Andy Harris

CEO of Vantage Specialty Chemicals

Andy Harris is a proven CEO leading private-equity backed “invest and grow” ventures. Andy is currently the CEO of Vantage Specialty Chemicals, a growth-oriented, global provider of naturally derived, specialty ingredients with annual revenues of approximately $750 million. Well on its way to $1 billion in the next few years, Vantage delivers unique value to Personal Care, Consumer Care, Food and Industrial markets.

Prior to Vantage, Andy was President and CEO of Accella Performance Materials. Under Andy’s leadership, Accella grew revenue by 6x and profit by 8x in under 5 years, with a strategic sale in October 2017 to the Carlisle Companies for $670 million. Similarly, prior to Accella, Andy was CEO of Syrgis, another private equity-backed specialty chemical manufacturing business, where he successfully led the business transformation, growing revenue 3x and profit 4x within 5 years, followed by a successful strategic sale of the company in 2012. 

Andy has over 25 years of leadership experience in specialty chemicals, oil & gas, process instrumentation and environmental equipment companies including BetzDearborn (became GE Water and Process Technologies which is now SUEZ), Endress+Hauser GmbH, and Exxon Company USA.  Andy holds an MBA from the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business and a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Arizona. He began his career in 1987 as a Project Engineer with Exxon, and has since developed into a successful CEO who specializes in business growth and transformation through mergers and acquisitions (M&A) with a special focus on corporate culture. 

Outside of work, Andy loves spending time with his wife (Stephanie) and two daughters (Hannah and Georgia). He also enjoys travelling, heli-skiing, hiking, golf, experiencing good red wine and microbeers, his YPO membership, and mentoring.

Andy is also passionate about giving back to education and his church. Andy is very proud to have helped the University of Arizona develop a best-in-class mentor program for students and alumni. In 2018, his vision became reality when he worked with the Alumni Association to develop, fund and pilot the innovative Wildcat Mentor Society. In its initial year, the program made a positive impact on 25 mentors and 90 students who met monthly in a confidential cohort setting, helping mentees to build their professional network, strengthen their UA alumni network, thrive through personal challenges, and create deep, meaningful mentor-mentee-mentee relationships which may last well beyond the mentor program.