Des Plaines, IL.  Crain’s Rubber and Plastics News publication has awarded their 2016 Rubber Industry Executive of the Year award to Steve Anton, President of Rahco Rubber.

This award goes to an executive in the North American rubber product industry who has been instrumental in the success of his or her company, or helped further the industry. The one caveat is that the executive must be from a manufacturer of finished rubber goods (including urethanes and TPEs).

Mr. Anton’s nomination was submitted via a resounding consensus of Rahco Rubber associates and quickly endorsed by industry leaders; Tim Graham, North American President of Rep, Dave Topliff, President of Alltran and Illinois Manufactures Association (IMA) Mark Denzler, Vice President & COO.

Steve’s well rounded knowledge of the rubber industry began in 1976 when he then took on his leadership role at Rahco, a company his father Bill co-founded.  He quickly immersed himself in every aspect of the business from formulating, to design & manufacturing as well as customer engagement and of course all of the front office responsibilities.

Mr. Anton is involved with many of the rubber industry and business associations; ARPM, Rubber Division, ACS., Des Plaines Chamber of Commerce and the Illinois Manufacturing Association to name a few.

Steve’s vision and commitment are very evident by way of the many recent reinvestments into the company; over $1,000,000 in new presses, R&D instruments, QC equipment, state of the art ERP system, newly redesigned website and many other examples which speak to Rahco’s long-term sustainability and the promise of growth.

Steve continues to lead by example and demonstrates a work ethic that is as contagious as it is admirable.

Lastly and certainly the most impactful on a personal level at Rahco is that each employee feels very much appreciated, the respect Steve shows is real and his open-door policy & willingness to listen reinforces the family culture from which the company was founded on.

Brother’s Jim Anton, VP of Operations and Jack Anton, VP of Sales & Marketing agreed that their father Bill, would be very proud of Steve’s accomplishments for doing it the right way; not cutting corners, treating everyone with respect and by exceeding the customer’s expectations.

Steve and his wife Sally have been married for 36 wonderful years; have three great children, son Bret, daughters Madeline (Jared) and Cory (Mark) and two amazing grandchildren, Rock and Ronan.

Steve is an accomplished guitar player, avid golfer, a passionate reader and fitness fanatic.

Notable / Previous Rubber Industry Executive of the Year Honorees:

Ivan Gorr from Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. – 1989
Stanley Gault with Rubbermaid in 1990
Stanley Gault 1995 Goodyear
Richard Selip of Grand River Rubber & Plastics Co. in 1997
Neil Tillotson, President of Tillotson Corp. in 2000
John Lampe  Bridgestone/Firestone – 2002
Thomas Dattilo Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. – 2004
Kevin Gray, CEO of Lauren International Inc. 2006
Cooper Standard Jim McElya named Executive of the Year in 2012
Richard Selip of Grand River Rubber & Plastics Co. 2014