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Richard J. Bolte Sr. Award for Supporting Industries

Whether it is by providing laboratory space, moving freight around the world, or creating software to help in the lab, supporting industries make possible much of the science on which we rely.

To honor those who provide products or services vital to the continuing growth and development of the chemical and molecular sciences community, the Science History Institute created the Richard J. Bolte Sr. Award for Supporting Industries in 2006. It took the name of the first winner of the award, the founder and chair of BDP International, and it is presented annually at Heritage Day, our annual celebration of the achievements and promise of the sciences and technologies that shape material culture.


2021 Awardee: Steven Holland

Steven Holland is the former chief executive officer of Brenntag AG, the world’s largest chemicals and ingredients distributor. Holland began his career as an industrial chemist in the field of water treatment and surface coatings. In 2006 he joined Brenntag after its acquisition of Albion Chemicals, where he was a shareholder and group managing director. A year later he was appointed to the Brenntag board of directors as chief executive of the company’s European business and was subsequently named chief operating officer for the group in 2009. Holland became CEO in 2011 and served in that role until his retirement in 2020.

Over the past 14 years, Holland significantly contributed to Brenntag’s journey from private to public ownership and its expansion into a truly global chemical distribution company and market leader, operating in 73 countries with 16,000 employees. In 2013 Brenntag joined the UN Global Compact, a worldwide initiative based on CEO commitments to implement universal sustainability. Under Holland’s leadership, environmental protection and the responsible use of natural resources became values firmly embedded in the company’s processes, products, and governance.


Previous Winners of the Bolte Award

  • Frederick Frank (2019)
  • W. Graham Richards (2018)
  • Peter Young (2017)
  • Roy Eddleman (2016)
  • Abdulaziz Al-Zamil (2015)
  • Atsushi Horiba (2014)
  • Alan G. Walton (2013)
  • G. Steven Burrill (2012)
  • Lawrence Evans (2011)
  • Berdon Lawrence (2010)
  • David and Alice Schwartz (2009)
  • Jerry Sudarsky (2008)
  • Eugene Garfield (2007)
  • Richard J. Bolte Sr. (2006)