WASHINGTON — The American Coatings Association (ACA) presented Christopher (Chris) M. Connor, Executive Chairman of The Sherwin-Williams Co., with the George Baugh Heckel Award — the association’s highest honor. Connor was recognized for his leadership efforts on behalf of the association and the industry. He received the award during ACA’s Awards Reception & Dinner, which is held prior to the 2016 American Coatings Show in Indianapolis.

A former ACA Chairman, Vice Chairman and member of the Board of Directors, and Executive Committee, Connor’s tenure as ACA Chairman marked a period of robust growth and notable milestones for the association, including the merger with the former Federation of Societies for Coatings Technology, and establishment of the association’s identity as ACA, formerly the National Paint and Coatings Association.

Under Connor’s leadership, ACA formally established PaintCare®, the industry’s trailblazing paint product stewardship program, and completed its first year of operations in Oregon, while gaining approval for the establishment of the program in two additional states. His chairmanship also marked the expansion of the association’s focus on international affairs and sustainability. Under his direction, ACA formed a new International Affairs Committee for the membership to engage in the sharing of information on issues affecting the industry outside the United States. Additionally, his guidance helped shepherd a new Sustainability Policy that was adopted globally through the International Paint and Printing Ink Council, ACA’s Sustainability programming and messaging, as well as a new Green Building Workgroup to address members’ needs in this then-burgeoning area. And during his tenure, the association launched and hosted the global coatings industry leadership conference, holding a record-breaking Coatings Summit in Washington.

Three industry members received Industry Statesmen Awards during the ACA’s Awards Reception & Dinner. The Industry Statesmen Award is an honor given to individuals at or near retirement, in recognition and appreciation of their long and devoted service to the paint and coatings industry.

The following are ACA’s 2016 Industry Statesmen Award recipients.

  • Chuck Bunch, Executive Chairman of PPG Industries, served as ACA’s Chairman of the Board (2006-2008), Vice Chair (2004-2006), and has been a longstanding member of the board and the association’s Executive Committee. Under his leadership, the association engaged in a broad-reaching strategic planning review, out of which several high-profile association programs were conceived. These programs include the Communications Outreach, Science and Technology, CoatingsConnect, and Legal Issues Tracking and Amicus Programs. During Bunch’s tenure, the association also partnered with Vincentz Network to devise the American Coatings CONFERENCE and SHOW. Additionally, Bunch’s chairmanship oversaw the beginnings of the merger with the Federation of Societies for Coatings Technology, as well as a more active dialogue and participation in the Paint Product Stewardship Institute effort, an impetus for ACA and industry’s PaintCare program. Bunch received ACA’s George Baugh Heckel Award in 2008.
  • Peter Longo, retired Chairman and CEO of California Products Corp., served on ACA’s Board of Directors from 2010 to 2015 and Architectural Coatings Committee from 2009 to 2015. He also served on ACA’s Awards Nominating Committee, Budget and Finance Committee, and was an active member of ACA’s Massachusetts Paint Council. Throughout his tenure on ACA’s board, committees and paint council, Longo offered his expertise and deep knowledge of the industry to help guide the direction of the association’s advocacy and programs.
  • Joseph Tashjian, Executive Vice President of Technology and Purchasing at Ellis Paint Co. — a member of ACA’s 50 Year Club, marking more than 50 years of association membership — has been a longtime participant in many ACA committees, including the Industrial Coatings, AIM VOC, Automotive Refinish and Industrial Air Regulatory Committees. His contributions to the association and industry through his involvement and participation directing the association’s stances and responses to impactful regulatory initiatives has garnered the respect of his peers.

Four industry members received Industry Achievement Awards during the ACA’s Awards Reception & Dinner. The Industry Achievement Award is given in recognition of specific contributions to the paint and coatings industry.

The following are ACA’s 2016 Industry Achievement Award recipients.

  • Scott Thomas, Corporate Director of Environmental Affairs for The Sherwin-Williams Co., is chair of ACA’s Sustainability Committee, and member and former chair of the association’s Environmental Management Committee. Since inception of the Sustainability Committee, Thomas has endeavored to find consensus among the ACA membership to develop a Product Category Rule (PCR) for Architectural Coatings. A PCR provides an agreed upon framework for measuring the environmental impacts of a product based on a defined set of criteria. This allows manufacturers to conduct life cycle assessments of their products in a standardized way, and publish this information in an Environmental Product Declaration, if they so choose.
  • Doug Mazeffa, Environmental Project Manager for The Sherwin-Williams Co., served as chair of ACA’s PCR Workgroup. A leading expert in life cycle assessment and environmental impact analysis, he shared his expertise and helped pioneer ACA’s development of the PCR for Architectural Coatings. From drafting the initial outline, to addressing the technical details of the PCR, Mazeffa created a PCR that will adapt to other coating lines and other industries in the future. Post-PCR publication, he continued to share his knowledge and experience to educate the ACA membership about life cycle assessments and the PCR. Through his stewardship, Mazeffa has positioned the industry as a sustainability leader and continued to advance the industry’s sustainability message.
  • Phil Brondsema, global product steward for Celanese’s Regulatory Affairs, served as chair of ACA’s Coatings Emissions Study Technical Advisory Committee. The board-directed study was undertaken in 2014, in order to gain a deeper understanding of the emissions from interior paint products and the potential impact on indoor air quality. Under Brondesma’s leadership, in 2015, ACA completed its “Continuous Emission Monitoring Protocol” study with the University of Texas at Austin and Berkeley Analytical Laboratories. In summary, the data developed by ACA affirms that the presence of a given volatile compound in paint formulations, at characteristic low levels, does not generally result in harmful levels of exposure for painters and building occupants. Based on the study’s findings, ACA is well on its way to achieving the goals of the project: to strengthen ACA’s advocacy efforts for the development of green building standards and future legislative or regulatory proposals that address indoor air quality concerns and clean air regulations; minimize ongoing testing requirements by clarifying and potentially refining test methods; and develop a predictive tool or model to assist formulators in producing better interior products. Throughout the duration of the study, Brondesma supported the direction of the research, and saw it through to successful completion.
  • Wayne Fast, retired manager of dangerous goods at PPG Industries, served on ACA’s Transportation & Distribution Committee as chair, co-chair and was an active member for over 15 years. In 2014 and 2015, he was instrumental in convincing the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to make important changes to the Special Permits program that impacts the coatings industry, including adopting the provisions of several coatings Special Permits into the regulations, such as the Special Permit utilized by PaintCare transporters, and more reasonable requirements for the fitness review required for Special Permits. In service to the committee and industry, Fast contributed to and participated in the detailed commenting submittal process on varied and numerous DOT transportation rulemakings and regulations.


The American Coatings Association also presented Sandra Chapman, Director of Transportation for The Sherwin-Williams Co.’s Corporate Regulatory Affairs division, with its Industry Excellence Award. The ACA Industry Excellence Award recognizes individuals who have given many years of service to the industry, during which they have served the association and industry through significant technical contributions and/or participation on ACA Issue Management committees.

Chapman is chair, former co-chair and longtime member of ACA’s Transportation & Distribution (T&D) Committee. As T&D Committee chair, she has been instrumental in developing industry positions on legislative and regulatory issues germane to transporting dangerous goods. On behalf of ACA, she testified at a U.S. House of Representatives’ Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearing on the reauthorization of the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act. She has served as a principal industry expert at the National Academy of Sciences’ Transportation Research Board on a study to determine the risks in transportation of small quantities of Class 3 and Class 9 commodities — an effort in which ACA is involved. She has also guided the development of ACA outreach materials for state highway patrol officers who enforce dangerous goods regulations and served as an instructor at their annual meeting. Chapman joined Sherwin-Williams in 1997 and assumed her current role in 2001, in which she provides company-wide guidance and direction on the regulations governing the transport of dangerous goods by all modes of transport domestically and abroad. She also develops and implements Sherwin-Williams’ transportation policies, and provides company education and training in that area.