Spiral Duct Manufacturers Association (SPIDA) members met in Charleston, South Carolina, in April to recognize rising talent in the industry and share insights between peers.

Crystal Rubright from Design Polymerics, a Meridian Adhesives company, was one of eight nominees for the Bill Bradford Jr. memorial

Funded by an annual golf outing, this year taking place at the Rivertowne Country Club in Charleston, the memorial recognizes rising talent who also embody the traits of the SNIPS NEWS Industry Icon and Ductmate’s first employee.

After deliberations by SPIDA board members weighing Bradford’s nine key traits, as identified by his family, among finalists, Rubright won the award. 

Much like Bradford, Rubright is: hardworking, selfless, positive, patient, steadfast, respectful, and loyal with mentorship and integrity. 

“Her days often start before 6 a.m. so she can take care of Eastern time zone customers, even though her day is supposed to start at 7:30 a.m.,” said Brennan Hall, president of SPIDA and director of duct fab supplies and air distribution products at Conklin Metal Industries. 

“With the recent Design Polymerics plant move, she has mentored plant managers, shipping personnel, IT personnel, and various members of the corporate team on best practices within their company,” he added.

He said many of those she trains are twice her age.

“She has shown ambition, hard work, resolve and patience during Design Polymeric’s transition into their new manufacturing facility. We believe that Bill would be very proud of Crystal Rubright,” Hall concluded.

Rubright thanked SPIDA and SNIPS NEWS for the award, as well as her nominator.

“I started out with receptionist/customer service and have helped wherever I could, wore many hats – accounting, logistics, operations – wherever they needed me. Now, I am the lead customer service person for the company,” Rubright said. “I’ve definitely enjoyed working with the industry and learning all about it, especially from the wisdom from Scott Witherow.”

Witherow is the vice president of Design Polymerics and author of the SPIDA Pipeline newsletter. SNIPS NEWS matched the $1,000 award again with another $1,000. This is the second memorial award, with the inaugural award taking place in 2023.

The next SPIDA meeting will be in Orlando on Feb. 9 ahead of the AHR Expo. Next year, SPIDA members can again nominate their own employees, or someone else, with two nomination slots per member company.