HOUSTON (June 10, 2011)—Richard J. “Dick” Killian, 72, the first managing director of the International Institute of Synthetic Rubber Producers' promoted from the group's administrative staff, died May 25 after a long illness.
Killian retired in 1999 after a two-year stint in the top position with the organization, capping a 14-year career with the IISRP. All his predecessors as managing director came from the synthetic rubber industry.
He took MD post after a reorganization of the institute, which represents most of the world's SR producers. In an interview in Taipei, Taiwan, in 1999, where the IISRP held its Annual General Meeting that year, Killian talked about the changes instituted during his tenure, including better communication and responsiveness with the members, a streamlining of the administration, creation of websites and improved finances and an annual meeting program.
“Sweat equity is the largest contribution made in this organization,” Killian said. “The level of volunteerism is so high—that's the secret of its success. It's not just showing up at the big events.”
Killian came to the IISRP after a career in the international oil sector. Following service in the U.S. Army and graduating from Georgetown University with a bachelor's degree in foreign service international affairs, he joined Gulf Oil Co.
He spent 20 years with Gulf Oil, mostly in overseas assignments, and worked in Venezuela, London and Greece, as well as Virginia, Pittsburgh and Houston. He was working at Sun Oil Co. when he joined the IISRP as administrative manager.
Killian was deputy managing director of the IISRP when he succeeded Conrad J. Jankowski in 1997 as managing director. When Killian retired, he was succeeded by James L. McGraw, who also moved up from the IISRP staff, where he was deputy managing director.
Killian retired to his ranch in Hamilton County, Texas.
He is survived by his wife of 44 years, Janet “Tag” Killian; sons Samuel, Luke and Matthew; daughter, Sarah Tenney; brother Thomas Killian; and several grandchildren.
The family asked that memorial contributions be made to the Hamilton General Hospital Healthcare Foundation, P.O. Box 788, Hamilton, Texas 76531.