"Bill McMinn is a remarkable entrepreneur and leader in the petrochemical industry," said Arnold Thackray, president of CHF. "He is a true disciple of the legendary Gordon Cain, engineering some of the largest deals in the petrochemical industry to an 'everybody wins' outcome for shareholders, employees, and all stakeholders. Bill exemplifies the high standards this award symbolizes."
William A. McMinn, Jr.
McMinn's career in petrochemicals has spanned more than five decades, beginning in 1952 at the Monsanto Chemical Company. He held various positions of increasing responsibility with FMC, Petro-Tex, and other leading companies until 1987, when he was named president of Cain Chemical, Inc. In 1989 Cain Chemical, which had been formed in 1982 in a leveraged buyout of seven ethylene-derivative petrochemical plants from various corporations, was sold to Occidental Petroleum for approximately $2.2 billion, generating roughly $1.25 billion in net proceeds for Cain Chemical's shareholders. Among the shareholders were 1,350 employees who owned 43% of the company and shared a windfall of $536 million.
From 1990 to the spring of 1997 McMinn was chairman of the board of the Arcadian Corporation, another company formed in a successful buyout (in this case, of eight nitrogen-based-fertilizer plants in North America from several corporations). He is currently involved with nanotechnologies and biopharmaceuticals and is a senior founding principal of the Legacy Equity Group, LLC, a new merchant-banking group dedicated to the late Gordon Cain's investment philosophy, "everybody wins." A 1952 graduate of Vanderbilt University with a bachelor of science degree in chemistry, McMinn was a member of the Vanderbilt Board of Trust from 1993 to 2002.
About the Petrochemical Heritage Award
The Chemical Heritage Foundation and the Founders Club established the Petrochemical Heritage 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.
Past recipients of the award are Harold A. Sorgenti, former president and CEO of ARCO Chemical Company; 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
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.
About the Chemical Heritage Foundation
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. Access to the Othmer Library at CHF and to many collections and educational materials is available at www.chemheritage.org.