The 2018/2019 Samson-Adler Awards, were presented by Eunice Leung, president and program co-chair (Los Angeles) at the 2019 Western Coatings Show in Las Vegas. This distinguished award is given to an individual from the Western US or a Western Canadian company who has made a significant contribution to the coatings industry throughout their career.
Membership/participation in their local society or the WCS is considered but is not a pre-requisite. The nominee’s contributions can be either technical or business. They may be currently employed or retired.
Samson Adler Award Winners
Kevin O'Leary began his career in the Paint and Coatings Industry in the Seattle/Tacoma area. He began at Todd Chemical/Enterprizes in 1976 after serving four years in the US Air Force. He worked there until 1982. He moved to Portland in 1982 to work for John Daller II at McCloskey Varnish Company. He worked there until 1990 when it was sold to McWhorter. In 1991 he went to work for Miller Paint Company. He followed Daller as technical director for Miller Paint in 2008.
O'Leary became an active member of the PNWSCT in 1982. He spent eight years on the Board, two of which as president. He was a committee member of several PNWSCT Symposiums. He chaired the 2010 Show in Portland. He taught a Paint Basics Course at two of those Symposiums.
He is a past technical chairman of the Guild CPO and Color Guild.
O'Leary has put together many industry golf tournaments over the years. He has chaired the Annual Portland Charity Classic for Make-A-Wish for the past 25 years. That golf tournament has helped raise more than $105,000 for that charity.
His hobbies include golf and his house, which has been in the remodel state since 1995. He has three children and five grandchildren. O'Leary hopes to retire within two years. He hopes to continue to support the industry and charities.
James F. Calkin, retired VP at the HORN Company, first became an ACA Member in 1966 and spent 50 years as a member. During that time he served on both ACA’s Industry Suppliers Committee and the Architectural Coatings Committee for 25 years.
Raised in New York City, he graduated in 1962 with a bachelor’s degree in Economics and History from Columbia University. Calkin served as an infantry officer in the U.S. Marine Corps which included a tour in Vietnam. In 1966 he joined the Sherwin-Williams Company’s Container division. In 1967 he went to work for the Titanium Pigment Division of NL Industries until 1973. Calkin then joined Borden Chemical and stayed until 1977, followed by five years at Reichhold Chemical. In 1983 he joined E.T. Horn where he remained until retiring in March 2017.
Calkin has been a stalwart supporter of the coatings industries a member of the Los Angeles Society for Coatings Technology (LASCT) for 50 years, during which he served on the society’s Board of Directors from 1987 to 1993; and president from 1990 to 1991. For his dedication to the coating industry, he earned an Honorary Membership from the society in 2017. He also helped establish the coatings program at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and serves as a member of its Industrial Advisory Committee.
Calkin was presented with the Industry Statesman Award by the American Coatings Association in April 2018.