CINCINNATI — Rick Shook is retiring from Pilot Chemical Co. after nearly 40 years, most recently serving as Vice President of Research and Development.
Shook spent his entire career in research and development, joining Pilot’s Santa Fe Springs facility in California as a Chemist in December 1978 and serving in roles over the years that included Lab Supervisor, Lab Manager, Corporate Technical Manager and Director of Research. In his role as Vice President of Research and Development, Shook was responsible for technology and innovation activities, including new products and new process developments.
“When I started at Pilot, I was 25 years old with a brand new master’s degree and a pregnant wife,” Shook said. “I was thrilled just to have a research job. I never dreamed it would last me 40 years, b the job has been continuously challenging and renewing, with something new always coming down the pike.”
Shook recalled two of the most satisfying projects he worked on. Early in his career, Shook helped develop Pilot’s Aristonate products, oil-soluble sulfonates used in the manufacture of metalworking fluids, which have wide usage in industries including automotive. He also played a key role in Pilot’s Calfax line of disulfonate products, which are used extensively in the manufacture of latex for paint, pressure-sensitive adhesives and more. Pilot is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of both oil-soluble sulfonates and disulfonate products.