Member Spotlight: Meet Fred Holzhauer

Member Spotlight is a regular INFORM magazine column that features members who play critical roles in AOCS.

Fred Holzhaur at Sonoma Plaza in 2017
Fred Holzhaur at Sonoma Plaza in 2017, just prior to going on stage at the weekly Valley of the Moon Certified Farmers’ Market, for an audience of around 2,000 persons.
Fast Facts
Name Fred Holzhauer
Joined AOCS 1991
Education B.Sc. in metallurgical engineering from the Colorado School of Mines (Golden, Colorado, USA)
Job title Technical Marketing Manager
Employer Brenntag Group (Santa Fe Springs, California, USA)
Current AOCS involvement Presenter, 2018 AOCS Annual Meeting


What’s a typical day like for you?

My days vary a lot. In general, as a professional product developer, being a tech rep at a chemical distributor is like playing in the biggest sandbox with the most toys: You are expected to show the younger kids which tools work best for the kind of castle they are building. You get to design your own castles and work on them with your friends. And adults honor your needs; they listen when you ask for other toys for the next castle.

My favorite part of my job is…

Imparting the craft to eager folk and taking care of the planet while I do it. (They don’t teach what we do in school.)

Flash back to when you were 10 years old. What did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to build rockets and went crazy with model rockets for years.

Why did you decide to do the work you are doing now?

Because I get to help people grow and I get to do meaningful work for the planet. Further, I get to fix or build things and I have fun doing all of it.

Is there an achievement or contribution you are most proud of? Why?

I was pretty much the poster child for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (yah, it’s real). Surviving a disciplined engineering school like the Colorado School of Mines was a stratospheric reach for me. I’m glad for the great education there, as well as the senses of growth, realization, and relief that came with the accomplishment.

What event, person, or life experience has had the most influence on the direction of your life?

Hands down, that goes to my Dad. He was an engineer and machinist; he taught me how to fix almost anything. And fishing…



How do you relax after a hard day of work?

I read something every day and get outdoors for something. I also like to cook. Plus, I’ll do a couple Sudoku puzzles before I retire.

What is the most impressive thing you know how to do?

I’m a fairly skilled guitarist, still appearing in regional bands.

What skill would you like to master?

So many to choose from… I’d like to pick up a language by immersing for a while in another country.

What are some small things that make your day better?

Speaking with an industry friend on the phone brightens my day. An uninterrupted block of time makes for a hugely good lab day.

What are you looking forward to in the coming months?


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