2000 Distinguished Service Award: John Schremp

// Chemical & Biological Engineering

Tags: alumni, CBE E-Day, Engineers' Day, John Schremp

Share this story:

John E. Schremp Jr.
President, Firestone Polymers; President, Firestone Natural Rubber Co.
Corporate VP & Officer, Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc.
BSChE ’72

In 1969, John Schremp, Jr. was working on his PhD in English from UW-Madison when he did an educational about-face and enrolled as a chemical engineering undergraduate. Little did he know that 20 years later his job would take him to Liberia, where in the middle of the country’s civil war, he would be whisked at machine gun-point into the jungle to meet a rebel leader.

Then director of raw materials for Bridgestone/ Firestone, Inc., Schremp was responsible for decisions regarding the company’s Liberian rubber plantation–the largest rubber plantation in the world. Although the plantation suffered damage, in the end, Schremp helped recover it and ensure its employees were safe.

Now president of both Firestone Polymers and Firestone Natural Rubber Co., Schremp oversees nearly 6,000 employees at the company’s headquarters in Akron, Ohio, production facilities in Louisiana and Texas and the Liberian plantation. In addition, he is responsible for ships that transport cargo to and from Europe, Africa and South America, and has learned maritime law and procedures, international labor contract policies and international port regulations.

Schremp began his career with Bridgestone/Firestone in 1972, just three weeks after he received his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering. At the same time, he enrolled at the University of Akron and earned his MS in chemical engineering in 1977. Schremp also holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English literature.

Currently he is a board member of the International Institute of Synthetic Rubber Producers, the local American Red Cross and the Boy Scouts of America. An avid golfer, Schremp also enjoys reading–especially history. The Schremps’ daughter, Caitlin, 24, is a mechanical engineer. With his wife, Mary Jane, Schremp lives in Hudson, Ohio.