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NWI Recognizes 3 Long-Time Industry Contributors as Emeritus Members

NWI is excited to announce Mr. Robert Dale, Mr. Pierre Grondin and Mr. Ralph Moody – long time contributors to the nonwovens industry – have been elected as Emeritus Members of the Institute.
NWI is excited to announce Mr. Robert Dale, Mr. Pierre Grondin and Mr. Ralph Moody – long time contributors to the nonwovens industry – have been elected as Emeritus Members of the Institute.

The Nonwovens Institute (NWI) is pleased to recognize its three newest Emeritus Members.  Each have made outstanding contributions to the nonwovens industry and to NWI over their distinguished careers.

Mr. Robert Dale, most recently Vice President – Capital Engineering at Berry Global in Charlotte, North Carolina USA; Mr. Pierre Grondin, most recently Director of New Product Development  at NWI; and Mr. Ralph Moody, most recently Senior R&D Director at Berry Global in Mooresville, North Carolina, were elected as Emeritus Members during the Fall 2023 Industrial Advisory Board (IAB) meeting.  They join the seven other Emeritus Members of the Institute, who even in retirement continue to provide their valuable time and expertise in support of NWI, its students and faculty, members and clients. 

Robert Dale, The Nonwovens Institute, Emeritus Member

Robert Dale received a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Mechanical Technology from The University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia, USA, in 1979 and would subsequently earn his MBA at Augusta University in Augusta, Georgia, in 1988.  He began his industrial career at Milliken & Company in as a Shift Manager in Hartwell, Georgia.  Robert would later do stints at Colgate-Kendall Healthcare and Johnson & Johnson before joining Polymer Group International (PGI) in 1998 as Vice President and General Manager for the Asia-Pacific region in Nanhai, Guangdong Province in the Peoples Republic of China (PRC). 

Bob returned to the US in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 2001 where he held positions of increasing responsibility across both technical and commercial spaces at PGI’s global headquarters.  In 2013, Bob returned to Asia where he was appointed President for Asia Pacific and PGI’s Global Healthcare segment located in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, PRC.  Following the acquisition of PGI (by then re-christened as Avintiv) by Berry Global in 2015, he was named Vice President for Capital Engineering for the Health, Hygiene and Specialties (HH&S) business in Charlotte where he served until electing to retire in January 2023.  Bob served on the Board of Directors of INDA, the Association of the Nonwovens Industry from 2010-2023 and received the organization’s Lifetime Service Award in 2016.  He was active at NWI serving on the Industrial Advisory Board from 2001, on the Executive Committee from 2010 and as Chairman of the Executive Committee from 2020 until 2023.

Pierre Grondin, The Nonwovens Institute, Emeritus Member

Pierre Grondin graduated with a Master’s of Chemistry Degree from Université de Sherbrooke in Quebec, Canada, then started his career in 1980 at the Research Center of Dupont Canada in Kingston, Ontario.  

In 1984, Pierre transferred to Dupont’s Fabrene business, which provided woven tape fabrics for packaging and industrial end uses.  During this 10-year tenure, Pierre assumed  the roles of Director of New Product Development, Process Engineering and New Business Development.  After the acquisition of Fabrene Inc. by the InterTech Group, Pierre transferred to the US in 1994 and entered the world of nonwovens as the Director of New Product Development for the FiberTech Inc. business that subsequently became PGI and later Avintiv. In this role Pierre was involved in the development of products for the hygienic, automotive, agricultural, filtration and building products markets.   In 2010, Pierre transitioned to the PGI R&D team where he worked on new platforms development. In parallel he assumed the role of IP liaison between the research and legal team.  Following the acquisition by Berry Global, Pierre was selected to lead the R&D Front End Innovation efforts while maintaining his role as IP liaison.  During his industrial career, Pierre engaged with NWI on a number of projects and served as an active participant in the Institute’s Industrial Advisory Board meetings.  He then began yet another chapter of his career by joining NWI in 2018 as Director of New Product Development and remained in this role until retiring in 2023.  

Ralph Moody, The Nonwovens Institute, Emeritus Member

Ralph Moody received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from NC State University in 1978 and began his extensive career in the nonwovens industry at the Chicopee Division of Johnson & Johnson Advanced Materials Company in Benson, North Carolina, USA.  For the next 15 years, Ralph assumed positions of increasing responsibility at the Benson site until the business was acquired by InterTech in 1995 and transferred to Mooresville, North Carolina, as the R&D Director for the newly formed PGI Nonwovens.  He would take on a variety of R&D, Engineering and Sales leadership roles until retiring in 2023 from Berry Global. 

Ralph holds a Professional Engineering license in North Carolina, more than 30 patents in the nonwovens field, and was involved in the design and startup of 10 nonwovens production lines around the world.   He has been a member of INDA for 25+ years and received the INDA Lifetime Technical Achievement Award in 2018.  Over that same timeframe, Ralph has been actively engaged with NWI including membership on the Institute’s    

Strategic Scientific Advisory Board (SSAB) from 2014-21, where he served as Chairperson from 2016 until 2021. Ralph also participates as an Industrial Technical advisor in NWI academic programs, which is recognized as a unique opportunity for North Carolina State University graduate students.

The strong tie between Industry and Academia is a hallmark of The Nonwovens Institute.  The participation of seasoned industry technical and commercial leaders, such as Bob, Pierre and Ralph, assures real-world connectivity and provides appropriate expertise and focus to Institute programs, budgets and policies.  Many members actively mentor NC State University graduate students in NWI’s nonwovens program and act as ambassadors for the Institute across the industry.  Emeritus Members continue this support even as they themselves enter new and exciting chapters of their lives.

Are you interested in NWI membership and member benefits?

Based at the Centennial Campus of North Carolina State University, The Nonwovens Institute (NWI) is a consortium of stakeholders spanning the breadth of the nonwovens value chain. Operating on an “Open Innovation” platform and covering the full Technology Readiness Level (TRL) range, NWI engages industry, government and academia to enable next-generation nonwoven solutions to mission-critical challenges.