Industry Celebrates a Banner Year of Growth and Innovation

About 350 chemical industry executives and guests joined SOCMA in New York on December 4 for the association’s 96th Annual Meeting and Dinner to celebrate the innovative specialty chemical industry. 

Board of Governors Chairman Dave Doles and SOCMA President and CEO Jennifer Abril took an opportunity at both the Annual Business Meeting and Dinner to share the association’s new strategic direction. 

“Under our segmentation model that includes Performance Chemicals, Ag Chemicals and Pharma Chemicals, we will focus on the markets into which our companies operate and the issues that impact our ability to grow our businesses,” said Doles. “It is a forward-looking path that more closely aligns with how companies like mine and yours are structured. It just makes sense.”

Abril told members during her remarks that “because of changes we have seen within the industry and our discussions with you and our Board of Governors, we were inspired to move in a new direction – one that mirrors how many of your companies are doing business. We are redesigning our focus and the services we offer to enable growth.”

The day kicked off with a networking lunch, followed by SOCMA’s Annual Business Meeting, where the Chairman and Executive Committee were re-elected, and the membership elected its new class of Governors for 2020.

Highlighting the afternoon festivities were ChemTrends sessions. These new educational sessions featured experts who shared insight on issues currently impacting the specialty and fine chemical industry.

Larry Thomas, Director, Investment Banking at Spouting Rock Capital Advisors, discussed “The Private Equity Playbook” and how PE firms are changing the rules for everyone. He shared insight on what your 10-year perfect world plan should be, what your three-year plan and one-year map should be, as well as what your quarterly objectives list should look like. He also asked the audience that if someone is going to make a ton of money by improving your business, who should it be? A:  You; B:  Someone else.

Pete Norton, Managing Partner & Executive Search Consultant at Sanford Rose Associates, also talked to attendees about “Finding People Who Make a Difference® in Specialty Chemicals.” And ending out the ChemTrends Sessions was Trey Hamblet, Global Vice President of Research, Chemical Processing Industry at Industrial Info Resources. Trey shared insight into some of the largest projects currently taking place in the U.S. and Canada and how they are impacting the specialty chemical sector. 

Members and their guests also had an opportunity to network during a pre-dinner reception. 

Highlighting the Annual Dinner was recognition of SOCMA’s 2017 Performance Improvement Awards recipients. The Baker Hughes Rayne Blend Plant and Bayport Manufacturing Plant were the recipients of the association’s top honor – the Gold Award. Monument Chemical Houston, Ltd., received the Sustainability Award, and Cambrex was honored with SOCMA’s Educational Outreach Award.  

SOCMA also honored American Chemical Society Scholar Marcos Cervantes, who received the award for the second year in a row. SOCMA raises funds to support the Scholars Program through the association’s annual golf tournament. 

The entertainment segment was a bit different this year, with Jeff Havens providing an educational take to his comedy. SOCMA members and guests not only had a great laugh, but they also received some insightful knowledge that they can use in their own businesses moving forward.

We want to say a big thank you to all of our generous sponsors who supported this year’s event. They include Lynx Investment Group, Weylchem, Lonza, Optima Chemical Group, GFS Chemicals, American Elements, Century Global, LLC, Cambrex, The Chemical Company, Monument Chemical, UK Department of International Trade, Speciality Chemicals World Magazine, Chemical & Engineering News, ChemQuest and CPhI.

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