Petrochemical Heritage Award

Without petrochemistry we wouldn’t be missing just gasoline for our cars: we’d be missing such things as nylon, linoleum, and Plexiglas. The Petrochemical Heritage Award was established in 1997 to recognize individuals who made outstanding contributions to this vital field.


The Petrochemical Heritage Award recognizes those whose contributions to public understanding are noteworthy, who have displayed significant entrepreneurship in the petrochemical profession or industry, and who have been active in philanthropic and/or communal affairs. It is presented with the Founders Club each year at the International Petrochemical Conference, held by the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers.

2018 Winner: Gary K. Adams

Gary K. Adams, former president and CEO of CMAI, will receive the 22nd annual Petrochemical Heritage Award on March 26, 2018, at the Grand Hyatt San Antonio in San Antonio, Texas. The award will be presented at the 2018 International Petrochemical Conference hosted by the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM).

Gary Adams

Gary Adams

Gary Adams

Gary K. Adams is the former president, CEO, and chair of the board of Chemical Market Associates (CMAI). He started his chemical industry career with Union Carbide in 1975. After 15 years in plant and corporate roles of increasing responsibility, Adams joined CMAI. He directed CMAI’s global activities from 1997 until its acquisition by IHS in 2011, becoming the chief adviser of chemicals for IHS (now IHSMarkit).

During more than 40 years of service in the petrochemical industry, Adams’s various positions had him either directly engaged in the sourcing and transportation of hydrocarbon-based products or tasked with becoming a recognized global expert on the sector’s complete value chain. As a result he traveled extensively, visiting centers of chemical production and consumption around the world. The combination of experience and exposure to numerous industry participants gave Adams a keen awareness of key drivers for success in the chemical industry value chain and of the potential benefit of synergies obtained from the development and execution of strategic plans and global growth strategies. Adams is known for his in-depth analysis and thought-provoking presentations of future industry dynamics to forums around the globe.

In his role as CEO of CMAI, Adams became a visible advocate for the petrochemical industry as a whole and often engaged in opportunities to present an independent, third-party viewpoint to government and private-sector audiences regarding the clear benefits that the chemical industry brings to society.

Adams is a member of the board of directors for Phillips 66, where he serves on the human resources and compensation and public policy committees. He is also a director of Trecora Resources and previously served on the boards of Westlake Chemical Partners from 2014 to 2016 and Phillips 66 Partners from 2013 to 2016.

Previous Winners of the Petrochemical Heritage Award

  • David Weidman (2017)
  • Stephen Pryor (2016)
  • James Gallogly (2015)
  • Frank Popoff (2014)
  • Jim Ratcliffe (2013)
  • Marvin Schlanger (2012)
  • Raj Gupta (2011)
  • Hiromasa Yonekura (2010)
  • Mohamed Al-Mady (2009)
  • Peter Huntsman and Dave Swalm (2008)
  • Dan Duncan (2007)
  • J. Virgil Waggoner (2006)
  • T. T. Chao (2005)
  • William McMinn Jr. (2004)
  • Harold A. Sorgenti (2003)
  • Herbert E. Doan (2002)
  • Jon M. Huntsman (2001)
  • Ralph Landau (2000)
  • John R. Hall (1999)
  • John T. Files (1998)
  • Gordon Cain (1997)

About the Sponsors

The Founders Club was founded in 1981 by a group of petrochemical-industry executives who participated in the establishment of the Petrochemical Committee of the NPRA (now AFPM) and ultimately generated the International Petrochemicals Conference (IPC) as a separate identity within NPRA. The Founders Club today is a select group of individuals with a minimum of 25 years of distinguished service in the petrochemical industry. The club proudly advances the legacy inherited from these original “Founders” as contributing stewards of the petrochemical industry with a respect for the past (legacy), activities for the present (networking), and support for the future (recognition).

American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) is a trade association representing high-tech American manufacturers of virtually the entire U.S. supply of gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, other fuels and home heating oil, as well as the petrochemicals used as building blocks for thousands of vital products in daily life.