Richards presented Gold Medal

Brian Sandalow, Associate Editor

ATLANTA – When he was asked to reflect on his career accomplishments, Von L. Richards talked about his emotions walking the CastExpo show floor. Everywhere he turned, he saw former students working in important industry and academic roles and keeping metalcasting on a positive trajectory.

Seeing that made a mark.

“That’s really great,” Richards said. “If I not only contributed to the industry, but also to the furtherance of the industry with the new academics that are involved in the industry.”

At the Annual Banquet, Richards was presented the 2019 Thomas W. Pangborn Gold Medal, the highest honor awarded by AFS. A professor emeritus of materials science at Missouri University of Science and Technology (Rolla, Missouri), Richards received the medal for his outstanding contributions in education, sharing knowledge broadly within the industry, and attracting new people to metalcasting.

“The award is very significant to me. It indicates a capstone to a worthwhile life of helping young people to develop into their careers, something I always wanted to do,” Richards said. “I’m one of the fortunate people who actually got to do what they wanted to do, and I thank the foundry industry for that.”

Sunday night was another example of AFS looking to the future while honoring its past. That’s something that matters, and CEO Doug Kurkul understands how important it is for AFS to maintain that role.

“It’s a fast-paced, changing industry but we always cherish the traditions,” Kurkul said. “We learn from the technological breakthroughs that have occurred over many years.”

Passing The Rammer
AFS president Jean Bye (Dotson Iron Castings) was honored during Sunday night’s banquet. The first woman to serve as AFS president, Bye was presented with a trophy by Dotson’s Denny Dotson, an honorary life membership, and reflected on her year in that role.

“I appreciate the support of management and the board,” Bye said during her speech. “I know the support you provided me will also be provided to the new officers.”

Bye and incoming president Peter Reich (Laempe Reich) took part in the ceremonial passing of The Rammer. During his remarks, Reich reflected on his family, the history of the Laempe Reich business, and what the AFS volunteers do for the Society and industry as a whole.

“It’s an honor to be hanging out with you all, to serve you,” Reich said. “This is all about serving.”