Robert J. Luedeka, longtime Executive Director of the Polyurethane Foam Association (PFA), died March 31. He was 69.
Luedeka, whose career in the flexible polyurethane foam industry spanned more than four decades, became Executive Director of PFA in January 2005. This followed more than 25 years as an advertising agency executive working for industry clients, including ARCO Chemical Company, Union Carbide, Foamex, NCFI Polyurethanes, the Flexible Foam Market Council, and PFA.
Luedeka guided the association and industry through numerous challenges, including mattress and upholstered furniture flammability, flame retardant health concerns, proposed plant emission standards, occupational health standards, and other regulatory issues.
His expertise and advocacy helped position PFA as a strong, credible source of information for the flexible polyurethane foam industry, and allowed the association to develop strong working relationships with industry stakeholders, firefighters, environmental groups, and regulators. He authored numerous technical papers, and served on committees of numerous organizations, including ASTM International and the National Fire Protection Association.
Luedeka was also instrumental in helping establish CertiPUR-US®, an independent, non-profit organization that sets standards and certifies that flexible polyurethane foam used in mattresses, bedding and upholstered furniture meets those standards. Luedeka was the first recipient of the organization’s Outstanding Leadership Award in 2017.
Luedeka was inducted into the Flexible Polyurethane Foam Hall of Fame in November 2018.
A memorial service will be held at 1pm on Saturday, April 27 at First Baptist Church of Tellico Village in Loudon, TN. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to Kirkwood Children Chorale, P.O. 220256, Kirkwood MO 63122. KCC is an award-winning children’s choir based in the St. Louis area.