2021 SOS

Keynote Speaker

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John Gilbert was born and raised locally in the Cleveland, Ohio area; he is a graduate of Brush High School in the South Euclid/Lyndhurst school system.  He attended the College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio, receiving BA degree in chemistry in 1980.  He continued his education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, receiving the Ph. D. degree in 1984.  After a one-year postdoctoral assignment at the University of Michigan, John joined BASF Corporation in Southfield, Michigan in 1985.  John spent 22 years in the automotive coatings area at BASF, working in various product development roles in electrodeposition coatings, primers, basecoats and clearcoats.  From 1990 to 1992, John was assigned to BASF’s European automotive coatings group in Muenster, Germany.


In 2007, John joined Behr Process Corporation in Santa Ana, CA.  His current position is Chief Research and Development Officer.  Under John’s direction, the Behr team released the Premium Plus Ultra Interior and the Marquee Interior, and Marquee Exterior lines.  Other recent product releases from his group include several pro contractor paint lines, a stain-blocking ceiling paint, a deck restoration product, a roof coating line and an all-acrylic exterior stain line.


John and his wife Carol live in sunny Orange, California as happily displaced Midwesterners, enjoying occasional visits from their three sons, two daughters-in-law and five grandchildren.  In his infrequent spare time, John enjoys running, biking, nature observation and playing acoustic guitar and electric bass.


Chief R&D Officer

Behr Process Corporation

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2021 SOS

Plenary Speaker



Director, Innovation & Materials Technology

Performance Coatings Group

The Sherwin-Williams Company

Title: “ Why We Paint:  

Yesterday, Today and Into the Future”

Paint and coatings have had an important role throughout history in beautifying and protecting the world around us.  What and how we paint continues to evolve with the reasons why we paint grounded in common yet progressing themes.  Exploring the what, how, and why we paint of yesterday and today can guide the next wave of opportunities and scientific advancement in the future of paint and coatings. 


Speaker Biography:

As an R&D leader in the coatings industry for over 16 years, Terri Ziegler has been driving innovation from ideation to commercialization in a variety of automotive and industrial coatings markets.  In her current role as Director of Innovation and Materials Science for the Sherwin-Williams Performance Coatings Group, Terri and her team develop and connect emerging technology and scientific capabilities to the current and future needs of the diverse end users our businesses serve.  She holds a BS in Chemistry from Allegheny College and a PhD in Organic Chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh.