Pilko & Associates Executive Team
Our global team averages more than 38 years of industry experience, and our professionals each have extensive real-world and operational knowledge. They share their thinking, expertise and solutions to develop fresh perspectives and deliver practical advice.
Pilko & Associates was formed in 1980 on a very simple premise—give corporate officers and board members more control of operational/EHS and merger and acquisition risk. From the very start, George recognized and determined to solve the problem of continually escalating energy and chemical company risk, leading to catastrophic incident and financial impact such as reduced profit, fines and reputational and shareholder value loss.
George’s leadership brings unmatched value, customer experience and positive cultural and financial impact to Pilko’s clients. Through his vision, Pilko has emerged as the leading risk advisory firm across numerous industries—delivering rapid, dramatic and sustainable improvement—based on industry-leading best practices, leadership, expertise and skill.
George has grown the Pilko team from a small advisory group in Houston to an international firm with senior-level advisors in 35 countries across six continents. George oversees global responsibilities for sales and marketing, business development and operations, but prides himself on being hands-on and accessible.
Sought after as a speaker and writer, George has published articles in Directors & Boards and ICIS Chemical Business, and he has been quoted in publications that include The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Petroleum Economist and Chemical Week. George currently serves as Chair of the Central Texas Campaign Council for the University of Michigan's $5.3 Billion Capital Campaign and previously served on the Strategic Advisory Council of the Erb Institute at the University of Michigan, Chairman of the Board of the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra (ROCO) and trustee of the Nature Conservancy of Texas. He was named as a finalist for EY’s 2015 Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the Gulf Coast Region.
George earned his bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering and his MBA in Finance from the University of Michigan.
Greg Cochran is Executive Vice President at Pilko & Associates. Greg has worked for over 34 years in the global chemical industry: 20 years for Union Carbide Corporation (UCC, 1981-2001), and then another 14 years for The Dow Chemical Company (Dow, 2001-2015), as Dow merged with UCC in 2001. During his time with UCC/Dow, Greg had the opportunity to work in a variety of different roles and responsibilities including energy and chemical manufacturing, EH&S, supply chain and purchasing. Throughout his career, Greg worked with all levels of the organization, including senior management and Board of Director personnel on a regular basis.
From 2012 to 2015, Greg was the EH&S Executive Director for Sadara Chemical Company site in Jubail, Saudi Arabia. Sadara Chemical is a joint venture company between Saudi Aramco and The Dow Chemical Company. In this role, Greg was responsible for the effective implementation of Sadara’s environment, health and safety programs, and implementation of governance policies and procedures to uphold and enhance Sadara’s corporate social responsibility and public reputation. Greg served as the Secretary of the Health, Safety, Environment and Security Committee of the Sadara Board of Directors from January 2012 to December 2015.
From 2003 to 2011, Greg was the Global Director of Environmental Remediation/EH&S Merger & Acquisitions for Dow Chemical, where he managed the company’s global environmental legacy issues. From 2006 to 2011, Greg also served as the Director for the Michigan Dioxin Initiative for Dow Chemical. Greg reported regularly to the EH&S Committee of the Board of Directors for Dow on a variety of issues from 2006 to 2011.
From 2001 to 2003, Greg was the Production Leader for Dow Chemical, where he supervised the operations and production of Isopropanol and Vinyl Acetate Monomer manufacturing. In addition, Greg served as the Vinyl Acetate Business Manufacturing Leader for that business.
Prior to 2001, Greg worked for Union Carbide Corporation and worked in a variety of functions including Manufacturing, Supply Chain and Purchasing. Greg began his career as a Production Engineer for Union Carbide Corporation in 1981.
Greg earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Louisiana Tech University in 1981, and is a member of Pi Tau Sigma and Tau Beta Pi.
Sven Royall joined Pilko in December 2015 as Managing Director Transaction Services having previously spent 34 years with Royal Dutch Shell in their Chemicals and Natural Gas businesses. In addition to working out of London, Sven held posts in Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore over a period of 10 years, gaining in-depth experience working throughout Asia-Pacific. He also spent two years in Houston running Shell’s Base Chemicals business and was the commercial director at startup of Shell’s first GTL project in Bintulu, Malaysia developing global markets and selling a range of ultra-clean transport fuels and specialty chemicals. More recently, he was Vice President of Chemicals Intermediates and Commercial Operations with responsibility for M&A and transaction processes.
Sven also worked on many joint venture (JV) boards in: Europe, The Middle East (where he was a board member of the Sadaf joint venture with Sabic), Asia-Pacific and North America and on several occasions retained Pilko to advise on important strategic reviews – for example Infineum (jointly with ExxonMobil) and as lead director, Sven was also responsible for JV divestments; for example, Basell (jointly with BASF). His wider industry experience has come from representing Shell on the Cefic Board in Europe during the introduction of Reach and subsequently on the American Chemistry Council Board as Chair of The Responsible Care Committee.
Sven’s direct experience of working with Pilko allows him to appraise our services from a client perspective ensuring we maintain our long standing reputation for thoroughness, clarity and quality.
Sven holds a doctorate in chemistry from The City University, London and a master’s degree in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University.
Over the past 7 years, Mike has led a variety of Operational Excellence projects for midstream, pipeline, energy and chemical clients, working with corporate officers to deliver rapid, dramatic, and sustainable improvement in operational and EHS risk management performance. Mike has maintained and built his relationship to become a trusted partner with all of these clients.
Mike played a key role in the development of the 8IGHT DRIVERS®, and is responsible for assuring that this IP reflects industry and best practice over time. Mike also provides leadership and support internally to ensure that Pilko continuously improves its approach to effectively serving our client base.
Prior to joining Pilko, Mike had 37 years of operations experience with Union Carbide, Dow, and Hexion Specialty Chemicals, retiring as Vice President of Manufacturing. His experience spanned over 30 sites and multiple process technologies. Mike has extensive experience with Six Sigma and other structured problem solving methodologies, and a proven track record of improving performance.
Mike is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering. He currently resides in Columbus, Ohio.
Larry Schmid joins Pilko as President after retiring from Dow as Global Manufacturing & Engineering Operations Director of Performance Materials & Coatings, where he managed five Dow businesses. Member of senior Operations Leadership Team reporting to Senior Vice President of Manufacturing. He managed 8.5K employees worldwide, where he:
• Led manufacturing network of ~ 70 sites in North America, Europe, Latin America and Asia, enabling businesses to deliver profitable growth.
• Directed teams in Environmental, Health and Safety, Process Safety, Quality, Manufacturing Plants, and Technology Centers (Capital Execution, Reliability, Technology Stewards, External Manufacturing, Competitive Intelligence, Process Automation), developing collaborative teams where team members developed and grew into larger roles.
Prior to that, Larry was Global Operations Director of Dow Performance Silicones where he led the integration of Dow Corning Silicones where he led the integration of Dow , a business group with a manufacturing network consisting of 25 plants in Brazil, North America, Western Europe, United Kingdom, and Asia. Directed 5K employees internationally. He:
• Collaborated as member of Operations Leadership Team and one of four Corporate Envelope Directors (Consumer Solutions), driving operational excellence across businesses.
• Partnered on Global leadership team, representing manufacturing and technology development, integrating and supporting business growth.
Larry is results-oriented with broad international experience, driving safety and environmental improvements, cost reduction, operating discipline, and process improvements that deliver profitable growth and superior financial results. Sustainable competitive advantage built on developing loyal customer relationships, continuous improvement, and a culture of innovation. Highly accomplished in attracting talent and building high-performance teams. Thrives in a fast-paced environment that requires adaptability and decisive action.
Larry also filled roles such as Global Manufacturing & Technology Director at Dow Coating Materials, (Advanced Materials Division) and Texas City Operations, Site Leader & Oxygenated Solvents Business Manufacturing Leader (Performance Products & Systems Division).
Previous to Dow, Larry was with Rohm and Haas as President & Plant Manager of the Deer Park Texas site (Primary Materials) and Global Manufacturing & Supply Chain Director (Process Chemicals & Biocides).
He received his Bachelor of Science (BS), Chemical Engineering, University of South Florida, Tampa. Larry is based in Texas.
Ziad Al-Labban has joined Pilko as an Advisor to the Chairman. In this role, Ziad will work closely with George Pilko (Chairman) and the Pilko Leadership Team as an Advisor to the Chairman for all Pilko services in the Arabian Gulf Region. In addition, Ziad will also serve on the Pilko Leadership Team and will advise on the company's global strategy.
Ziad is a Founding Partner of Vision Arabia, a consulting group with focus on energy markets in the Arabian Gulf. Prior to that, Ziad had a 35-year career with Saudi Aramco, which included work experience in the oil, gas and petrochemical industries, both in the upstream and downstream sectors in Saudi Arabia, the United States and the Philippines.
During his work at Saudi Aramco, Ziad was the Sadara Chemical Company CEO for 5-years, where he oversaw building, commissioning and operation of 26 world scale facilities, making it the largest petrochemical facility to be built in a single phase for over $20 billion.
Prior to joining Sadara, Ziad was President and CEO of Petro Rabigh, a 400,000 barrel per day integrated refinery-petrochemical plant in Rabigh, Saudi Arabia. He served in this capacity for 3- years, during which he reformed the company so that it went from realizing a net loss in 2009, to a net profit each year for 2010 through 2012.
Before Petro Rabigh, Ziad served as President and CEO of Saudi Refining, Incorporated (SRI) in Houston, Texas from August 2007 through July 2009. During that time, he was responsible for managing SRI's interest in Motiva Enterprises, which at the time was a major US refiner with three refineries supported by a marketing network that included approximately 8,000 Shell branded gasoline retail outlets in the southern and eastern United States.
Ziad holds a B.Sc. degree in Electrical Engineering from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals in Saudi Arabia, and a M.Sc. degree in Petroleum Engineering from Stanford University in the US.
We are the trusted Advisor to corporate officers and boards on mitigating Operational/EHS Risks and unlocking value in the global energy, chemical and other industrial companies.
GLOBAL FOOTPRINT - 78 COUNTRIES
Our global footprint includes advisors in 32 countries across six continents. We continue to grow our global presence to be where you need us to be.
We have hosted 60+ invitation-only Transactions Roundtables in Asia, Europe and North America since 2001 and 50+ members-only Governance Forums in North America.
PILKO & ASSOCIATES
We are the trusted Advisor to corporate officers and boards on mitigating Operational/EHS Risks and unlocking value for global energy, chemical and industrial companies.