Industry News

Eastman's Repass Retiring; Smith Named Successor

Published on 2007-02-19. Author : SpecialChem

KINGSPORT, Tenn. -- Eastman Chemical Company (NYSE:EMN) has announced the retirement of Jerry R. Repass, vice president and general manager of Worldwide Manufacturing Support, effective April 1, 2007. Repass will be succeeded by J.Parker Smith, currently superintendent of Centralized Maintenance and Services at Eastman's Tennessee Operations.

Repass began his career with Eastman in 1965 as a chemical engineer. During his 42-year career, he has served in almost all areas of manufacturing as department and division superintendent, to vice president of Tennessee Eastman Division. In 1998, he was named vice president, Eastman Chemical Latin America, Inc., and later, vice president of Worldwide Operations Support, Eastman Chemical Company. In 1999, Repass was named vice president and general manager, Tennessee Operations, and in 2006, he was named vice president and general manager of Worldwide Manufacturing Support and is responsible for Eastman's Tennessee and Texas Operations.

"Jerry's longevity with Eastman is a testament to the culture and work ethic of our company's employees," said Jim Rogers, president and Chemical and Fibers Business Group head. "Jerry's unique ability to bring together several diverse groups and lead them in working together seamlessly has become a valuable part of the legacy of our corporate history."

Repass, 63, received a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering in 1965 and his master's in engineering administration in 1972, both from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He has served on the United Way of Greater Kingsport cabinet and the Board of Advisors for the College of Engineering for the University of Tennessee. He currently serves as a commissioner for the Tri-Cities Regional Airport.

"In the four decades that I have worked at Eastman, I've seen a lot of changes," said Repass. "Technology has changed, and of course, Eastman changed by becoming an independent chemical company. But one thing that hasn't changed is the quality of people, and that is what has kept me here and made my job enjoyable for so many years."

Smith, 53, joined Eastman in 1974 as an engineer's assistant at Tennessee Eastman Corporation. In 1976, he began working as a mechanical engineer assigned to various locations at the Kingsport site. In 1990, he became superintendent of the Utilities Maintenance Department, until 1994 when he was transferred to Eastman's South Carolina Operations, where he was superintendent of Operations Services. In 1999, he returned to Kingsport as superintendent of the Central Maintenance and Services Division. In his new role, Smith will be responsible for Eastman's Tennessee and Texas Operations.

A native of Kingsport, Tenn., Smith received a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from North Carolina State University.

Eastman manufactures and markets chemicals, fibers and plastics worldwide. It provides key differentiated coatings, adhesives and specialty plastics products; is the world's largest producer of PET polymers for packaging; and is a major supplier of cellulose acetate fibers. As a Responsible Care® company, Eastman is committed to achieving the highest standards of health, safety, environmental and security performance. Founded in 1920 and headquartered in Kingsport, Tenn., Eastman is a FORTUNE 500 company with 2006 sales of $7.5 billion and approximately 11,000 employees.

Source: Eastman

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