Raj L. Gupta to Receive 2011 Petrochemical Heritage Award

March 21, 2011 - Philadelphia

Raj L. Gupta, former chairman and CEO of Rohm and Haas Company, will receive the 15th annual Petrochemical Heritage Award on March 27, 2011, at the Grand Hyatt in San Antonio, Texas. The award will be presented at the CHF/NPRA Symposium on Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the Petrochemical Industry, held as part of the 2011 International Petrochemical Conference hosted by the National Petrochemical Refiners Association (NPRA).

“After more than three decades with Rohm and Haas, Raj retired then made an immediate transition to community leadership, serving with charitable and educational organizations,” said Thomas R. Tritton, president and CEO of CHF. “Now he is back in the chemical enterprise as executive chairman of Avantor Performance Materials and senior advisor for New Mountain Capital, continuing his life of leadership.”

About Raj L. Gupta

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.

About the Petrochemical Heritage Award

CHF and the Founders Club established the Petrochemical Heritage Award in 1997 to recognize individuals who made outstanding contributions to the petrochemical community; to inspire achievement; and to promote public understanding of the modern sciences, industries, and economies. 

Past recipients of the award: Hiromasa Yonekura, chairman of the Sumitomo Chemical Company; Mohamed Al-Mady, vice chairman and CEO of the Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC); Peter R. Huntsman, president and CEO of the Huntsman Company; Dave C. Swalm, founder of Texas Petrochemicals Company; Dan L. Duncan, chairman, Enterprise Products partners; J. Virgil Waggoner, former president and CEO of Sterling Chemicals; Ting Tsung ("T. T.") Chao, founder of the Westlake Chemical Corporation; William A. McMinn, Jr., former president of Cain Chemical; Harold A. Sorgenti, former president and chief executive officer of ARCO Chemical Company; Herbert D. “Ted” Doan, former chairman and CEO of the Dow Chemical Company; Jon M. Huntsman, founder of Huntsman Corporation; Gordon Cain, well-known chemical engineer and business entrepreneur; John T. Files, founder and chairman of the Merichem Company; John R. Hall, chemical engineer and former president, chairman, and CEO of Ashland; and Ralph Landau, cofounder of Halcon/Scientific Design Group.

About the Founders Club

The Founders Club was founded in 1981 by a group of petrochemical industry executives who participated in the establishment of the Petrochemical Committee of the NPRA and ultimately generated the International Petrochemicals Conference (IPC) as a separate identity within NPRA. The Founders Club today is a select group of individuals with a minimum of 25 years of distinguished service in the petrochemical industry. The club proudly advances the legacy inherited from these original "Founders" as contributing stewards of the petrochemical industry with a respect for the past (legacy), activities for the present (networking), and support for the future (recognition).

About the National Petroleum Refiners Association

NPRA was established in 1961 as a result of the merger of the National Petroleum Association and the Western Petroleum Refiners Association. It is the oldest continuing oil-industry association in the United States, dating back to 1902, with the founding of the National Petroleum Association. NPRA represents virtually all refining and petrochemical producers in the United States and has a significant number of non-U.S. companies as members.

About the Chemical Heritage Foundation

The Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF) fosters an understanding of chemistry’s impact on society. An independent nonprofit organization, we strive to

  • Inspire a passion for chemistry;
  • Highlight chemistry’s role in meeting current social challenges; and
  • Preserve the story of chemistry and its technologies and industries across centuries.

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