Five ACC execs leave

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) announced the departure of five senior staff members yesterday, and new President and CEO Jack Gerard said he plans to announce a broad restructuring of the group later this week.

Leaving are Charles Van Vlack, an executive vice president who plans to retire after 25 years at the ACC; Rodney Lowman, another executive vice president who will become president of the Abundant Forest Alliance; Courtney Price, a vice president who plans to retire; Terry Yosie, a vice president who will enter the private sector; and Clifford Howlett, a vice president and executive director to the Chlorine Chemistry Council who plans to retire. 

The departures come five months after Gerard joined the ACC.

The association’s board hired Gerard away from the National Mining Association (NMA) to reinvigorate the ACC, which some lobbyists report had been struggling from internal disputes among its membership following the absorption of the American Plastics Council in 2002.

Member companies complained that the merger did not result in cost savings as significant as they had hoped and that the group was not sufficiently aggressive in lobbying Congress for some relief from high natural gas prices.

Four major member companies left in the last two years. Gerard has sought out the executives of the four companies as part of an effort to get them to rejoin the group.

Details of the restructuring were not released yesterday. Gerard is to announce them Friday. While at the NMA, Gerard cut staff from 70 people to 30 people.