Consultant Jeff Dancer, who died Oct. 14 of a heart attack at age 54, was a veteran of the plastic resin and pipe industries and is remembered as a strategist who provided strong counsel.
Dancer joined Houston's Allan F. Dow & Associates in 2003 as senior vice president and later that same year purchased the business, renamed it Allan F. Dow Group LLC, and became its president. Today the Houston-based firm provides a variety of functions, including consulting for organizations needing to develop new markets for products and services.
``Jeff was very thorough,'' Allan Dow said in a recent phone interview. ``He was very good on strategy. There are a lot of new paths ahead that companies can take, and Jeff knew the way to go and the way not to go.
``He wasn't afraid to speak his mind, but he had a style that allowed him to do so without being offensive about it,'' added Dow, who remained with the company that he founded after selling it to Dancer. ``Jeff had a lot of experience and could help companies with manufacturing or with strategy.''
Dancer, an Independence, Kan., native, worked for 25 years for Phillips Petroleum Co. (now ConocoPhillips Co.), including as president from 1994-99 of pipe extruder Phillips Driscopipe Inc., a Richardson, Texas-based subsidiary. While at Driscopipe, Dancer's team expanded the capacity of the business by one-third and formed a joint venture with Grupo Miguel to produce polyethylene pipe in Puebla, Mexico.
Dancer retired from Phillips in 1999 to become president and chief operating officer of SepraDyne Corp., a new Dallas-area environmental technology company.
The 1976 chemical engineering graduate of Kansas State University began working for Phillips while still in college. His first full-time job with the company was as a commercial evaluation engineer in Phillips' corporate planning section evaluating domestic and international projects. Over the years, he held a series of other posts in the organization, to include engineering, market research, technical sales, operations, new technology development and corporate-level project management. From 1987 through 1989, Dancer was operations manager for Driscopipe's Pryor, Okla., PE plant, turning around the facility from the worst performer in a six-plant business to the top performer in just 18 months.
In 1989 he moved to Singapore to serve as managing director and general manager for Phillips Asia operations. Among his activities there, he was board chairman of Phillips Petroleum's high density PE joint venture with the Singapore Economic Development Board and Sumitomo Chemical Co. Ltd. of Japan. While in Singapore, Dancer also was instrumental in forming a joint venture with Sinopec's Shanghai Petrochemical Co. Ltd. to produce HDPE resin in China.
Balaji Singh, owner of Chemical Market Resources Inc., a consulting firm in Houston, said he worked with Dancer on several projects in recent years, and Dancer was a frequent speaker at CMR's FlexPo industry conference.
``Jeff was the classic personification of an ideal chemical industry executive - in his dress, mannerisms, well-thought-out statements and advice,'' Singh said. ``His willingness to work with small companies in an advisory role was his greatest asset. Jeff was instrumental in several of our successful programs.''
Dancer was buried Oct. 18 in Independence. He is survived by three sons and by his second wife, Sofia, whom he married earlier this year.