The Pressure Sensitive Tape Council (PSTC) recently announced that Ben Milazzo, founder and chairman of Mayzo, Inc., is its 2021 Hall of Fame inductee. PSTC’s Hall of Fame recognizes both currently employed and retired individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to PSTC and/or the pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) tape industry as a whole.
Milazzo has devoted half of a century toward the progress of the industry. Following his B.S. in chemistry and MBA from the University of Pittsburgh in 1969, he worked as manager of financial analysis at Borden Chemical before being promoted to assistant general manager at Mystik Tape in Chicago in 1971.
After nine years at Mystik Tape, Milazzo was recruited by Bemis Co. Inc. to develop a new division, Bemis Tape. Under his leadership as president, a new production plant was opened in Neenah, Wis. Bemis Tape was among the first three manufacturers to produce plastic packaging tape, along with 3M and Intertape Polymer Group.
Following his tenure at Bemis Tape, Milazzo was instrumental in setting up a new tape operation for Old World Industries in Chicago. He was also the co-founder of Republic Tape, a private-label sister company of Can-Do National Tape in Nashville.
His work during these years took him to Korea, Taiwan, Japan, and China, where he partnered with international tape companies and chemical producers, as he saw an emerging business opportunity to supply materials between nations. In 1986, Milazzo founded Mayzo Inc., a private-label specialty chemical distribution business, which synthesized all he had learned about tape manufacturing, branding strategy, and economic globalization. While growing Mayzo, Milazzo was also the representative for Nippon Zeon/Mitsui Plastics for 20 years, providing raw materials from Japan to the U.S. tape industry.
Mayzo employees have contributed to PSTC committees and presented classes and technical papers, including the Carl A. Dahlquist Award-winning presentation by Philip Jacoby, Ph.D., in 2008. Milazzo has been active with PSTC for 50 years.
In 1977, Milazzo was appointed chair of the PSTC Technical Committee, and he saw an opportunity to expand participation by providing a forum for education and networking of the industry’s technical staff. The board approved his proposal to initiate a PSTC Technical Conference, and the first event attracted over 350 paying participants. This conference gradually morphed into Tape Summit and later Tape Week, which will be held next year, May 2-5, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
The first supplier member to be named to the PSTC Hall of Fame, Milazzo said, “A pillar of my success was the contacts, associations and friends made at PSTC over the years.”
As Mayzo celebrates its 35th anniversary this year, Milazzo recently turned over the management of the company to a newly appointed president, Eduardo Padilla. Milazzo remains involved in the role of chairman of the board with his wife, Valarie Milazzo, as vice-chair.