2003 Distinguished Service Award: Ronald Schuh

// Chemical & Biological Engineering

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Ronald J. Schuh
Executive Vice President
Source XL

Ronald Schuh took the road less traveled to the executive ranks of a major U.S. chemical company — Oxychem. Most chemical engineers start their career in manufacturing, sales or marketing. Schuh chose the procurement side because he realized great leverage could be had in large corporations if purchasing people were as technically knowledgeable as the sales/marketing people that call on them.

Over the last 38 years, Schuh’s leadership roles expanded to include a diverse group of process industries — paper, agchem, specialty and commodity chemicals. For example, in 1977 at International Paper Co., he directed procurement responsibilities and led a team in optimizing the supply chain structure by applying advanced technologies to drive business processes. As a result, IBM recognized Schuh as an innovator in the design of optimization applications.

Schuh started his career as an assistant buyer for Archer Daniels Midland Company and progressed to senior purchasing responsibilities at Beatrice Chemical Corporation., International Paper and Oxychem. Later, he was appointed executive vice president of petrochemicals and specialty businesses at Oxychem.

Schuh retired from Oxychem in 2001 but not from the chemical industry. His career continues as a consultant to several companies. He is a board member of Damon Disposal LTD., and an executive vice president for Source XL (originally Chem XL), an electronic marketplace geared toward chemical purchasing professionals. Source XL allows buyers to research and electronically source chemical requirements. As success of the young company spread, Source XL expanded to meet the needs of nonchemical-based customers.

A Manitowoc native, Schuh earned his BS in chemical engineering from UW-Madison in 1965, an MBA from the University of Dayton in 1974, and a graduate degree from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in 1981. He has been on the board of directors for several industry associations; NAPM, NPRA, World Chrome Association and SOCMA.

Ron and his wife Jo have been married 38 years. They live in Dallas, Texas and have three children, Jackie, Mark and Nicki. Schuh’s main interests include golf, baseball, travel and backyard astronomy with his grandchildren.