Frank Popoff, Former Chairman and CEO of Dow, to Receive Petrochemical Heritage Award

Frank Popoff


Frank Popoff, former chairman and chief executive officer of The Dow Chemical Company, will receive the 18th annual Petrochemical Heritage Award on March 31 at the 2014 International Petrochemical Conference hosted by the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) in San Antonio, Texas.

“Frank led Dow’s reorganization into a truly global company in the 1990s,” said Carsten Reinhardt, president and CEO of the Chemical Heritage Foundation. “He made the case for sustainable development while leading Dow; then after leaving the chairmanship he and Livio DeSimone of 3M wrote the book Eco-Efficiency showing how to implement sustainable development and maintain industry leadership.”

About Frank Popoff

Frank Popoff, former chairman and chief executive officer of The Dow Chemical Company, served as president and CEO from 1987 through 1995, chairman from 1992 through 2000, and president of Dow Chemical Europe from 1980 through 1985. He is also the former chairman of the Board of Directors of Chemical Financial Corporation, a Michigan bank holding company and parent of Chemical Bank, where he served as a director beginning in 1985.

Popoff is a senior adviser of American Express Company and a director of ShinEtsu Chemical Company of Tokyo. He is a past director of several publicly traded companies, including United Technologies Corporation, Qwest Communications International, and NCR Corporation. He is a past chairman of the American Chemistry Council; a 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.

He has served as a member of the Business Council and as a director of the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation and the Michigan Molecular Institute. He is a director of the Indiana University Foundation and the university’s Kelley School of Business Dean’s Advisory Council. On retirement from Dow Popoff served as a visiting professor at the Indiana University School of Business.

Popoff was titled Knight Commander in the Order of Oranje-Nassau by The Netherlands in 1989, and received the Leadership Award of the United States Council for International Business in 1992, the Rene Dubos Environmental Award in 1993, and the Palladium Medal in 1994. His book Eco-Efficiency: The Business Link to Sustainable Development is still in print 14 years after its publication in 2000.

Popoff holds an A.B. in chemistry and an M.B.A. from Indiana University. He also holds honorary doctorate degrees from Rose Hulman Polytechnic Institute, Alma College, Northwood University, and Indiana 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.

The following is the full list of the 18 past recipients of the Petrochemical Heritage Award (Peter R. Huntsman and Dave C. Swalm were corecipients in 2008):

  • Mohamed Al-Mady, vice chairman and CEO of the Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC)
  • Gordon Cain, well-known chemical engineer and business entrepreneur
  • Ting Tsung (“T. T.”) Chao, founder of Westlake Chemical Corporation
  • Herbert D. “Ted” Doan, former chairman and CEO of The Dow Chemical Company
  • Dan L. Duncan, chairman, Enterprise Products Partners
  • John T. Files, founder and chairman of the Merichem Company
  • Raj L. Gupta, former chairman and CEO of Rohm and Haas Company
  • John R. Hall, chemical engineer and former president, chairman, and CEO of Ashland
  • Jon M. Huntsman, founder of Huntsman Corporation
  • Peter R. Huntsman, president and CEO of the Huntsman Company
  • Ralph Landau, cofounder of Halcon/Scientific Design Group
  • William A. McMinn, Jr., former president of Cain Chemical
  • James A. “Jim” Ratcliffe, chairman of INEOS
  • Marvin O. Schlanger, chairman of the Supervisory Board of LyondellBasell Industries
  • Harold A. Sorgenti, former president and chief executive officer of ARCO Chemical Company
  • Dave C. Swalm, founder of Texas Petrochemicals Company
  • J. Virgil Waggoner, former president and CEO of Sterling Chemical
  • Hiromasa Yonekura, chairman of the Sumitomo Chemical Company

About the Founders Club

The Founders Club was formed in 1981 by a group of petrochemical industry executives who participated in the establishment of the Petrochemical Committee of the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) and ultimately generated the International Petrochemicals Conference (IPC) as a separate identity within AFPM. 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 American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers

AFPM is a trade association representing high-tech American manufacturers of virtually the entire U.S. supply of gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, other fuels, and home heating oil, as well as the petrochemicals used as building blocks for thousands of vital products in daily life.

About the Chemical Heritage Foundation

The Chemical Heritage Foundation is a collections-based nonprofit organization that preserves the history and heritage of chemistry, chemical engineering, and related sciences and technologies. The collections are used to create a body of original scholarship that illuminates chemistry’s role in shaping society. In bridging science with the humanities, arts, and social sciences, CHF is committed to building a vibrant, international community of scholars; creating a rich source of traditional and emerging media; expanding the reach of our museum; and engaging the broader society through inventive public events.

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