Faces of Lubricants – Jim Cancila

Jul 31, 2018

Genuine, warm-hearted and curious are a few words that come to mind when describing Jim Cancila, sales and account manager for Ingevity’s Lubricants business. Although Jim has been with Ingevity for less than a year, he has already made quite the impact. In his current role, Jim handles a large portion of the North America sales, as well as the exclusive distributor partnership with Sea-Land Chemical. He has also spearheaded the exploration of expanding Ingevity’s lubricants portfolio by researching applicable markets for product expansion. With more than 30 years of experience in the lubricants market, 25 of which were with TOTAL Specialties, it’s no surprise Jim brings a unique perspective to our sales team. Besides account manager, Jim has held various roles throughout his extensive career including product manager, product development manager, business manager and business development manager.

Tell us about your background in the chemical industry.

I graduated from West Chester University with degrees in chemistry and education. My first experience in the lubricants industry was at International Chemical Company in Philadelphia, Pa. As a technical service manager, I worked with customers onsite at their facilities. It was a wonderful opportunity to learn about customers’ needs to achieve their business goals.

My next role was product manager for synthetic lubricants at Pennwalt Corp. My role evolved once Pennwalt was acquired by TOTAL and I helped develop formulations and market applications for synthetic lubricants. During my 25-year tenure with TOTAL, I held various roles that expanded my technical and commercial knowledge about the industry.

What do you do in your current role as a sales and account manager for Ingevity?

I’m responsible for selling Ingevity products to the lubrication industry, as well as supporting our exclusive North American distributor, Sea-Land Chemical Company.

Tell us about where you grew up.

I’ve spent most of my life residing around Philadelphia, Pa., and currently live in Broomall—a suburb outside Philadelphia. Like the Charleston area, Philadelphia is an old city with many historical connections to U.S. history. I believe living around historically significant cities facilitates a special connection to history.

Tell us about your family and something special about them.

My wife, Gretchen, and I have four children (three sons and one daughter). Gretchen teaches science at a secondary school. All our kids are out of college and luckily stayed on the Northeast. Luckily, everyone is close by enough for us to spend more time together.

Name one thing about your work that gets you out of bed in the morning.

Working at Ingevity provides lots of motivation to get “out of bed.” However, the strongest motivation for me is being part of a team.

What does success mean to you?

My concept of success is when something is a “win-win” for everyone. I feel successful when I help the customers achieve their business goals, the team functions effectively and Ingevity achieves its goals.

What’s your idea of happiness or what are you most proud of?

My biggest source of happiness is my family.

Who are your heroes in real life?

My heroes are the generations of my family that came before me. In both my wife’s family and mine, there is a family plan that the next generation should live better than the previous generation. We have both benefitted from the planning and sacrifices of our parents, grandparents and so forth. Those early generations “paved the way.”

What do you enjoy most during your free time? Or is there a hobby you’d like to begin?

With four children, my family has kept me busy. I like to exercise and hike with my wife. I also enjoy doing projects around the house like woodworking.

What would be the most amazing adventure to go on?

I think “life” is the most amazing adventure we can experience. Every day takes you to the “unknown” and nothing is truly guaranteed. We encounter great joy and great sadness, but no matter the difficulties, you must move forward.

What is your life motto?

“Living kills you.”