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Ever since he pumped gas and sold kerosene at his parents’ country grocery store in Honey Creek, Ind., a half century ago, Jack Foltz has been connected to the oil business. That link will come to an official end this month as Foltz retires as vice president and general counsel of Philadelphia-based Sunoco Inc. after 20 years with the company and almost four decades as an in-house attorney at oil companies. “I’ve been lucky that I’ve always enjoyed the areas in which I worked, which has always kept me motivated,” said Foltz, whose retirement corresponds with an overall managerial change at Sunoco spearheaded by new chief operating officer Jack Drosdick. Foltz, 64, who will be replaced by one of his deputies, Michael Kuritzkes, will officially end his tour of duty with Sunoco in June. He said his decision was motivated by two prime factors — heart surgery in March and the desire to let Drosdick bring in his own top management team. “I’ll be 65 in August, and only a few people are still working at companies like this one at that age,” Foltz said. “And I had this heart surgery a few months back which I guess caused me to reassess my priorities. I also think this was the right time. With [outgoing CEO] Bob Campbell retiring, as well as several other key managers that I’ve worked with over the years, I went to the new CEO in January and told him that if he wanted to bring in his own people, I’d be happy to step down. And Mike is a great guy, who’s going to do a wonderful job for the company.” STAYING IN THE OIL BUSINESS After his childhood gig at his parents’ store, Foltz continued his oil focus during a college internship with Caterpiller Tractor Co., where he was assigned to handle oil research for engine testing. Foltz graduated from George Washington University Law School via night classes in 1961, the last year doubling as a U.S. patent examiner. He joined Shell shortly after graduation as a patent attorney and during his time there worked in San Francisco, New York City and Houston. Foltz originally joined Sunoco in 1980 after working at Shell Oil in Houston. Foltz made the move after his boss at Shell, Don Walsh, was named general counsel at Sunoco. Foltz spent 12 years working on a variety of matters — most notably Sunoco’s 1988 spinoff to its shareholders of its division on exploration and production of oil and gas — before assuming the general counsel role when Walsh retired in 1992. Since the spinoff, Sunoco has focused mainly on the refining and marketing of petroleum products. Foltz has played a key role in several acquisitions and divestitures, specifically the purchase of the Atlantic refinery in 1988 and the Gulf refinery from Chevron, both of which are located in the Delaware Valley. Foltz was also a key adviser when Sunoco went through a significant financial and business reorganization in 1996, as well as in making the decision to outsource its intellectual property division to Dechert Price & Rhoads. In addition to his work at Sunoco, Foltz was exceptionally active in local and national general counsel associations. In 1998, he served as president of the American Corporate Counsel Association. And he was instrumental in the formation of the Delaware Valley chapter of that organization, which he watched grow from about 40 members to 600 during a 15-year span. “I just think those groups are going to continue to grow to the point where they’ll be global,” Foltz said. “They were started because we all felt general counsel needed an association that was more responsive to our interests than what was offered through the [American Bar Association]. And they’ve been great because everyone is so supportive of one another. It’s not like outside [law firm] professional organizations, who are all really competing with each other for business. You would never see them helping each other with practical advice like we all do.” After taking the summer off, Foltz said he plans to stay active with some of his favorite charitable organizations like the Homeless Advocacy Project. He said he would consider practicing, but if he does, he would like to focus on alternative dispute resolution. “My daughter’s getting married this fall, so if I’m going to pay for the wedding, I’ll probably need to find a real job afterwards,” Foltz said jokingly. THE NEW GENERAL COUNSEL For the next few weeks, Foltz will work with Kuritzkes on the transition process. Kuritzkes joined Sunoco three years ago from his last position as vice president and general counsel of Ultramar Inc., an independent refining and marketing company based in Long Beach, Calif. Drosdick, who was Kuritzkes’ boss as CEO at Ultramar for several years, recruited him to join Sunoco. Kuritzkes’ responsibilities included managing Ultramar’s government and public affairs, corporate environmental, insurance, information services and human resources groups. He was also the primary transactional attorney, responsible for Ultramar’s 1992 initial public offering as well as setting up its SEC reporting and compliance programs. A 1985 University of Pennsylvania Law School graduate, Kuritzkes practiced corporate and securities law at a New York law firm before joining Ultramar. At Sunoco, he has been responsible for the legal affairs of northeast refining, logistics, pipelines, lubricants, domestic crude acquisition and coal and coke business divisions as well as the health, environment and safety group. He said one of his chief goals will be to align the law group with the business side. “I’d like the legal division to not be seen as an independent contractor,” Kuritzkes said. “I’d like us to be considered part of the team rather than a separate entity.” And while the company has no growth plans for its legal department of 21 attorneys, Kuritzkes acknowledges that the firm must be aggressive in the recruitment and retention of lawyers in today’s incredibly competitive legal market. “We’re focusing on fairness,” he said. “This is not a situation where we feel we have to compete with what all of the law firms are paying. We just feel we have to be competitive with what other companies like ours are paying. If we do that and give our lawyers interesting work and responsibilities, we’ll continue to be very successful with retention.”

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