Only in America
From Immigrant to C.E.O.
By: Nathalie Escobar
Paul Oreffice
Born and raised in Venice, Italy, in 1927
He has an older sibling named, Sandra, his mother is Elena, and father
named Max
He lives in Scottsdale, AZ; Lake Tahoe, NV; and Saratoga Springs, NY
He has a wife, JoAnn, with two children and has four grandchildren
Went to Purdue University, graduated in February 1949 with a BS in
Chemical Engineering
He is the only recipient to ever be awarded periodically for all three
medals by the world’s chemical industry
He enrolled to the US army for two years, then joined The Dow Chemical
Company in February 1953
He then became the president and C.E.O of the company in April 1978
Served on the boards of CIGNA (Health Insurance Company), Coca-Cola,
Morgan Stanley, and Nortel (Networking Company)
Currently the chairman of Fairfield Homes, The National Parkinson
Foundation, is on the board of Spirit Finance Corporation and on the
visiting board of MD Anderson Cancer Center
Looking Up to His Idol:
Max Oreffice
Max Oreffice is Paul’s father, friend and idol
Admired different breed of horses and owned a farm
He was an optimist, opportunist, an entrepreneur, a visionary who
could see a need and fill it
He was highly against Fascism, during the reign of Benito Mussolini
in Italy, 1920s and 1930s
Around 1939, he was sent to jail because the Fascists saw him as a
troublemaker; Max was having his freedom of speech about Fascism
He stated that, “Mr. Mussolini was ruining the country, that fascism
was Italy’s sham, and questioned Mr. Mussolini’s intelligence … by
saying that one of his horses was smarter than Mr. Mussolini”
Max was a very open and caring person, someone that is willing to
help others, but he’d always get taken advantage of
He always kept a quote a heart by his good friend Vilfrido Casellati,
the mayor of Venice, “Don’t give in to the fear. That’s what they
Lifestyle of Paul Oreffice
He lived in an upper class family in Italy
He had a maid by the name of Fraulein Grete Grossman, she was
German and a second mother to Paul
Lived through the reign of Benito Mussolini until their family fled to
Switzerland then to Ecuador
Paul transferred to various schools throughout his life just for
safety purposes
He learned 6 languages through his lifetime such as Italian, German,
Spanish, English, etc.
Also, he was treated differently because Paul was Italian and people
in the US were anti-fascists; people thought the majority of Italians
were supporting Fascism
During his travels to the US and Ecuador, he and his family felt poor
compared to Italy because of the currency difference
He and his family endured never ending hardships throughout his
Brief Summary of Fascism
Fascism — a government led by the authority of a dictator having
complete power, using force, criticism, racism and aggressive
Was founded by Benito Mussolini in 1919
• Mussolini was a Catholic, but as he gained power he wanted to propose
that Catholicism should become the official state religion
• The Vatican didn’t stop Mussolini’s rise of power because they didn’t
want to get involved
He used brute violence and ruthlessness in order to gain power in
Fascism continued through Europe, even through the reign of Adolf
Hitler; Early 1920s through 1940s
During Fascism, Mussolini established a paramilitary squad called
the Black Shirts — These were Fascist police who used violence
and terror as weapons against those who had the gall to oppose
Images of Mussolini and The Black
Ways of Reaching a Dream
To be very ambitious through rough economic
dilemmas, such as the recession
• Only in America that an immigrant can be given
an opportunity to be successful and have a fresh
start in life
• Through harsh economic and political downfalls,
education should always be the primary factor to
be concentrated on
• Reason:
• During Fascism, and Mussolini’s reign, Paul Oreffice’s parents
often cared about their future and education
• With constant travelling from country to country, his parents
found everyway possible to put their children to school
Factors That Gave A Better Insight
On A Career
Paul described the life of his father as an Entrepreneur, His father was very
determined and always persuaded people to get a reasonable bargain
• He never gave up on himself and his family through financial problems, he
eventually found other alternatives to make income and provide for his family
• Even is Max Oreffice (Paul’s Father) didn’t finish his education because of
attending the military for World War I, he always had the thought of going back
to college to finish his education
• He never gave up on certain objectives, he did everything he can in his power to
get a fair share of money whenever he was betrayed by his business partners
Some examples of Paul Oreffice’s 10 Factors (which made me appreciate certain
things in life better):
He greatly believed in:
• People — Discovering talented people that share the same passion of work
• Motivation — Highly motivating people in creating a better whole
• Technology — Discovering and making new products for the greater good
• Second Chances — Learning from past mistakes and to not repeat the same

Only in America From Immigrant to C.E.O.