V. Michael Mautino is the recipient of the 2024 Award for Volunteer Service to the American Chemical Society. He is being honored for his outstanding volunteer work and mentorship at all levels of ACS.
Mautino, who retired in February, spent over 30 years working at the Covestro site in Pittsburgh. In 1996, he joined ACS and the Technician Affiliate Group of the Pittsburgh Section. Within a year, Mautino had become the group’s chair, a position he held for 5 years. He went on to play an instrumental role in raising the profile of chemical technicians within ACS at the national level. This included chairing the Division of Chemical Technicians and the Committee on Technician Affairs.
Mautino has also been a vocal advocate for community outreach at the local and national level of ACS. He managed the Pittsburgh Section’s outreach activities from 1999 to 2019. His National Chemistry Week and Chemists Celebrate Earth Week (CCEW) programs reached an estimated 98,000 local people over that period and received 17 ChemLuminary Awards. Mautino also led the national taskforce that launched CCEW’s predecessor, Chemists Celebrate Earth Day, and became the first chair of the ACS Committee on Community Activities.
His advocacy for chemical technicians and outreach within ACS led to Mautino serving on several other national panels, including the Committee on Committees, the Local Section Activities Committee, and the Membership Affairs Committee. Mautino’s previous recognitions from ACS include the Pittsburgh Award in 2019 and being named an ACS fellow in 2010.
“Mike has been the glue that holds our section together for decades,” says Michelle M. Ward, a longtime member and past chair of the Pittsburgh Section. “He customizes his mentorship style by spending time getting to know people and their capabilities before encouraging them to pursue opportunities to help them reach their full potential.”
Ingrid Montes, a former member of the ACS Board of Directors who has worked with Mautino at the national level for over 2 decades, says: “Michael is an excellent leader and visionary, a responsible, caring, and dedicated person, and has shown a very positive attitude to work with and mentor many other ACS volunteers, including me.”
“This award is very special to me because it recognizes outreach and its importance to ACS,” Mautino says. He says that his passion for outreach is fueled by “seeing a sparkle in kids’ eyes when I make a connection and they understand the science behind what I’m trying to show them.” He describes volunteering for ACS as a lot of fun. “It’s been better than any hobby I could have thought of,” he adds.