Who We Are
Elizabeth Ann Armour - (e-mail)
is founder and President of Armour Associates, a business consulting firm specializing in assisting clients in the specialty chemical industry to realistically assess and successfully respond globally to a broad range of critical growth opportunities and business challenges. With offices in North America and Europe, Armour Associates’ comprehensive range of consulting services include business strategy development; market evaluation and business analysis; competitive intelligence; merger, acquisition, and partnering assessments; technology acquisition and intellectual property evaluation; and other related services.
Prior to forming Armour Associates, Ms. Armour had more than twenty years experience in various positions in the specialty chemical industry. She began as a Research Associate with General Electric and later moved into product management at Durkee Foods, strategic planning/marketing research positions at Rhône-Poulenc and the PQ Corporation, chemical industry consulting with ChemSystems, and intellectual property management and technology transfer responsibilities at the University of Pennsylvania. She has authored numerous market study reports, prepared market assessments used for capital investment, and has assisted sales teams in identifying potential customers and new product opportunities. In addition, she spent eight years living and working in Europe as part of the strategic planning team for the Specialty Chemicals business unit of Rhône-Poulenc and, later, as the founder and President of AmeriCours, a cultural communication consulting firm.
With a BA in Biology from Wittenberg University and a MS in Biology and MBA in Marketing and Finance from the Cleveland State University, Elizabeth participates in various industry organizations including the Joseph Priestly Society and the Robert Boyle Society of the Chemical Heritage Foundation.
Her civic involvement includes service as a board member of the Society Hill Civic Association in Philadelphia, Treasurer and Trustee of the Charlotte Cushman Foundation, member of the Philadelphia Society for the Preservation of Landmarks’ Physick House Committee, and member of the Athenaeum of Philadelphia as well as Friends of the American Philosophical Society. In addition, she is a member of WICE, a women’s educational organization based in Paris, France.
Philip E. Rakita - (e-mail)
is a senior executive with more than thirty years of international experience in the chemical and related industries. For eighteen years he held various management positions in fine and specialty chemicals and plastics for the Elf Aquitaine Group, including over three years as European General Manager of the bio/fine division of M&T Chemicals (later the CECA subsidiary of Elf Atochem) and two years as Director of Technology for Akishima Chemical (Elf Atochem Japan) in Tokyo. He has served as CEO of Syrgis Performance Products, LLC, a privately held $50 million diversified group of specialty chemical companies.
He has lead numerous successful projects in new business development, technology assessment and transfer, divestitures and acquisitions. He has worked and lived in France, Japan, the Netherlands, Russia, and the United States and has extensive experience with multinational technical and cultural interfaces within organizations.
Prior to his industrial career he was Professor of Chemistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Minnesota, and Senior Fulbright Visiting Professor at Moscow State University (USSR). He also served as a Grants Officer for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
He holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is the author of over forty papers and a book in the field of fine chemicals and plastics.
He has been a consultant to the U.S. State Department Council for International Exchange of Scholars and is a member of the American Chemical Society and the Robert Boyle Society of the Chemical Heritage Foundation. He holds Certificate #918 from the Association of Consulting Chemists and Chemical Engineers. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Fulbright Academy of Science and Technology.
In 1993, he co-founded Armour Associates, Ltd. and currently serves as Managing Director of the firm.