Jay L. Gardiner, SPE Past President and Tireless Volunteer, Dies at 70

Jay L. Gardiner joins Plastics Pioneers Association staff at NPE 2018. Courtesy of PPA.

The past president of SPE and 2012 Plastics Hall of Fame inductee died of cancer on Oct. 15. 

Gardiner had a stellar career in plastics. In addition to serving on SPE Executive Committees for a decade and as president from 1996-1997, he was president of the Plastics Academy, chair of the Plastics Institute of America and Plastics Pioneers Association, and board member of the National Plastics Center and Museum. 

He formed Gardiner Plastics, a resin distributor and consultant in Port Jefferson, N.Y., in 1991. Despite business demands, he was a tireless volunteer for SPE and the industry. 

“His biggest accomplishment [was] his willingness … to volunteer,” says Norman Fowler, who succeeded Gardiner as SPE president in 1997. “He gave the most when he was in a position to give the least. When he wasn’t selling, he wasn’t making money, but he was always helping and doing whatever he could.” 

Fowler adds: “He and I were together a long time and worked on a lot of things. In all my travel around the world and meeting a lot of [SPE] members, I don’t think I met anyone more dedicated than Jay.”

Gardiner held executive positions at Marsh Plastics, Bamberger Polymers and A&E Product Group, all in New York. 

He was also an EMT and fire service volunteer in East Setauket, N.Y. 

Gardiner is survived by his wife, Diane, four children and three grandchildren.

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