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Improving The World

One Time That Spinning Your Wheels Does Accomplish Something… 

We’ve all heard the old adage “spinning your wheels,” meaning doing something that achieves nothing.

But what if those wheels weren’t figurative wheels, but were real wheels — say bicycle wheels?  And what if the spinning of those wheels accomplished something great — like raising money to fight diabetes?

You may ask: Why is it so important to raise money to fight this disease?  Diabetes has become the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S.  Given the statistics of diabetes in the U.S., there’s a pretty good chance that even if you don’t have diabetes, you probably know someone who does.  According to the 2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet, diabetes affects approximately 25.8 million people in the U.S.  Nearly 2 million of those cases are…

Collaboration

Unlock Employee Engagement 

SmartBrief published a guest blog post about leadership and communication by Gretchen Rosswurm, Celanese’s vice president of communications and corporate social responsibility.

The full post is re-published here for the convenience of Celanese’s audience:

One of the best parts of my job is working with leaders to engage their employees. While the engagement buzzword has launched thousands of books, conferences and employee surveys, there are simple techniques you can do today to engage yourself and your employees.

You already know what engagement looks like. It’s the extra effort your employees invest to make their team and company a success. It’s the individuals who go out of their way to…

Improving The World

Organizing An Event To Make A Difference: How One Week Makes A Big Impact In The Community 

When Global Impact Week was first introduced last year, I remember thinking how great it was that Celanese would put so much into giving back to its communities.  I knew I had to participate, so I volunteered to help with one of the projects.  This year, our site leadership asked me to lead the effort at the Narrows, VA site and I eagerly accepted.

In planning for our service activities, I was privileged to meet lots of people throughout the community.  They came to me with their needs and we started…

Improving The World

Charity, Golf And Leadership – What It Means To Give Back 

 I had the distinct pleasure and honor of being the chairperson for our 5th Annual Charity Golf Outing benefitting the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas.  The outing, held at Hackberry Creek Country Club in Las Colinas, was on October 1st and we had a terrific day with approximately 140 golfers.  Because of the generosity of our participants, we were able to raise $595,000 this year (since inception our outing has donated over $2 million).  Our tournament contribution is the largest single donation ever received by the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas (and has been for a few years running). 

I feel fortunate to work for Celanese, a company that gives its workforce an opportunity to…

Collaboration, Improving The World

Collaboration, Enthusiasm, Hard Work: Cultivating A Successful Career Innovation Workshop 

You reap what you sow. The well-known farming metaphor applies not only to a farmer’s harvest but also volunteerism.  Months of preparation and long nights of emails, phone calls, designing, brainstorming, and more all boiled down to two afternoons, my reward: JA’s new independent research project – the career innovation workshop in partnership with Celanese, a company who has graciously and zealously supported JA China. 

May 11, the butterflies in my stomach fluttered with nervousness, anticipation and excitement on that May 11th day. The “what ifs” race through my mind. What if the students and volunteers don’t like the activities or find the other party incredibly boring? What if nothing goes according to plan? My fears ease away as I…

Improving The World

Giving Back To The Community 

No matter our role at Celanese, we are among those in our communities who have resources – whether it is money, time or talent – to give back to the many who are less fortunate. It makes me very proud when I read the many stories from around the world where employees generously donate to their communities in various ways. It might be cleaning up the  environmental,  volunteering at the local food bank or community kitchen, helping out in a classroom in Dallas or Tarragona, or building a home, as was recently featured on our company’s Facebook page.    There’s a long list of recorded examples of Celanese employees giving back, and I know that is supplemented by many more of you who give back in ways we’ll never hear about.

Though I struggle to hammer nails in straight and can’t tell you when to use a mitre saw or a circular saw, I have been welcomed into…

Employee Growth

Celanese CHAMP Program – The Job That Was Looking For Me 

While completing my Masters in economics at Heilbronn University, I knew what kind of a company and position I was looking for: An international corporation which would offer me a challenging and exciting position. A program which would allow me to gain experience across different functions and give me the opportunity to really make a difference even at the very beginning of my career. But where could I find such a job..? Then I saw a job posting from Celanese,  something called the “CHAMP Program”…

It’s now been over a year since I joined the Celanese High Associate Management Program (CHAMP) in Germany. The program consists of four assignments in 2.5 years across multiple businesses and functions. During my first assignment I managed an…

Improving The World

Barbecue For Our Troops – Helping The Country Through The Community 

At Celanese we believe in giving back. Recently I had the opportunity to do that, and give back to those who serve in the US Army.

I work at the Clear Lake, Texas plant and volunteer with a program called “BBQ For Our Troops.”

BBQ for Our Troops is a non-profit, volunteer initiative “To honor those who protect our freedoms, and their loved ones, with the hospitality of the uniquely American meal of barbecue.” Why does this mean so much to me?  I get the honor of cooking and serving your typical backyard barbecue picnic of meat and sides, active duty American soldiers and wounded soldiers.  

This is the fourth time I’ve helped with the project and the second time my…

Being Sustainable

Florence Site Highlights Safety Best Practice 

It was intern training day 2011 for Celanese and there I was, sitting in Florence, Kentucky, waiting for orientation to end and excited to start my new internship.  We watched the site safety video, filled out some forms, and heard numerous other lectures about job-related safety.  At the time, I figured that safety education began and ended on orientation day.  I had learned how to be safe, what else was there to know?  Wow, was I wrong.  I immediately learned that safety at Celanese was first and foremost on everyone’s mind.  “Safety First” wasn’t simply a catchy slogan around the office, it was a credo, a way of life.  Throughout my summer in Florence from the business office to operations, safe practices were taught, discussed and acted upon.

Fast forward to summer 2012 and my second internship at Celanese.  I began orientation day at the Bishop, Texas, site in much the same way as the previous year, except this time the culture of safety was already something I was used to – until I arrived at my department the Reliability Engineering Group in the Reliability and Maintenance Section.  Here safety is taking on a whole new meaning thanks to the innovative ideas of several mechanics and maintenance staff.  The site leadership places an active emphasis on safety, personalizes it, and fosters a family environment.  Characteristics like “Family,” “Attitude,” and “Brother’s Keeper” encourage everyone to look out for each other and speak up when they see something unsafe.

The responsibility is on everyone – not just site leadership.  Even as an intern I know…

Improving The World

Paying It Forward – Investing In Our Community 

Have you ever had a day where you are told how great you are? Or called a “Rock Star” no matter which direction you turned? How about receiving not just one or two notes of thanks and praise, but a handful of personal cards and letters with heartfelt notes of appreciation recognizing your phenomenal acts of kindness? That was my day at MC Lively Elementary School in Irving. 

On behalf of Celanese, we gave 900 students school supply items, customized T-shirts and backpacks. Students could barely contain their excitement as Celanese volunteers paraded up and down hallways handing out backpacks with school supplies and T-shirts. Several students said that they would never be able to afford these types of necessary school items without…

Creating Customer Value

Celanese TCX Technology® Can Reduce Indonesia’s $12 Billion Annual Gasoline Subsidy 

I recently returned from another trip to Jakarta, the third time in as many months given the significant progress being made in the country.  The Celanese team has kicked off the work with Pertamina as defined in our Joint Statement of Cooperation and it was rewarding to see the progress they have achieved.  As a reminder, Celanese announced its intention to jointly develop projects with Pertamina, the leading state owned oil and gas company in Indonesia, to convert local coal resources to ethanol using Celanese’s TCX® ethanol technology for use as a transportation fuel in the country.  While in Indonesia, I had the opportunity to meet with the US Ambassador to Indonesia, Scot Marciel, at the Ambassador’s residence.  The Embassy has been very supportive of our efforts and has provided instrumental insight and support into the opportunity.

Ambassador Marciel hosted a reception with members of “Commission VII” of the Indonesian Parliament to discuss the fuel ethanol project between…

Creating Customer Value

Clarifoil Film Showcased At Walmart Show 

Clarifoil have just returned from the Walmart Sustainability Expo – an invite only event exclusively for suppliers and buyers of Walmart.  This is the 3rd year that Clarifoil have attended, having previously exhibited compostable envelopes and breathable donut boxes.  This year was the launch of Clarifoil’s thermoformed packaging in the form of sushi boxes.

Traditionally, PVC has been used for this type of packaging however, there is strong drive to eliminate this from the supply chain due to its contribution to landfill, difficulty to recycle and the fact it is not made from sustainable sources.   RPET (recycled PET) is becoming increasingly popular, however this product has a finite lifetime due to…

Creating Customer Value

China, Celanese And This Summer 

One of the ever-present views of the economic climate is the slowing of China’s economy and the impact it’s having on the world. Celanese has major investments in Asia and China which represents about 20% of our annual revenues. So it has been a priority of mine to get a firsthand look at what’s happening there, to hear from customers, suppliers and to spend time with our employees.

Having just returned from four weeks in Asia I want to share some highlights of this trip. But before I do, let’s start with…

Collaboration

Improvisation And Innovation – An Intersection Of Personal Passions 

Almost two years ago, Celanese was embracing its transition into a company focused on innovation, collaboration and customer-orientated opportunities; and I was enjoying my own transition into a new role to support that innovation built on strategy, marketing, and – a personal passion – improvisation.

How can I suggest that good business can come from improvisational acting?  Easily.  When we discuss unmet needs of the marketplace and debate possible solutions, we are embracing an unscripted environment where the solution doesn’t exist –quite frankly, we’re making it up as we go.

Strategic thinking, a “Market-Back” perspective, and “Stage Gates” improve the success of innovation development; similarly, there are core elements that make improvisation more successful.  As I outline below, there are three improvisation skills which can…

Improving The World

Returning To Elementary School 

I was thrilled to participate recently in two Junior Achievement teaching days with my Celanese colleagues Gretchen Rosswurm and Phil McDivitt as we co-taught a kindergarten and a third grade class at MC Lively Elementary in Irving, Texas.

It was a blast! Junior Achievement is a well-organized, straight-forward program that allows career professionals the opportunity to share their life experiences and make a difference in the lives of elementary students. I have taught children in the past, but no experience is required to volunteer. From my recent experience, I would like to share a few helpful tips…