Airgas Inc. chairman and CEO Peter McCausland was awarded the Chemists’ Club’s Winthrop-Sears Medal during a ceremony held April 9 at the Chemical Heritage Foundation in Philadelphia as part of its annual Heritage Day event. The award was established in 1970 to recognize individuals who, by their entrepreneurial action, have contributed to the vitality of the chemical industry and the betterment of humanity. McCausland’s acceptance speech highlighted the importance of an organization’s culture as a driver of success.
In introducing McCausland, Chemical Heritage Foundation chancellor Arnold Thackray said, “Peter saw opportunities no one else saw. Beginning with the first of 400 acquisitions, by sheer persistence, entrepreneurship and ingenuity, he has built a $4 billion business.”
“The secret to our organization’s success lies in its culture,” noted McCausland during his speech. “We became the leader of the U.S. packaged gas business by employing a customer-centric approach to local decision making and giving our Airgas associates the autonomy, responsibility, and resources to create value. We have built a platform for growth second to none, all supported by the people who make up the best team in the business.”
Named in honor of two of colonial America’s earliest chemical entrepreneurs, John Winthrop Jr. and John Sears, the Winthrop-Sears Medal is awarded by The Chemists’ Club in association with the Chemical Heritage Foundation. Medalists include Sol J. Barer, Herbert W. Boyer, Gordon Cain, Robert W. Gore, Jon M. Huntsman, James Mack, Ralph Landau, Leonard Pool, George Rosenkranz, Zsolt Rumy, Phillip A. Sharp, Harold A. Sorgenti, Daniel Terra, Haldor Topsøe, and Alejandro Zaffaroni.
About Airgas Inc.
Airgas, through its subsidiaries, is the largest U.S. distributor of industrial, medical and specialty gases, and hardgoods, such as welding equipment and supplies. Airgas is also one of the largest U.S. distributors of safety products, the largest U.S. producer of nitrous oxide and dry ice, the largest liquid carbon dioxide producer in the Southeast, and a leading distributor of process chemicals, refrigerants, and ammonia products. More than 14,000 employees work in more than 1,100 locations, including branches, retail stores, gas fill plants, specialty gas labs, production facilities and distribution centers.