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Travels with Larry Archive

That feeling of greatness

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Do you know that feeling you get when you first meet an individual, or tour a facility or office, and you sense that this is a great person or this is a great company, etc? I know I have witnessed this many times over the past three-plus years while I have been working with TAPPI. TAPPI members make a definite difference in their companies.

Can you name a company that touches lives with commercial ships, recreational water craft, cars, lubricants, paper and packaging, and alternative energy resource solutions? The company I am thinking of likes to say, "based in chemistry, born in the imaginations of our associates. Our ideas and innovations result in performances to provide a brighter future."

I would like to tell you about a company and some of their people I had the privilege of getting to know better on a recent visit to Ohio. That company, who refers to its employees as associates, is ASHLAND. One of those people is Tim Harman, who holds the position of Sr. Staffing Specialist, College Relations, Talent Acquisition & Diversity, in Human Resources. I first met Tim in January at TAPPI's Student Summit in Charleston, SC. He and Nicole Hacet were very supportive and played key roles in the success of TAPPI's 13th annual Student Summit. Tim has a missionary zeal when he talks about Ashland.

Tim hosted Eric Fletty and me for a visit and tour of Ashland's campus in Dublin, Ohio. He also set up a visit for us to tour Appleton's paper mill in West Carrolton, Ohio. Two Ashland associates, Nicole Hartley – Technical Sales Representative and Philip Keegan – Sales Team Leader, facilitated a tour and meeting at the mill.

Appleton's employees who took us on the tour and attended our meeting included, Jim Fuller – Quality Manager, Bill Levenderis – Process Engineer, and Thomas Maleike – Manager- Utilities, Process Control, Technical. We enjoyed the meeting and our mill tour. By the way, the cleanliness of this mill was incredible!

Ashland was founded in 1924, operates in 100 countries, employs approximately 15,000, and had FY08 operating revenues of $10.7 billion dollars. They also have some very impressive facts to share:

  • 30% of their employees work outside of the United States
  • Approximately 25% of earnings are derived from renewably sourced materials
  • Wind energy investments expanded in 2009 with the launch of new metal casting products, resins and structural additives from Ashland Performance Metals
  • Key markets they serve: paper & packaging, personal care, pharmaceutical, construction, transportation
  • Ashland employees pledged $420,000 for charitable giving in 2008
  • Annually, employees volunteer thousands of hours addressing community needs
  • Ashland is a Responsible Care company committed to goals of zero-incident performance, 100 percent compliance and reducing environmental impact
  • Active patents worldwide: Approximately 2,600
  • Ashland employees are in every continent except Antarctica
  • In 2008, Ashland acquired Hercules Incorporated, a specialty chemicals company with a 96-year history and two major businesses in paper technologies and functional ingredients

Ashland has five major commercial units: Ashland Distribution, Ashland Consumer Markets, Ashland Hercules Water Technologies, Ashland Performance Materials, and Ashland Aqualon Functional Ingredients.

Ashland and Tim realize that it takes great people to make great companies. He is constantly on the lookout for the best and brightest students coming out of colleges and universities. Ashland participates in many school and community programs to encourage, educate and recruit students to become more involved with the idea of working in our industry.

Ashland, it's that feeling.

For more information on Ashland please go to www.ashland.com.

For more information on TAPPI please go to www.tappi.org.

There are two types of people in our industry, TAPPI members and those who should be.

Until next time-Larry


EKA Chemicals Inc.