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Plastics CEO Carteaux dies following fight with leukemia

Longtime leader, who joined group in 2005, spent past two years raising awareness about the disease

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Dec. 10, 2018
By Walt Williams

Bill Carteaux, who led the Plastics Industry Association for nearly 14 years, died Dec. 10 due to complications from acute myeloid leukemia. He was 59.

Carteaux joined the $11 million-revenue association in 2005 as CEO. In a statement announcing his death, the group said it had lost “an incredible leader, colleague and friend.”

“Bill was more than just an inspiring, larger-than-life leader for our industry, Bill was a dear friend to each of us who were lucky enough to know him,” the association said.

Carteaux spent 20 years in manufacturing before taking the top job at the Society of the Plastics Industry. (The group shortened its named to SPI in 2010 and adopted its current brand six years later.) He previously was president and CEO of Demag Plastics Group, a manufacturer of plastic injection molding machines.

Carteaux became a well-known figure in the association community, chairing the National Association of Manufacturers’ Council of Manufacturing Associations in 2017.

“After a successful career in manufacturing, (Carteaux) moved to Washington to fight for the men and women of our industry,” NAM CEO Jay Timmons said in a statement. “As head of the Plastics Industry Association, he was a tireless champion for their cause. Our Council of Manufacturing Associations is stronger today because of Bill’s leadership as both an active member and our immediate past chair.”

Chris Jahn, current CMA chairman and CEO of The Fertilizer Institute, said in a tweet that Carteaux “was an inspirational leader. I’m a better person for having known him. He will truly be missed.”

Carteaux was diagnosed with leukemia in 2016. He spent six months in chemotherapy and underwent a bone marrow transplant the following year. The disease had been in remission, but Carteaux announced a few weeks ago that it had returned. The CEO spent the time since his first diagnosis raising awareness of the disease through the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, becoming corporate chair of the Capital Area “Light the Night” walk.

In a 2017 interview with CEO Update, Carteaux said his main strategy for dealing with cancer was to live life as normally as possible.

“For me that means working and being engaged,” Carteaux said. “Yes, some days it was tougher than others, but it really helped me get through what I had to go through.”

In a Facebook post on the InvinciBill Bone Marrow Transplant page, family members said a “public celebration of life” likely will be held in January. The Plastics Industry Association invited people to share memories of Carteaux at rememberingbill@plasticsindustry.org.

An association spokeswoman said COO Patty Long has been appointed interim CEO.

This story was updated Dec. 14.