Ron was born on November 16, 1944 in Wauseon, Ohio and passed away on October 4, 2008 in Sandusky, Ohio following a battle with cancer. He was a native of Archbold, Ohio. Ron is survived by his wife Elaine, son Tim, and daughter Kim, to whom this award is presented in Ron’s honor.
Ron was a 1967 graduate of Bluffton College, where he earned a degree in business. He started work with Marathon Oil in June of that same year. Ron was an executive for the company for 33 years during which time he had considerable and lasting impact on the asphalt industry well beyond Marathon Oil.
He served as Chairman of the Asphalt Institute in 1992 following several years of volunteer service. Ron held many positions including the Primary Director for Marathon and was named to AI’s Board of Directors in 1988. He also served on the Personnel Advisory Committee and was chairman of the Finance Committee in 1990.
Ron’s leadership with the Asphalt Institute helped both the industry and the organization through a number of key issues. As a member of AI’s Board of Directors, Ron participated in the many decisions required to move the Asphalt Institute from its University of Maryland location at College Park, MD to Lexington, KY. The new Asphalt Institute headquarters building was dedicated in early 1990. Earlier, in the late 1980’s, the Institute led the industry efforts to work with many agencies – some internationally, to develop science-based research efforts for the asphalt fumes issues of the day. Agency interest in this came from NIOSH and the Department of Labor domestically and from the International Agency for Research on Cancer internationally.
The Asphalt Institute endured financial stress during 1990-1992 and Ron’s leadership was instrumental in turning conditions around. Five key members resigned at the end of 1990 due to market conditions at the time, so revenues were far less than expected in 1991. This event, coupled with the pending retirement of AI President Gerald Triplett in the spring of 1992 saw AI in transition. Ron’s leadership as Chairman of the Presidential Search Committee led to the hiring of President Edward L. Miller with unanimous Board approval in December of 1991. Ron also established a Policy Task Force to define the new Vision and Mission of the Asphalt Institute with a goal of aligning services and anticipated revenues to rebalance AI’s finances.
In the technical arena, during his tenure, AI’s laboratory won a prestigious contract to develop a training program to interpret the Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP) binder and mix design/analysis system. AI was the lead contractor for this work and was the primary contractor to implement the SHRP asphalt specifications.
At the close of Ron Rupp’s tenure as Chairman of the Asphalt Institute in 1992, the overall mood of the industry and AI members had improved considerably. The Institute was headed in the right direction financially and work on the Policy Task Force reviewing new directions for the organization was on track. Ron continued to serve on AI’s Board as a Director at Large through 1999 and on many of AI’s standing committees as well.
In reviewing Ron Rupp’s career, it is clear that he served as teacher, mentor, colleague and friend to many in our industry. He positively influenced the entire asphalt industry throughout his career, with a lasting impact.