(Edward) Niles Kenyon, Former President of Conair, Dies

E. Niles Kenyon passed away Sept. 12, 2019, in Vero Beach, Florida, surrounded by his family. Kenyon was a highly respected leader in the plastics industry, serving as president and chief operating officer of Conair Group Inc., a supplier of auxiliary equipment for the plastics industry, from 1986 to 2004. Prior to working in the plastics industry, Kenyon was a sales executive in the titanium industry.

An advocate for the plastics industry, Kenyon served as vice chairman of the board of the machinery division for the Society of the Plastics Industry (now the PLASTICS Industry Association).

Kenyon was a graduate of Pennsylvania State University with a bachelor of science degree in aerospace engineering. He received the Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award in 1996 and was a member of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity.

While at Conair, Kenyon spearheaded the development of a comprehensive engineering partnership between Penn State and Conair with the goal of speeding the transfer of university-developed technology to the factory floor. In addition to supporting individual projects, Conair donated or loaned equipment and provided curriculum support in a prototype effort to channel industry collaboration in a university setting.

“Niles traveled widely all over the world with me on behalf of Conair when the plastics industry was becoming more global,” said Vince Witherup, who was responsible for international sales for Conair. “He was a tremendous man, and this is a great loss for his family and colleagues.”

“He had a charisma that made him a natural leader,” said Don Walmsley, owner of Plastic Systems Inc. and a sales representative who worked with Kenyon for many years. “His personality was what drew people to him, but it was his ability to connect with those people that led to his success.”

He is survived by his wife, Jayne; sons Todd and Troy; and six grandchildren, as well as his beloved Portuguese Water Dog, Millie.

For more information, contact Don Walmsley at 770.331.1942 or donpsi@mindspring.com.