Eastman has it going on

We are lucky to have Eastman as a corporate entity in our region. I had the opportunity to hear from Eastman’s CEO and Chairman of the Board, Jim Rogers, during a Regional Leadership Breakfast.

In March of 2009, Eastman appeared on the ropes with its stock trading at $17 a share. Recently, the stock was trading at more than $90 a share. This historic turnaround is based on Rogers downsizing of the company’s employee base, selling off units that were not performing or not within Eastman’s new-found core business.

Today, Eastman is focused on what it does well and is bringing innovation to America. There is a new technology to infuse plastic into wood for outdoor furniture and decks. There is a new focus on microfiber for filtration and there is a new focus on sustainable coatings. Eastman recently began hiring personnel and constructing new facilities. The company handed out bonus checks to its employees approximating $10,000 per employee.

Eastman, long known as a film coating and cigarette filter company has reinvented itself and it is winning. It is the kind of reinvention we’ve been hoping for among American manufacturers.¬†Hats off to Jim Rogers and to Eastman. You’ve got it goin on.