Jean, born in Stretford near Manchester, England, and Brian, born in Sale, Cheshire, England, first arrived in the United States in 1957, Brian to earn an M.S. in physical organic chemistry at the University of Minnesota. They then returned to England where Brian earned his Ph.D. at the University of Leicester. In 1963 they were again in the U.S. with, as Brian put it, “two suitcases and six job interviews,” and from then on, as they both say, they lived the American dream.
Brian worked for many years in research and development and corporate management, serving as senior vice-president at several companies. His focus was on petroleum, plastics, and air separation. He developed patented products, such as anti-corrosion chemicals for oil wells and fire retardants. Well aware of the tension between research and development and marketing, he emphasized innovation within his companies and through professional associations. Later in his career, he served on a number of corporate boards and on public television and YMCA boards.
In 1994 he received an Honorary Doctor of Science from the University of Salford (England) and culminated his career as president of the American Chemical Society.
Jean earned her degree at Burleigh College in Manchester and worked as an executive secretary in Minneapolis and Leicester. Over the years she volunteered at schools and hospitals and served on boards for a hospital and the YWCA, while raising three daughters, who have all had successful professional careers and have given Brian and Jean four grandchildren.
Brian’s work took the family to various states, but they finally settled in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. For the last 25 years they have also lived part-time on Longboat Key. Upon moving to Plymouth Harbor, they became full-time Florida residents.
Between professional and volunteer involvement, Jean and Brian have led busy lives. It has not, however, been all work and no play. They have traveled around the world, with their children when possible. They both enjoy golf, bridge, and reading.
If you have not yet met Jean and Brian, I hope you have a chance to do so soon.