Issue Date: January 10, 2011
Joseph G. Acker V
Joseph G. Acker V, 66, former president and chief executive officer of the Society of Chemical Manufacturers & Affiliates (SOCMA), died on Dec. 6, 2011, after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer.
Acker retired from SOCMA in December 2009 after 16 years with the organization. As president, he propelled SOCMA to new heights by raising its profile on Capitol Hill, solidifying key alliances with regulatory agencies, growing the society’s international membership base, and encouraging all members to take a more active role in the association’s lobbying efforts.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., Acker earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 1966 and received an M.B.A. from Bucknell University in 1975.
Before taking on his role at SOCMA, Acker served as president and CEO of DanChem Technologies and president of Hickson DanChem, both in Danville, Va., where he was responsible for all functions and business operations. He also served as president of ChemDesign, a subsidiary of Bayer. Earlier in his career, Acker held supervisory and engineering positions at FMC and Merck & Co.
Acker was former chairman of the SOCMA Board of Governors; he also served as the board’s treasurer and as chair of its government relations and congressional affairs action groups. In 2005, he supervised the formation of ChemStewards, the first environmental, health, safety, and security program designed for batch chemical manufacturers. That same year, he brokered the sale of Informex, the leading batch, custom, and specialty chemicals trade show in the U.S., allowing SOCMA to focus on program development and membership recruitment. In 2009, Acker spearheaded the organization’s efforts to change its name from the Synthetic Organic Chemical Manufacturers Association.
After joining ACS in 2004, Acker remained a society affiliate for five years. He held board and advisory roles within professional and civic associations including the Chemical Education Foundation, Nitro Civic Benefits Association, Marinette Area Chamber of Commerce, Kanawha Valley United Way, Fitchburg State College, and Danville Museum of Fine Arts & History.
He is survived by his wife, Judy; daughter, Jennifer L. Whimpenny; son, Joseph G. VI; and five grandchildren.
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