The Chemical Association of Pittsburgh

has a long tradition of delivering events that not only bring members together but also increase awareness on the most relevant topics to the industry. These events range from networking cocktail hours, golf events, holiday parties to industry specific guest speaker luncheons. This long-established non-profit organization has gone through some changes since its inception in 1956 yet one thing has stayed true; the idea to bring people together to improve the understanding and appreciation of the chemical and allied industries.

The idea of forming a chemical sales group in Pittsburgh was first discussed in February of 1956 at a luncheon attended by Arthur Thompson, Gus Esselen, Walter Bauer, John Fox and Jess McCorkle. At that meeting it was unanimously agreed to organize a group with would foster and promote interest in chemical selling.

The first regular luncheon meeting was held at the Pittsburgh Playhouse on March 2, 1956, with twenty-three prospective members in attendance. In April, it was decided by majority vote that regular meetings would be held on the first Friday of each month and that the official name of the group would be the Chemical Sales Association of Pittsburgh.


On November 16, 1956, the first officers were elected to serve for a one-year period through December 31, 1957. By-laws were adopted on February 22, 1957, with a provision that all applicants elected to membership in the Association prior to this date would be designated as Charter Members. It is a tribute to everyone concerned that fifty-four individuals qualified for Charter Membership under this ruling.

The Chemical Sales Association progressively grew into the 1960s. A few years into the decade, however, saw the very existence of the Association threatened by serious external pressures stemming from Federal Government scrutiny of trade-related organizations. The Association endured these trying times by continuing to meet its commitment to the original charter.

This same sense of commitment during the decade of the ’60s was extended to the Pittsburgh academic community. For several years the Association sponsored awards for Chemical Industry related projects, exhibited by area students, at the Buhl Planetarium Science Fair.


In 1967, the Association turned its attention to civic interests and met with the two other area Chemical organizations to establish an event that recognized the importance or the Chemical Industry to the Pittsburgh community. The event known as Pittsburgh Chemical Day has grown each year under the direction of APACO (Associated Pittsburgh Area Chemical Organizations) in which the Chemical Sales Association took on the leadership role.

As the Chemical Sales Association evolved through the 1970s, the organization realized a need to adapt to the times and in 1979 changed its official name to the Chemical Association of Pittsburgh. From this point on the Association would invite the participation of representatives from all functions of the Chemical Industry including administration, manufacturing, and marketing. Likewise, the move demonstrated the Association’s willingness to involve allied industries as well.

In 2013, the Chemical Association of Pittsburgh made a bold move to show commitment and willingness to involve the allied industries by including a one-year membership to anyone who participated in Pittsburgh Chemical Day (PCD) that year. Attendees to PCD now had access to additional networking opportunities throughout the year. This initiative was such a huge success that Chemical Association of Pittsburgh has continued it since.

Make the most out of your membership by sharing your talents and experience! 

All members are welcome to volunteer for any activity including Pittsburgh Chemical Day. Become an integral part of the planning and execution of the industry’s most recognized event.

For more information on how you can volunteer, please contact Rob McCourt at

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© Chemical Association of Pittsburgh 2020