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For District IV director: Lisa Houston

by Lisa Houston candidate for District IV director

September 9, 2022 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 100, Issue 32


Lisa Houston.
Credit: Diana Montoya
Lisa Houston

Greater Houston Section. Petroleum Analyzer Company, Houston, Texas.

Academic record: University of North Texas, BS, 1986.

Honors: ACS Local Section Outreach Volunteer of the Year, Greater Houston Section, 2018; ACS Distinguished Service Award, Division of Energy and Fuels, 2013, 2020; ACS Fellow, 2012; ACS Distinguished Service Award, Division of Petroleum Chemistry, 2005; American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) D16 Award of Appreciation, 2016; ASTM D02 Award of Appreciation, 2012.

Professional positions (for the past 10 years): Petroleum Analyzer Company (PAC), vice president, process analytics, 1999–.

Service in ACS national offices: ACS Board of Directors, councilor ex-officio, director, District IV, 2020–22; ACS Board Committee on Strategic Planning, member, 2019–22, chair, 2021–22; Committee of Public Affairs and Public Relations, member, 2022; Committee of Professional and Member Relations, member, 2020–21; Council Policy Committee, member, 2016–21, vice-chair, 2019; Women Chemists Committee, 2014–17, committee associate, 2010–13, member, 2014-2017; Committee on Divisional Activities, Multidisciplinary Program Planning Group, chair, 2014, chair-elect, 2013, subcommittee chair, 2011–19; Committee on Nomenclature, Terminology and Symbols, committee associate, 2009–10.

Service in ACS offices: Division of Energy and Fuels: councilor, 2014–19; alternate councilor, 2012–13; long range planning chair, 2013–; communications and technology, chair, 2018–21; Greater Houston Section: chair, 2017; treasurer, 2012–14; awards chair, 2018–. Division of Petroleum Chemistry: alternate councilor, 2008–11; chair, 2005; chair-elect, 2004; newsletter editor, 1997–2004, treasurer, 1993–96; area II representative, 1992–94. Biotechnology Secretariat: secretary and treasurer, 2007–12.

Member: Member of ACS since 1990. ASTM. ACS Divisions: Energy and Fuels; Business Development and Management; Professional Relations.

Related activities: ACS Southeastern Regional Meeting (SERMACS), fundraising chair, 2022; ACS Southwest Regional Meeting (SWRM), fundraising chair, 2016; ACS Symposium, chair, 2004–22; ASTM D02.03 Petroleum Products Elemental Analysis, task group leader, 2009–; ASTM D16 Aromatics, chair, 2022, secretary 2010–16; ASTM D16.04 Instrumental Analysis, subcommittee chair, 2008–16; ASTM-D16.94 Publicity, subcommittee chair, 2017–; published nine articles.

Houston’s statement

I currently serve as District IV director and am honored to be a candidate for a second term. The American Chemical Society has played a large role in both my life and my career. As with many, I put myself through college commuting 2 h each day and working nights after school. It was in college where I discovered my passion for chemistry, but personal circumstances required plans for graduate school to be set aside and I entered the workforce with a position in the chemical industry.

I joined ACS in 1990 when I attended my first ACS meeting and shortly thereafter began to serve the Petroleum Chemistry Division. Even as a single parent, I managed my commitments to the division, which included two trips a year to ACS meetings, in addition to work travel, and a host of my children’s school activities. I have since served in additional leadership roles in the Greater Houston Section, regional meetings, a number of national committees, and on the Board of Directors. All these have advanced my professional career by providing leadership opportunities and experiences that have crossed over into my professional life and ultimately led to my current position as vice president for PAC, an analytical instrument company.

The Board of Directors has the responsibility to guide and direct the society in fulfilling its vision and mission. My commitment is to continue using my energy and skills in my various roles serving the society to champion diversity, equity, inclusion, and respect (DEIR), communicate the value of ACS, strengthen ACS component groups, and advocate for science with the public and government.

Advance DEIR: I am proud to have served on the board working group that recommended changes to the ACS Strategic Plan to include a fifth goal to embrace and advance inclusion in chemistry, which was approved by the board. In my current role as chair of the Board Committee on Strategic Planning (SPC), the committee continues to focus our efforts on developing strategies to advance DEIR in the chemical enterprise as outlined in my March 21, 2021, Comment in C&EN titled “Working Together toward Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Respect in the Chemistry Enterprise.” Presently, SPC is pioneering efforts to establish and implement key indicators of progress towards achieving the ACS Strategic Plan.

Communicate the value of ACS: ACS provides a host of benefits for members in all stages of their education and careers including professional development, scientific publications, recognition, career counseling, and networking. However, this value proposition is not always communicated clearly. To address industrial member value, I served on a board working group to develop strategies for ACS staff and/or industry-related ACS divisions or committees to achieve transformation of industry member attendance at ACS meetings. I will continue to drive member engagement and attract new members through personal and collaborative efforts to communicate the value of ACS membership for all.

Build strong local sections, international chapters, and divisions: It is imperative that the ACS component groups become and remain healthy, as they are the backbone of the society. ACS would not exist if it were not for our dedicated volunteers at every level; however, the local sections, international chapters, and divisions are normally held together by a small subsegment of their population. We need to develop mechanisms to aid them in engaging their members, including students, academics, and industrial professionals, to increase their impact. To this end, I have been working with the ACS president-elect, Committee on Local Section Activities, and ACS staff to build a revised ACS Speaker Service and directory to increase member interaction for all local sections, international chapters, and divisions by allowing them access to a diverse group of global speakers who want to share their expertise and passion for chemistry on a wide variety of topics.

Advocate for science with government and public: Our future as a society, a nation, and as chemical professionals depends on how well the public and legislators understand the benefits of chemistry. Their understanding affects funding of research and development and STEM education, as well as laws and regulations that impact chemical businesses and jobs. I completed the ACS Advocacy Workshop to learn how to advocate for science, and I engaged my state and local government representatives to promote chemistry and STEM-related issues. I will continue to enhance the perception and appreciation for chemistry from the local through the federal levels of government as well as the public.

My work is not done, and I would be honored to have your support and vote for District IV director. For more information please visit my website or contact me at


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