Historical Highlights

The Sales Association of the Chemical Industry was founded on September 7, 1921 at the Chemists’ Club of New York.  The 94 charter members were all leaders in the marketing areas of the growing chemical industry. SACI was incorporated in New York in 1944 under the name “The Salesmen’s Association of the American Chemical Industry, Inc.” as a not-for-profit organization. The name of the association was changed to “The Sales Association of the Chemical Industry, Inc.” in 1973 resulting from a decision to open the membership both to women and to members of the international chemical network.       


  • The Salesmen’s Association of the American Chemical Industry, Inc. was founded with 94 salesmen.


  • Member dues were $5


  • October: The Association decides to underwrite the expense of the Chemical Peddler
  • December:  Christmas party charge of $6 included liquid refreshment but these were restricted to “a short period before the Dinner”


  • September 6-7: Outing at Shawnee Country Club, Shawnee-on-Delaware, PA to celebrate 20th Anniversary


  • April: First SACI quarterly publication was launched, called “Jeeps & Peeps”, at a printing cost of $15
  • December: After deciding to hold the Annual Christmas Party, it was agreed that proceeds from the event be donated to a charitable organization directly related with the war effort


  • April: First annual “Fight Night” at the Downtown Athletic Club


  • June: SAACI was incorporated in New York


  • April: SAACI hired Bernie Guth as the association’s first official photographer


  • April: First mention of scholarship activities in meeting minutes


  • SAACI appoints Paul B. Slawter, Jr. administrative assistant and Mr. Slawter’s office at 205 East 42nd Street
  • 205 East 42nd street becomes first official headquarters of the Association


  • January: Membership reached 550
  • October: 28th Annual Meeting at the Hotel Roosevelt featured entitled “Chemical Nonsense,” produced and directed by Jack Henry and Jerry McGinty and presented in form of a three act play
  • December: Membership reached 610


  • January: Net worth of the Association was reported at $17,550.34
  • January: SAACI held its first sales clinic under Ralph L. Ericsson, Chairman of the Educational Committee.


  • SAACI celebrated 30th anniversary
  • Constitution was revised and employment committee established. 


  • Special functions and sales clinic committees established
  • Special functions committee organized choral group of SAACI members to entertain at golf outings and the annual meeting
  • January: Membership recorded at 800.


  • President Robert J. Milano instituted practice of decentralization and delegation within committees and Board and established separate bank accounts for each committee with separate chairman, treasurer and secretary
  • SAACI Slants introduced under Mr. Milano
  • November: First buffet dinner dance at the Terrace Room and Palm Court of Plaza Hotel


  • Proposal to provide Emeritus class of membership for retirees, which later became part of the Constitution and By-Laws
  • January: SAACI had 13 operating committees: Admissions, Auditing, Blood Bank, Chemical Peddler, Employment, Entertainment, Golf, Honorary and Life Membership, Publicity, Sales Clinic, Special Functions, Welfare and SAACI Slants
  • April: Welfare committee proposed group insurance, finally got approval in 1995 after years of presentations to the board


  • Employment committee eliminated practice of circulating resumes of unemployed members, instead maintaining mailing list of key contacts and influencers for possible employment of unemployed
  • January: Junior accountant hired to handle SAACI books, through 1965 when CPA accounting firm of Jules Peretz & Assoc. was engaged
  • October: Sales clinic combined with Annual Meeting, SAACI administrative assistant volunteered to take over Peddler responsibility under President J. F. Henry 


  • SAACI explored possibility of setting up national society
  • January: Five golf outings recommended by Board to Golf chairman; Golf Friday luncheon was held March 15 at Waldorf Astoria
  • October: Fifth SAACI sales clinic held at Commodore Hotel; Committee of Tomorrow proposed new permanent committee of past presidents
  • October: SAACI educational program set-up to encourage young men to enter chemical sales


  • Membership at 801
  • Peddler Committee given $3,500 budget
  • September: Board approved new Scholarship Program to offer two $500 scholarships, one each in NY and NJ



  • Paul Slawter assigned editor of Chemical Peddler
  • SACI held first golf clinic


  • Sports Night at Toots Shore Bar
  • Annual Meeting at Hotel Commodore
  • Annual Dinner Dance at the Waldorf Astoria
  • Scholarship program continued at Columbia University.
  • January: SAACI net worth reported at $27,694.37
  • February: SAACI helped underwrite cost of TV program on Science Day showing fundamentals of chemistry throughout New York area


  • March: IRS reconfirmed SAACI exempt status described in Section 501 (c) 6 of Internal Revenue Code of 1954


  • Chemical Buyers Group of National Association of Purchasing Agents invited SAACI to join in sponsoring combined luncheon in early 1961


  • First four-year $500/year scholarship approved for son/daughter of SAACI member
  • Three $500 outside scholarships continued
  • February: 592 attendees at the joint one-day conference of SAACI and Chemical Buyers Group at the Roosevelt Hotel


  • Six jobs posted under Employment Committee with no applicants available
  • Breakfast meetings introduced
  • “This is SAACI” booklet for prospective members produced
  • Congressman Hugh Casey chosen as guest speaker for Annual Meeting
  • First winner of scholarship for child of SAACI member, Mary Cunningham, whose father was with Virginia Pulp & Paper Co.


  • Committee of Tomorrow initiated program where SAACI members received discounts on car purchases and rentals
  • Three open scholarships placed at Columbia, Rutgers and Brooklyn Polytechnic
  • Suggestion made to change the name to “Marketing Association of the Chemical Industry” but no action was taken
  • December: Career Day held after an ad “An open letter about SAACI” was published in Oil, Paint & Drug Reporter –250 in attendance.
  • December: Publicity Committee recommended outside PR organization handle the improvement of SAACI image


  • December: 10% increase in membership reported: 1100 members


  • Six golf outings scheduled from May through September
  • Record attendance of 2300 at Christmas party
  • January: Honorary membership awarded to Mr. Joseph M. Wafer (President in 1939) at the Annual Induction Meeting


  • Activities included six golf outings, Sports Night, Spring and Fall dances, Christmas party, Annual and Fall luncheons, Education Breakfast Meeting, Joint Salesman-Purchasing meeting
  • Vice President title changed to President-Elect to establish continuity in chairs
  • Four $500 scholarships for sons/daughters of SAACI members awarded
  • Two $1000 external scholarships, renewable by recommendation to the Board awarded


  • Survey on “costs of selling” completed and sent to VIP mailing list, also published in Chemical Week magazine
  • 25,000 copies of booklet “Careers in Chemical Marketing” printed and offered through Dean and Placement Director of ACS accredited schools for chemistry and chemical engineering for distribution to seniors and graduate students
  • Booklent also sent to SAACI VIP list
  • SAACI tie-tacks awarded to all members with 25 years or more of service


  • January membership at 947
  • Member scholarship winners reported: 1965 – Ronald Surkin; 1966 – George Schmidt; 1967 – Thomas Cleary Jr.; 1968 – Edmund Fallon
  • Golf committee reported proceeds of $1,010 serving 1997 members and guests
  • Mr. Ira Vandewter, retired chair of R. W. Greff and Co, made honorary member after being member for 40 years and serving as president in 1931
  • October: Education Committee sponsored Merrill Mueller of NBC News as guest speaker of Annual Meeting


  • Budget for 12 month ended Jan 1971 projected at $35,900, surplus (if) of $2000 to be transferred to education fund;
  • Agnes Varis, President of Agvar Chemicals, applied for membership, turned down because by-laws allowing male members only
  • Up for consideration: removing “American” from SAACI name


  • First “Man of Year” award to Robert J. Milano, 1953 president


  • Board meetings and other SAACI events moved from Chemists’ Club to NJ sites
  • official approval to admit women into SAACI (239 of 394 responding to SACI questionnaire)
  • Sports Night featured Chip Cippola, Ralph Branca, and Bobby Thompson


  • Membership totaled 818
  • Buyers’ Guide issued
  • October: SAACI officially became SACI, Sales Association of the Chemical Industry, at the Annual Meeting, allowing foreign chemical company representatives as members


  • Joint meeting of the Chemical Group, SACI and NAPM drew 800 people to Waldorf Astoria
  • Second edition of “Cost of Selling” survey published


  • Membership at 770
  • Dr. Joseph Benedict, head of the school of Pharmaceutical and Chemical Marketing at Fairleigh-Dickinson, became advisor and judge of SACI scholarships
  • Events included regular 5 golf outings, Christmas party, Sports Night, Education Day, and Joint Mid-Winter Conference


  • SACI honored 19 25-year members
  • Associate member classification adopted to admit members from beyond New York and New Jersey


  • Sports Night moved to Sheraton, NY
  • Christmas party at the NY Hilton
  • Dinner dance at the Manor
  • Joint meeting with NAPM at Waldorf


  • “Man of the Year” award renamed to “Professional of the Year” award
  • Fall conference subject was “Careers for Women in the Chemical and Allied Industries”


  • Singer at Christmas Party at the Grand ballroom of the Waldorf Astoria was Helen


  • Distribution of booklet “Careers in Chemical Marketing” reached 35,000 Alan King featured comedian at the Christmas party
  • NAPM/SACI topic was “The Chemical Industry in Society–Friend or Foe?”


  • Helen Ann Pubylski of Hoffmann-LaRoche was elected first female SACI secretary
  • Two honorary members named: Robert Milano of Millmaster Onyx and 1953 president; and William Wishnick, Chairman of Witco Corp.


  • Don Douglas, President of Fiat Chemicals, became SACI’s president (Donald’s father, Charles V. Douglas, was president in 1950)
  • Other Father-Son presidents: Edward Bush, 1952 and father B. T. Bush in 1921; Bill and Felix Rizzolo, 1975


  • Helen Ann Pubylski became first female SACI President
  • Vincent Ursino addressed the Younger Chemists Group at Seton Hall University from the SACI Speakers Bureau group


  • Continuous program of seminars established, including Successful Selling Skills, Introduction to Negotiating Tactics, and Psychology of Selling
  • L.E. Polite named 15th Professional of the Year


  • SACI headquarters changed from Chemist’s Club to West Paterson, NJ Joan Bucello hired to assist Paul Slawter in administrative work for SACI
  • First female, Helen Ann Pubylski, elected as Professional of the Year 


  • Education Conference at Marriott Saddle Brook subject was “1990 and Beyond – the Best and the Worst” and featured Patrick P. McCurdy, former editor of ChemicalWeek, L. Robert Warren, Editor of Chemical Business and Leonard Bogner, former Chemical Week Associate Editor


  • Largest SACI outing took place at Montclair Golf Club 24 amendments made to SACI Constitution and By-laws, including new SACI anti-trust policy SACI dues raised to $75 for regular members
  • Vincent P. Ursino, CEO of Vinchem and 1980 SACI president named Professional of the Year


  • “All proceeds are payable to the SACI Educational Trust Fund” added to all tickets for Association activities to help with NY and NJ tax exemptions
  • Terrence Connelly, President of Generichem, named Professional of the Year


  • Long-time SACI photographer of 28 years, Tony Statile, diet at age 81
  • Joe Sharp of Allis Sharp Photography started his SACI partnership


  • Donald Douglas, head of Fiat Chemicals and 1984 SACI President, was appointed Executive Director
  • SACI headquarters moved to Piscataway


  • Scholarship stipends were doubled to two four-year $1,000/yearscholarships Plastic member cards issued
  • Paul Slawter honored at annual luncheon for his service to SACI since 1948


  • SACI took on new management team, Alampi and Associates Headquarters moved to Springfield, NJ Donald Douglas named honorary member Education seminar subject was “ISO 9000” at the Saddlebrook Marriott Merchandise Center of America catalog for members-only bargains added to SACI member services\ Gwen Johnson, Kramer Chemicals, became SACI “Slants” columnist First “Day at the Races” held at Monmouth Park
  • Two new programs, Career Opportunities and member insurance, introduced 


  • Bob Lanino named honorary member “This is SACI” revised and printed
  • William Rizzolo of Kramer Chemicals named Professional of the Year


  • James H. Clarke of Colorite Polymers was named president of SACI
  • Robert J. Zutic was named Professional of the Year


  • SACI scholarship revamped to benefit SACI member companies First annual Casino Sports Night Kathy Gianetti awarded Professional of the Year
  • NJ economic development highlighted at the Annual Meeting morning seminar.


  • Daniel Canavan, DB Becker Co., awarded Professional of the Year SACI makes $1,000 donation to Toys for Tots
  • Second Annual Casino Sports Night at the Sheraton Meadowlands


  • Connecticut Chemists’ Club closed its doors and sent its membership list to SACI as an alternative association George DePasquale awarded Professional of the Year
  • Three SACI members passed away – Lester Koch, member of SACI’s 50 Year Club; Arthur Brown, CEO of Brown Chemical Co.; and 1986 Professional of the Year, James Farley, International Minerals & Chemicals


  • Professional of the Year award renamed to Paul B. Slawter Award to recognize a great SACI contributor
  • March: First Annual Industry Leadership Award presented to Charles Hinnant of Charkit Chemical at the Induction Luncheon


  • Second Annual Industry Leadership Award presented to Kramer Chemicals at the March Induction Luncheon
  • Dues increased to $120 for regular members


  • Third Annual Industry Leadership Award presented to TR Metro at the March Induction Luncheon Constitution and By-Laws revised to reduce number of directors from 12 to 10 Number of committees reduced to include Activities, Golf, Admissions, Fellowship,”Slants”/Publicity, Career Opportunities and Calendar Review
  • Ad Hoc committees include Awards, Tellers and Past Presidents.


  • Constitution and By-Laws revised to reduce number of directors from 10 to 8


  • Erich Bodnar was President and appointed Frank Wuertz as Treasurer.  SACI was broke. We were hemorrhaging money.  The contracted accounting firm was fired and replaced. Extraneous and unaffordable programs that did not benefit the SACI membership were eliminated. We moved the Holiday party from NYC to New Jersey. The number of annual Golf Outings were reduced.  We started using the New York Giants football tickets as an income producer ,rather than giving them away at SACI events as door prizes.
  • The Board of Directors voted that we would not hold any SACI event, unless we knew we would make a profit.  Every SACI event would have to pay for itself or be eliminated.



  • The Board of Directors indefinitely suspended the election of annual officers and appointed David Volosin Chairman of SACI, AKA: “Chairman for Life” and retained Frank Wuertz as Controller and Treasurer.
  • A decision was taken by the Board of Directors to fire the external management firm and become a “Working Board”.  Each SACI Board member now is also the Chairman of their own committee responsible for the success and running of their own events or areas of responsibility.


  • SACI Celebrates it Centennial Anniversary.  Happy Anniversary – SACI.