honorary doctorate in 1986. He also established and chaired the I.T. Quarnstrom Foundation to raise funds for moldmaker training.
In 1986, Marra helped to found the Plastics Academy to administer the Plastics Hall of Fame. He now serves as chairman of the Academy.
Active in the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) since 1950, Marra was elected a Distinguished Member in 1979 and in 1988 received SPE's International Award for Business Management. In 1986, the Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI) honored him with a Distinguished Service Award for his efforts on behalf of the moldmaking industry.
The son of immigrants from Italy, Frank Marra was born in Clarksburg, WV, in 1927. At 15 he began work as an apprentice toolmaker. After serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II, he earned a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from Lawrence Technological University (Southfield, MI).
Marra and his wife, the former Phyllis Maenza, live in Bloomfield Hills, MI. They have three daughters and six grandchildren.