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ACC's Gerard Moves On

Chemical industry leader accepts top job at API

by Glenn Hess
June 9, 2008 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 86, ISSUE 23

Gerard
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Credit: ACC
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Credit: ACC

American Chemistry Council (ACC) President Jack N. Gerard will step down from the chemical industry's largest trade association this fall to take the top job at the American Petroleum Institute (API), the main trade group for the oil and natural gas industry.

Gerard will succeed API President Red Cavaney, 65, who is retiring on Nov. 1.

At ACC's annual meeting in Palm Desert, Calif., on June 4, ACC Chairman Robert L. Wood, who is also chairman and CEO of Chemtura, told board members that the search for Gerard's replacement is well under way.

API's executive committee has endorsed the selection of Gerard, and the board of directors is expected to give its formal approval at its October meeting.

"It has been a great honor to lead ACC through a robust restructuring, a successful public education campaign, and many advocacy successes—from advancements on energy supply to enhanced chemical site security regulations to the defeat of many scientifically unsound product ban bills in states," Gerard says. "ACC is now back on solid footing."

Gerard says he "looks forward to working with API on delivering its mission of affecting public policy in support of a strong, viable oil and natural gas industry."

Gerard took the reins at ACC in July 2005 after leading the National Mining Association. He was hired to reinvigorate ACC, which had been struggling from internal disputes and declining membership.

Gerard launched a major reorganization of the council in December 2005 with a goal of delivering more cost-effective advocacy. He cut costs by reducing staff and streamlining the group's operations. Gerard also focused ACC's lobbying efforts on several core issues, including the rising cost of natural gas and chemical plant security.

In addition, ACC has taken its message to the public via its multi-million-dollar "essential2" advertising campaign.

Gerard has won praise from chemical company executives for rebuilding confidence in ACC, which had seen its effectiveness undercut by divisions within the organization. Nearly three dozen companies have joined the 134-member ACC over the past three years, and several firms that had defected, including Huntsman Corp. and Chevron Phillips Chemical, have returned to the association.

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