According to Gerry Gough, The Heckel Award committee chair, Hille was selected for his extraordinary service and efforts during a period of major transition. "Rick offered strong and effective leadership in serving as the FSCT's president by providing the impetus for the new governance structure to be put into place," he said. "While the efforts to make these changes happen were supported by and involved many other people, it was Rick's drive and enthusiasm that made it all happen."
Established in 1951, The George Baugh Heckel Award is considered the most prestigious of FSCT awards, honoring an individual whose contributions to the organization have been outstanding. The award is dedicated to the memory of George Baugh Heckel, who first formed the Federation as a collection of individual societies over 80 years ago. Heckel served as temporary chairman when the Federation was organized in 1922 and as secretary for many years thereafter.
A member of the coatings industry for 38 years, Hille has been employed as vice president of operations by The Flood Company since 1996. Previously, Hille held the position of technical director and eventually vice president of manufacturing for United Coatings, Inc. Prior to that he held management positions with the Tru-Test Paint Division of True Value Hardware. Hille graduated with a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Kansas in 1968.