ADVANCING PETROCHEMICAL LEGACY
Albert Chao and James Y. Chao
In the mid-1980s, T.T. Chao and his sons Albert Chao and James Y. Chao founded Westlake Chemical Corporation, with its headquarters in Houston. In 1986, the company started-up a low-density polyethylene plant in Sulphur, Louisiana as Westlake Polymers Corporation. Since then, Westlake has grown through green-field constructions and acquisitions to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 2004 and on the Fortune 500 in 2018. Focused on the olefins and vinyls sectors, the company operates over 40 sites in North America, Europe and Asia, with revenue in 2017 exceeding $8 billion. Today, Westlake employs approximately 10,000 worldwide.
James Chao serves as Chairman of the Westlake Chemical Corporation and the Westlake Chemical Partners LP Boards of Directors. He has over 45 years of global experience in the petrochemicals and downstream industries. In addition to Westlake, he and his brother Albert assisted their father in also founding Titan Chemicals Corporation Bhd. in Malaysia (1998), and Suzhou Huasu Plastics Co. Ltd. in China (1993). James Chao served as Westlake’s President and Titan’s Managing Director from their inceptions in 1986 to mid-1996 and 1988 to mid-2003, respectively. He served as Titan’s Chairman and Director from mid-2003 to the end of 2010, when Titan was divested. Prior to Titan and Westlake, James served as a Special Assistant to the Chairman of China General Plastics Group and held management positions with several international companies, including Mattel, Inc., Development Bank of Singapore, and Gulf Oil Chemicals. James is a member of the Executive Committee of the Society of Chemical Industry. His civic and community engagements include serving as a Board member of various medical and academic institutions, such as the Board of Trustees of Baylor College of Medicine, the Advisory Board of the Chazen Institute of International Business, and the Board of Overseers at Columbia Business School. James received his Bachelor of Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Master of Business Administration from Columbia Business School.
Albert Chao is President, Chief Executive Officer, and a Director of Westlake Chemical Corporation and Westlake Chemical Partners LP. In addition, Albert is a Director of Suzhou Huasu Plastics Co, Ltd. in China. Albert has been with Westlake Chemical Corporation since its inception in 1986, first as an Executive Vice President, then as President in mid-1996, and was also appointed as President and CEO in July 2004. Mr. Chao’s career spans over 40 years in international business activities in the petrochemical industry working with Mobil Oil Corporation, Hercules Inc., and Gulf Oil Chemicals. He was a Special Assistant to the Chairman of China General Plastics Group in Taiwan and the Deputy Managing Director of a plastics fabrication operation in Singapore, and was also a member of the Board of Directors of Titan Chemicals Corporation in Malaysia. Today, Mr. Chao serves on the Boards of Directors of American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers Association, Houston Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Greater Houston Partnership, and other civic, community and academic organizations, including Board Trustee of Rice University. Albert received his Bachelor of Arts from Brandeis University and MBA from Columbia University.
Chao Family Background
Known as a pioneer in the chemicals and plastics industry in Asia and later in the United States, Mr. Ting Tsung (T.T.) Chao created successful global enterprises spanning over 50 years. During his illustrious career and lifetime (1921-2008), he founded numerous petrochemical and plastics fabrication companies throughout the world, including plants in Taiwan, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, China, the United States and Canada. Many of these companies were created in partnership with international firms such as Mobil Oil Corp., Gulf Oil Corp., Mattel Inc., Sumitomo Corp., Mitsubishi Corp., Hercules, Inc., Himont Inc., BTR PLC, and government-invested companies such as DBS, Norsk Hydro AS, PNB (Malaysia), and the IFC of the World Bank.
The Chao family moved to Taiwan from Suzhou, China in the late 1940s. In the mid-1950s, T.T. Chao was a co-founder of Taiwan’s first polyvinyl chloride (PVC) business, under the auspices of a United States A.I.D. program. A decade later, he established China General Plastics Group. With his entrepreneurship, he formed many joint ventures with aforementioned partners and grew rapidly in Asia. By the mid-1980s, CGPC Group was among the top 10 companies in Taiwan and number two in the petrochemical industry. In 2005, T.T. Chao was presented with the Petrochemical Heritage Award. In 2018, the Chao Family was inducted into the Texas Business Hall of Fame.
Gary Adams2018 Honoree
Gary K. Adams is the former president, CEO, and chairman of the board of Chemical Market Associates Inc. (CMAI). He started his chemical industry career with Union Carbide in 1975. After 15 years in plant and corporate roles of increasing responsibility, Adams joined CMAI. He directed CMAI’s global activities from 1997 until its acquisition by IHS in 2011, becoming the chief adviser of chemicals for IHS (now IHSMarkit).
During more than 40 years of service in the petrochemical industry, Adams’s various positions had him either directly engaged in the sourcing and transportation of hydrocarbon-based products or tasked with becoming a recognized global expert on the sector’s complete value chain. As a result he traveled extensively, visiting centers of chemical production and consumption around the world. The combination of experience and exposure to numerous industry participants gave Adams a keen awareness of key drivers for success in the chemical industry value chain and of the potential benefit of synergies obtained from the development and execution of strategic plans and global growth strategies. Adams is known for his in-depth analysis and thought-provoking presentations of future industry dynamics to forums around the globe.
In his role as CEO of CMAI, Adams became a visible advocate for the petrochemical industry as a whole and often engaged in opportunities to present an independent, third-party viewpoint to government and private-sector audiences regarding the clear benefits that the chemical industry brings to society.
Adams is a member of the board of directors for Phillips 66, where he serves on the human resources and compensation and public policy committees. He is also a director of Trecora Resources and previously served on the boards of Westlake Chemical Partners from 2014 to 2016 and Phillips 66 Partners from 2013 to 2016.
Dave Weidman2017 Honoree
Dave Weidman was born in 1955 in Tremonton, Utah.
He received a chemical engineering undergraduate degree from Brigham Young University and an MBA from the University of Michigan. Weidman began his career in the chemical industry with American Cyanamid and subsequently joined AlliedSignal holding various positions, including President of its Fluorine Products business. Shortly before AlliedSignal merged with Honeywell, Weidman became President of its Performance Polymers Business.
Weidman joined Celanese in September 2000 where he held a number of executive positions. In 2002, he became Chief Operating Officer and in 2004, after the company moved from Germany to the United States, he became Chief Executive Officer. In January 2005, the company completed its initial public offering. Weidman was elected to the position of Chairman of the Board in 2007 and retired from Celanese in 2012.
Weidman led the company's transformation from a German-based company (trading on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange) to a global company (trading on the New York Stock Exchange). During his career with Celanese, the company experienced more than a 5-fold increase in value.
In 2012, he received the Chemical Industry Medal, an annual recognition given to an individual who has made significant contributions to the growth of the chemical industry.
In 2013, David and Rachel Weidman began service as missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In that calling, Weidman served as the mission president for the California Los Angeles Mission. The Weidman’s are parents of 6 children and grandparents of 4 grandchildren. Currently, they reside in Provo, UT.
Stephen D. Pryor2016 Honoree
Stephen D. Pryor retired as President of ExxonMobil Chemical Company on January 1, 2015, after more than 43 years of ExxonMobil service.
Before his appointment as President of ExxonMobil Chemical Company in 2008, he was President of ExxonMobil Refining and Supply Company and President of ExxonMobil Lubricants and Specialties Company. He was a Vice President of Exxon Mobil Corporation since 2004.
Before the ExxonMobil merger in 1999, Mr. Pryor was Executive Vice President of Mobil's International Marketing and Refining Division and before that President of Mobil Asia Pacific.
He joined Mobil Corporation in 1971 in the U.S. Marketing Division and subsequently led downstream and chemical business units based in Cyprus, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the U.S.
He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in biology from Lafayette College and an MBA from Harvard University.
He was a member of the executive committee of the American Chemistry Council and the Society of Chemical Industry and a director of the International Council of Chemical Associations. He received ACC's Distinguished Leadership Award in 2014, SCI's 2015 Chemical Industry Medal and will be awarded the Chemical Heritage Foundation's 2016 Petrochemical Heritage Award. He chaired the Downstream Committee of the American Petroleum Institute and the Energy Committee of the National Association of Manufacturers.
He serves as Vice Chair of the board of Lafayette College and chairs its capital campaign. He is a former director of the Houston Symphony Society. He and his wife Kathy are active in Catholic charities.
James L. (Jim) Gallogly2015 HonoreeJames L. (Jim) Gallogly is the former Chief Executive Officer of LyondellBasell. Prior to joining LyondellBasell, Jim served as executive vice president of Exploration & Production for ConocoPhillips. He was named to that position in 2008 after serving as executive vice president of Refining, Marketing & Transportation for ConocoPhillips since 2006.He had joined Chevron Phillips Chemical as president and chief executive officer in 2000. Previously, and he served Phillips Petroleum Company as senior vice president of chemicals and plastics, vice president of olefins and polyolefins, and vice president for North America production. Jim joined Phillips in 1980 and held various roles including international assignments in exploration and production, legal and finance.He now serves as vice chairman of the board of the American Chemistry Council. He is also a member of the University of Oklahoma College of Engineering Board of Visitors, the University of Colorado Engineering Advisory Council and the University Cancer Foundation Board of Visitors at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Additionally, Jim serves on the board of directors and executive committee at Junior Achievement of Southeast Texas. He is a member of the Colorado, Oklahoma and Texas bar associations.Jim Gallogly received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Colorado in 1974 and a law degree from the University of Oklahoma in 1977. He completed the Advanced Executive Program at the J. L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University in 1998.
Frank Popoff2014 Honoree
He was born in Sofia, Bulgaria and immigrated with his family to Indiana in 1940. He attended public schools prior to Indiana University where he earned an BA in Chemistry and an MBA in Management. Frank joined The Dow Chemical Company in 1959 and started his career with Dow in technical service and development, moving through sales, marketing, business management and other positions before being named President of Dow Chemical Europe in 1980. He emphasized geographic growth as well as acquisitions and sales of assets. During the 1981-1982 recessions, he elevated his stature as President of Dow Europe by outperforming the company's other areas with visionary leadership in seeking ways to exploit Dow's true potential without sacrificing people and operations. He is known for his warm personal nature, remembering the names of virtually all the people he met; as CEO he greeted all levels of Dow employees by their names and took a personal interest in their lives.
Frank served as CEO of The Dow Chemical Company from 1987-1995 and Chairman of the Board of Directors from 1992-2000. During his tenure as CEO, Dow achieved the highest level of success of any executive in Dow's history. In his third year as CEO Dow net income rose to $2.5 billion with a return on sales of 14% and an earnings per share of $9.20 - a record for the company yet to be matched. Also during his tenure, Frank twice received the first-place award for CEO excellence from Financial World magazine.
In 1989 the Queen of The Netherlands bestowed on him the title of Knight Commander in the Order of Oranje-Nassau; in 1992 the United States Council for International Business first selected him for their Leadership Award, then in 1993 the Rene Dubos Environmental Award, and in 1994 the Palladium Medal.
Frank also served as Chairman and/or Director of various other companies including Chemical Financial Corporation, American Express Company, Shin-Etsu Chemical Company Limited of Tokyo, United Technologies Corporation, Qwest Communications International, Inc. and NCR Corporation. Additionally, he has served as a member of The Business Council, as a director of The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation and The Michigan Molecular Institute.
Frank was named the Harold A. "RED" Poling Chair of Business and Government in Indiana University's Kelley school of Business in 2001 and he is currently a director of the Indiana University Foundation and of IU’s Kelley School of Business Dean’s Advisory Council. In addition to his original Indiana University degrees, he received honorary doctorate degrees from Rose Hulman Polytechnic Institute, Alma College, Northwood University and Indiana University. Frank is past chairman of the American Chemistry Council, former member of the Executive Committee of The Business Roundtable where he chaired their Environment Committee, and a founder of The Business Council for Sustainable Development.
Frank wrote the book, "Eco-Efficiency: The Business Link to Sustainable Development,"where he married the management of creating economic value with the reduction of its ecological impact and resource demand. He is responsible for the formation of the original industry/environmental advocates’ liaison group, "Environmental Advisory Council," providing confidential plant and product information with environmental advocates.
Frank Popoff lived and led people consistent with his famous quote: "Success breeds conservatism, and that means a love affair with the status quo and an aversion to change." Frank always encouraged his people to explore solutions beyond the familiar and the obvious to reach beyond incremental change. It was often said that Frank was a leader whose heart was as great as his mind. The facts of performance speak to his leadership. His genuine concern for people created a work environment with legions of loyal followers delighted to work for him and excel every day.
Jim Ratcliffe2013 Honoree
Graduating in chemical engineering from Birmingham University in 1974, Jim Ratcliffe began his career in the chemical industry in accounting, marketing and business management with Courtaulds and Exxon. After fifteen years in manufacturing, he moved to Venture Capital and in 1988 he took up the position as Director of Advanced Materials with the US company Advent International, retaining a particular focus on the chemicals sector.Jim put the experience gained at Advent to good use in 1992 when he led his own buy-out of a BP specialty chemicals business based in Hythe, UK. The company was to be called Inspec and as its Managing Director Jim initiated a number of acquisitions that saw the company grow significantly and two years later it was floated on the UK stock exchange.In 1998 Jim left Inspec to lead another buy-out opportunity, this time it was the Inspec's Antwerp facility which was to become known as INEOS.For the past fourteen years Jim has concentrated his efforts building INEOS as its Chairman and major shareholder. Under the management of Jim Ratcliffe, and the board of INEOS Capital, the company has established a strong track record of acquiring businesses and improving their profitability through the safe operation, tight financial management and good customer service.Today INEOS is one of the world's largest chemicals companies, employing around 15,000 people across 51 sites in 11 countries. Additionally it has joint ventures with PetroChina, BASF and Total. Sales in 2011 reached $42 billion.
Marvin O. Schlanger2012 Honoree
Marvin O. Schlanger is chairman of the supervisory board of LyondellBasell Industries, a $50 billion global chemical producer, and is chairman of the board of CEVA Group, a $9.6 billion international logistics supplier.He is a principal in the firm of Cherry Hill Chemical Investments, LLC, which provides management services and capital to the chemical and allied industries.Schlanger began his career with Mobil and joined ARCO Chemical Company in 1975. He became chief financial officer and a member of the board of directors in 1989, and chief operating officer in 1994. He was appointed president and CEO in 1998. ARCO Chemical was subsequently sold to Lyondell.From 2000 to 2005, in conjunction with Apollo Management, Schlanger led the component acquisitions and management of the resolution companies, which grew to a global enterprise of over $2 billion in annual revenue. These companies were merged with Borden Chemical and Bakelite AG to form Hexion in May 2005 and are now part of Momentive Specialty Chemicals.Schlanger also serves on the boards of UGI Corporation, UGI Utilities, Amerigas Partners LP, and Momentive Specialty Chemicals Holdings, LLC.A native of Newark, New Jersey, Schlanger received a chemical engineering degree from Rutgers University and holds an M.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Massachusetts.
Raj L. Gupta2011 Honoree
Raj L. Gupta joined Rohm and Haas in 1971 as a financial analyst. In 1979 he began work in Europe, first as financial manager of the U.K. subsidiary, then as strategic planning director for the region, and finally as assistant manager for the company's substantial operations in France.In 1984 Gupta was named business manager for Ion Exchange Resins in Europe. In 1987 he took on the responsibilities of business director for Plastics in Europe.Two years later he became business unit director for the worldwide Plastics Additives business.Gupta was elected a vice president of the company and was named director for the Pacific Region in 1993. In 1996 he became one of six members of the Chairman's Committee and was given oversight responsibility for the company's Electronic Materials business group.In 1998 Gupta was elected to the board of directors, and he was named vice chairman in January 1999. He became chairman and CEO on October 1, 1999. Gupta assumed the additional title of president in 2005 and held that title until May 2008.Gupta is a past chairman of both the American Chemistry Council and the Society of Chemical Industry, America Section. He sits on the board of trustees for The Conference Board and is senior advisor at New Mountain Capital. He is a member of the boards of Tyco, The Vanguard Group, Hewlett-Packard Company, and Delphi Automotive.He holds a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, an M.S. in operations research from Cornell University, and an M.B.A. in finance from Drexel University.
Hiromasa Yonekura2010 Honoree
Hiromasa Yonekura is chairman of the Sumitomo Chemical Company. He joined the company in 1960 and served as representative of its New York office from 1969 through 1972. He was appointed general manager of the foreign department in 1983 and of the corporate planning office in 1986.In 1991 Yonekura became director and general manager of the Organic Chemicals Division. Over the years he acted as general manager of a number of areas, including the basic chemicals administration office of the Organic and Inorganic Chemicals divisions and the planning and coordination offices of both the Basic Chemicals Sector and the Petrochemicals and Plastics Sector.In 1995 Yonekura was named managing director of the planning and coordination office of the Basic Chemicals Sector and the Petrochemicals Division of the Petrochemicals and Plastics Sector. In 1998 he was appointed senior managing director of the corporate planning and coordination office. He became president of Sumitomo Chemical in 2000 and has served as chairman since 2009.Yonekura received a law degree from the University of Tokyo. He received an M.A. and a Ph.D., both in economics, from Duke University.
Mohamed Al-Mady2009 Honoree
Mohamed Al-Mady, vice chairman and CEO of the Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), oversees a global business with customers in over 100 countries and 16,000 employees worldwide. SABIC produces a wide range of petrochemical and other products and has two large industrial sites in Saudi Arabia, with 16 world-scale production complexes, stakes in industrial ventures in the Middle East, and 12 overseas offices to service specific markets through Europe, Asia, and the Americas.Al-Mady also serves as Chairman of the Saudi Arabian Fertilizer Company (SAFCO), SABIC R&T Executive Committee, and the SABIC EuroPetrochemicals B.V. Executive Board. He also sits on the Board of Aluminum-Bahrain (ALBA) and the US-Saudi Business Council, and heads the Saudi-side of the Saudi-Taiwanese Joint Committee for Economic and Technical Cooperation. Al-Mady has been Vice Chairman and Managing Director of SABIC since July 1998, having joined them in 1979, the year in which the company was established.
Peter R. Huntsman2008 Honoree
Peter R. Huntsman is president and CEO of the Huntsman Company, a global manufacturer and marketer of differentiated and commodity chemicals. Originally known for pioneering innovations in packaging, and later for rapid and integrated growth in petrochemicals, Huntsman today has 15,000 employees at 78 operations in 24 countries.After attending the University of Utah, Huntsman began his professional career in 1983 with Olympus Oil Corporation and in 1986 was named the company’s president. He joined Huntsman Polypropylene Corporation, a subsidiary of Huntsman Chemical Corporation, as vice president in 1987. In 1992 he became a senior vice president and general manager of Huntsman Chemical Corporation, assisting in directing global manufacturing, marketing, and sales for Huntsman Chemical and its affiliated companies. In 1996 Huntsman became president and COO of Huntsman, and in 2000 he was named the company’s CEO, replacing his father, Jon Huntsman.In addition to his duties at the Huntsman Company, Peter Huntsman helps direct a number of domestic and international humanitarian projects. He is also actively involved in civic affairs.
Dave C. Swalm2008 Honoree
After graduation Swalm worked for The Dow Chemical Company in Freeport, Texas. He subsequently worked for Texas Butadiene & Chemical Corporation as a process engineer and then as regional petrochemical sales manager. He next worked for Steuber Company as a chemical broker.In 1968 Swalm resigned from Steuber and founded Texas Olefins Company, using $6,000 in personal savings. In 1984 Texas Olefins purchased Tenneco Chemical's Petro-Tex plant. Renamed Texas Petrochemicals Company, the plant had a sales level of 500 million pounds per year when purchased. Under Swalm’s leadership, plant output grew to 2,700 million pounds by 1992.In 1979 Swalm set up the Swalm Foundation, which, over a period of 26 years, made 2,500 grants totaling more than $214 million to a wide variety of organizations, mostly in the social services area. Swalm has personally contributed to many educational institutions, including Mississippi State University, Brookhaven secondary schools, and Jackson State University.
Dan L. Duncan2007 Honoree
As the controlling shareholder of privately-held EPCO, Inc., a company he founded in 1968, Dan L. Duncan built one of the nation's largest and most successful energy companies by following the simple straightforward words of his grandmother: "Do the best you can everyday."These words of wisdom continue to serve as one of the guiding principles of a family of companies that now includes three publicly-traded partnerships with an aggregate enterprise value of more than $25 billion. The largest of these entities, Enterprise Products Partners, is one of the premier midstream energy master limited partnerships in North America.In addition to his success as a businessman, Duncan was involved with the Baylor College of Medicine, the Weatherby Foundation International, and the University of Texas at Houston Development Board. Through his generous commitments to the Baylor College of Medicine and the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Duncan is committed to ensuring that Houston remains a crucial center of growth in the medical field. As a prostate cancer survivor, he hoped that the Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center at Baylor College of Medicine will provide hope and care to others in their battles with cancer.
J. Virgil Waggoner2006 Honoree
J. Virgil Waggoner's distinguished career as a leading petrochemical industry executive began in 1950, when he joined Monsanto Company in Texas City as a research chemist. Switching from research to marketing, he steadily moved up to the position of senior vice president. He then became president of El Paso Products, the chemicals division of El Paso Company. In 1985 after leaving El Paso and becoming an independent consultant, he used his knowledge of the Monsanto-Texas City plant to team up with entrepreneur Gordon Cain, negotiating the leveraged buy-out of the plant and forming the legendary Sterling Chemicals. Waggoner was president and CEO of Sterling from its inception in 1986 until its privatization and his retirement a decade later. He served as vice chairman of the board until May 1998. Under his leadership, Sterling became a public company and has been included in both the Forbes 500 and Fortune 500 lists.Since his retirement from Sterling, Waggoner has initiated a number of new business ventures. He is a senior founding principal of the Legacy Equity Group, a merchant banking firm dedicated to the 'everybody wins' investment philosophy. Meanwhile, he continues to emphasize his commitment to global needs and the "bridge-building" thrust of his family's philanthropy. His board and advisory leadership roles include the College of Natural Sciences at UT Austin, the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center Board of Visitors, University of Texas-Houston Health Science Center, Baylor College of Medicine, WaterHealth International, the Good Samaritan Foundation, and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Other past involvements include advisory roles with Phyto-Riker Pharmaceuticals, GulfWest Energy Company, Ouachita Baptist University, the Houston Museum of Natural Science, and Sterling Chemicals.
Ting Tsung "T. T." Chao2005 Honoree
A pioneer in the chemicals and plastics industries, T. T. Chao founded and built several successful businesses in a career spanning more than 50 years. In the mid-1950's, Chao was a co-founder of Taiwan's first polyvinyl chloride (PVC) business. This business was backed by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). A decade later, he established China General Plastics Group, which included a number of the premier publicly-held petrochemical and plastics manufacturers in Asia. After three decades of experience and success in Asia he entered the North American petrochemical industry in the 1980's with the acquisition of a polyethylene plant in Sulphur, Louisiana, and the creation of Westlake Polymers Corporation.In the late 1980's, Chao founded the Titan Group in Malaysia by building the country's first and largest integrated petrochemical complex in the state of Johor. Chao was honored by the king of Malaysia in 1999 for his contribution to the growth of the Malaysian petrochemical industry. In 1992 Chao returned to his family home in China and founded a joint-venture company consisting of a PVC resin plant and downstream calendering plant near Sushou. He also served as the chairman emeritus and founder of the Titan Group and the founder of the Westlake Chemical Corporation.
William McMinn, Jr.2004 Honoree
William McMinn's career in petrochemicals has spanned more than five decades, beginning in 1952 at the Monsanto Chemical Company. He held various positions of increasing responsibility with FMC, Petro-Tex, and other leading companies until 1987, when he was named president of Cain Chemical, Inc. In 1989 Cain Chemical, which had been formed in 1982 in a leveraged buyout of seven ethylene-derivative petrochemical plants from various corporations, was sold to Occidental Petroleum for approximately $2.2 billion, generating roughly $1.25 billion in net proceeds for Cain Chemical's shareholders. Among the shareholders were 1,350 employees who owned 43% of the company and shared a windfall of $536 million.From 1990 to the spring of 1997 McMinn was chairman of the board of the Arcadian Corporation, another company formed in a successful buyout (in this case, of eight nitrogen-based-fertilizer plants in North America from several corporations). He is currently involved with nanotechnologies and bio-pharmaceuticals and is a senior founding principal of the Legacy Equity Group, LLC, a new merchant-banking group dedicated to the late Gordon Cain's investment philosophy, "everybody wins". A 1952 graduate of Vanderbilt University with a bachelor of science degree in chemistry, McMinn was a member of the Vanderbilt Board of Trust from 1993 to 2002.
Harold A. Sorgenti2003 Honoree
Harold A Sorgenti served as president of ARCO Chemical Company from 1979 through 1987, when he became both president and CEO. He led the restructuring and reorganization of the company, splitting it into two businesses, Lyondell Petrochemical and ARCO Chemical Company. He holds ten U.S. patents that led to the commercialization of four new chemical processes, including one that is the basis of ARCO Chemical's position as the world's leading producer of propylene oxide. In 1991 he co-founded Freedom Chemical Company and built it into a broadly based specialty chemical company. He sold Freedom Chemical and formed Sorgenti Investment Partners in order to pursue other chemical investment opportunities.Sorgenti is the president of the Academy of Music in Philadelphia and serves on the boards of the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Regional Performing Arts Center, Provident Mutual Life Insurance Co., and Crown Cork & Seal. He is a member of the American Chemical Society, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and the Society of Chemical Industry. he has served as chair of the Chemical Manufacturers Association and the Society of Chemical Industry, and is currently chairman of the board of the Chemical Heritage Foundation. His honors include the Winthrop-Sears Medal, the William Penn Award, the Philip H. Ward, Jr. Medal, and the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.
Herbert D. Doan2002 Honoree
Herbert D. Doan, grandson of Herbert H. Dow, was president and CEO of The Dow Chemical Company from 1962 to 1971. He served on the Dow and Dow Corning boards of directors and in 1973 founded Doan Associates, the second venture capital company in Michigan. He chaired the board of Neogen Corporation and was on the boards of the Michigan Molecular Institute (MMI) and Dendritech, Inc., a for-profit subsidiary of MMI.In the public arena he served on the National Science Board (the governing body of the National Science Foundation) and the board of the Office of Technology Assessment. He worked with the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences, co-chaired Michigan's Venture Capital Task Force, and served as president of the Michigan High Technology Task Force. Doan was a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the American Chemical Society, and Sigma XI, and received several honorary degrees. He has been president and chairman of the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation from 1996 until his death in 2006.
Jon M. Huntsman2001 Honoree
Jon M. Huntsman, noted entrepreneur and philanthropist, built the Huntsman Corporation into an $8-billion corporation, with leading positions in the chemical, plastics, and packaging industries. As director of the American Chemistry Council and founding director of the American Plastics Council, he has worked to increase public understanding and the competitiveness of America's chemical industry.Huntsman has also dedicated himself to supporting cancer research, famine relief, higher education, and care of the homeless by establishing such institutions as the Huntsman Cancer Institute, the Huntsman Award for Excellence in Education, and the Huntsman World Senior Games. He has received numerous awards including the Medal of Honor (Armenia), the National Caring Award, and the Kavaler Award for Chief Executive Excellence. A University of Pennsylvania alumnus, Huntsman and his family gave the university $10 million to endow the Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business.
Ralph Landau2000 Honoree
Ralph Landau, consulting professor economics at Stanford University and research fellow at Harvard, was named one of the 5 leading contributors to the chemical enterprise by Chemical and Engineering News, In 1946 Landau co-founded Scientific Design, later Halcom International, and he remained a leader and visionary of the organization for 36 years. He also co-founded the Oxirane Company with Atlantic Richfield Corporation in 1966.He holds several major patents in organic oxidation chemistry and has authored more than 150 publications, including nine books. His list of honors includes: CHF's Othmer Gold Medal, the Founder's Award of the National Academy of Engineering, the Founder's Award of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the Perkin Medal, the Pioneers Award, the Winthrop-Sears Medal, and the Chemical Industry Medal.Landau is a fellow of the New York Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society. He has guided research and writing on the significance of the chemical industries including Chemicals and Long-Term Economic Growth and Pharmaceutical Innovation: Revolutionizing Human Health (1998, John Wiley & Sons; Chemical Heritage Foundation).
John R. Hall1999 Honoree
John R. Hall was named by Petroleum Magazine as "one of the 10 most influential individuals in the [petroleum] industry." He spent his career at Ashland, Inc., holding positions from chemical engineer through chairman and CEO. When he retired in 1997 after 40 years at Ashland, Hall had successfully restructured, streamlined, and built the company into a stable and rapidly growing enterprise.An outspoken advocate for high-quality public education, Hall has worked with the Partnership for Kentucky School Reform, the National Business Roundtable's Education Task Force, the West Virginia Business Education Alliance, and the New American Schools Development Corporation. Hall also serves on a number of corporate, civic, and cultural boards.He is a past director of the National Petroleum Council, an honorary director of the American Petroleum Institute, and chairman of the board of Trustees at Vanderbilt University (his alma mater). In 1976, serving as a chair of the National Petrochemical Refiners Association (NPRA), Hall played a key role in the establishment of the first annual International Petrochemical Conference.
John T. Files1998 Honoree
John T. Files, chairman of the board of the Merichem Company, entered the petrochemical industry in the 1940s. After serving two years on the engineering faculty of the University of Texas (his alma mater), he joined Dow Chemical Company at Freeport where he was assistant chief engineer until 1945, when he left to start Merichem. Files and his team at Merichem pioneered a new technology of refining cresylic acids from refineries' caustic solutions. Now serving the global community, Merichem has become a major specialty chemical manufacturer that produces high-quality cresylic Acids, naphthenic acids, and soda chemicals from petroleum.In 1982 Files was awarded the Winthrop-Sears Medal. After being appointed by Governor John Connally to the first Texas Air Control Board, he was awarded a citation of commendation for his pioneering work in developing the Texas Air Control regulations and standards. He also serves on the Engineering Foundation Advisory Council at the University of Texas and is a member of various industry organizations.
Gordon Cain1997 Honoree
Gordon Cain, the first recipient of the Petrochemical Heritage Award, began his career as a chemical engineer at Freeport Sulphur Company and Merck & Co. Following service in the U.S.Army during World War II, he helped organize Petro-Tex Chemical Company.From 1964 until 1970 he managed Conoco's chemical business. Since 1970 Cain has founded or cofounded several companies that he has restructured through innovative management strategies, employee stock ownership, and leveraged buyouts (LBO's). In 1982 he cofounded the Sterling Group, a merchant banking firm that acts as sponsor for and invests in leveraged acquisitions, principaly in the petrochemicals industry. He is best known for the successful LBO's of Arcadian, Cain Chemical, Fiber Industries, Sterling Chemicals, and Vista Chemicals.Today, he serves on the Boards of Texas Petrochemical Corporation, Atlantic Coast Airlines, Arcadian Corporation, Agennix Incorporated, and Lexicon Incorporated. Cain holds the Winthrop-Sears Medal and the John Fritz Medal. He was inducted into the Texas Business Hall of Fame in 1990.Gordon Cain's autobiography, Everbody Wins! A Life in Free Enterprise, was published by the Chemical Heritage Foundation and is now in its second edition. See also the Gordon Cain Fellowship in Technology, Policy, and Entrepreneurship.