"Hal Sorgenti had a highly successful 32-year career with Atlantic Richfield and ARCO Chemical Company," said Arnold Thackray, president, CHF. "He is an entrepreneur, a community leader, and a patron of the arts. He well represents the high standards this award symbolizes."
The Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF) and the Founders Club established the award in 1997 to recognize individuals who made outstanding contributions to the petrochemical community; to inspire achievement; and to promote public understanding of the modern sciences, industries, and economies.
Harold A. Sorgenti
Sorgenti served as president of ARCO Chemical Company from 1979 through 1987. In 1987, he became president and chief executive officer when the company went public. He led the restructuring and reorganization of the company, selling a billion dollars of assets and splitting it into two businesses, Lyondell Petrochemical and ARCO Chemical Company. Eventually both companies went public.
He holds 10 U.S. patents which led to the commercialization of four new chemical processes, including one that is the basis of ARCO Chemical's position as the world's leading producer of propylene oxide.
In 1991 Sorgenti cofounded Freedom Chemical Company and built it into a broadly based specialty chemical company. In 1998 the company had revenues of approximately $300 million, employed 1,100 people, and operated 11 manufacturing sites worldwide. When it was sold to B. F. Goodrich, Mr. Sorgenti formed Sorgenti Investment Partners to pursue other chemical investment opportunities. Sorgenti Investment Partners acquired the French ethanol producer Société d'Ethanol de Synthèse (SODES) in partnership with Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette in 1998.
Sorgenti is the president of the Academy of Music in Philadelphia. He is also a member of many boards, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, Regional Performing Arts Center, Provident Mutual Life Insurance Co., and Crown Cork & Seal.
He is a member of the American Chemical Society, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and the Society of Chemical Industry. He has served as chairman to many organizations, including the Chemical Manufactures Association and the Society of Chemical Industry, and is currently chairman of the board of the Chemical Heritage Foundation. Sorgenti has received many accolades, including the Winthrop-Sears Medal, the William Penn Award, the Philip H. Ward, Jr., Medal, and the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. Mr. Sorgenti is the recipient of honorary degrees from Villanova, St. Joseph's, Ohio State, and Drexel Universities.
Mr. Sorgenti received his B.S. in chemical engineering from City College of New York in 1956 and his M.S. from Ohio State University in 1959.
Past recipients of the Petrochemical Heritage Award are: Herbert D. "Ted" Doan, former chairman and CEO of The Dow Chemical Company; Jon M. Huntsman, founder of Huntsman Corporation; Gordon Cain, well-known chemical engineer and business entrepreneur; John T. Files, founder and chairman of the Merichem Company; John R. Hall, chemical engineer and former president, chairman, and CEO of Ashland, Inc.; and Ralph Landau, cofounder of Halcon/Scientific Design Group.
About the Founders Club and the Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF)
The Founders Club was established in 1981 by a group of petrochemical industry executives. The Club's purpose is to recognize individuals whose successful careers have spanned 25 years of service in the petrochemical industry.
The Chemical Heritage Foundation, a private, nonprofit organization, operates a historical research library and museum; creates and circulates traveling exhibits; develops and disseminates educational materials; publishes books and Chemical Heritage newsmagazine; offers fellowships and travel grants; conducts oral histories with leading scientists and industrialists; and hosts awards, conferences, and public events.