Vive La Difference!
During a recent trip to a Celanese European-sites workshop in Sulzbach, Germany, I had time to reflect on the good fortune I’ve had to visit many sites and enjoy the cultural differences that only a truly global organization like Celanese offers.
Aside from the more popularly accepted and incontestable distinctions (milling in my head whilst sitting in the workshop classroom): the Germans make great cars, the Dutch and the Belgians are incredible linguists, the French and the Spanish are culinary connoisseurs, and all Englishmen wear bowler hats…
Innovation Tastes Sweet At Celanese
Frankfurt – Last week I was in Europe visiting with employees and customers. I met many talented people and am learning more about Celanese’s innovation capabilities. I like what I see. The teams there are enthusiastically developing solutions for customers that address the needs of our society today and in the future.
Take beverages for example. In 2011, five out of the top ten carbonated soft drinks in the US had zero calories thanks to artificial sweeteners. These “light beverages” are gaining popularity because consumers these days want less
Competitive Dynamics Require More From Us In Singapore
Recently I was in Asia visiting key government officials in China and Indonesia with our Advanced Fuel Technologies (AFT) team. At the end of the trip, I stopped by our Singapore Acetyl facility on Jurong Island. The plant has been in the spotlight recently. Industry conditions and a challenging feedstock position have necessitated the temporary idling of the acetic acid unit. My objectives in visiting the site were focused on our people.
Historically Singapore served as our initial gateway to the East. We launched production in 1997 with vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) and now also produce acetic acid, ethyl acetate and butyl acetate. The plant has a rich history of process and safety excellence and has been a cornerstone of the…
Trying To “Keep It Simple” (KISS)
In my 20-year career since leaving undergraduate engineering school, I have run into various forms of the KISS principle many times. Whether in product design, communications or organizations, the KISS principle states that most things work best if they are kept simple. Therefore, simplicity should be a key goal of almost any activity.
In Celanese’s EVA Performance Polymers business, trying to make things simpler has been a key driver of nearly everything we do. When emerging from the tough economic conditions experienced in 2008 and 2009, we had…
The Job Offer I’ve Been Waiting For: CEO for the Day
In all honesty, what first attracted me to the “job offer” was a chance to do a good deed, to learn a bit about finance, and the wonderful promise of a trip to the Big Apple. Little did I realize how rich of a learning experience I would be receiving. Fortunately I was able to place the winning bid in the silent auction benefiting the Dallas United Way and was in for the greatest and easiest promotion of my life, albeit shortlived.
This year’s CEO for a Day was a trip to New York City to attend the Barclay’s ROC Star conference on May 3 with Mark Rohr,Celanese’s chairman and chief executive officer. The conference is attended by investors from…
Investor Relations By The Numbers
Recently we visited with Wall Street investors. Mark Rohr, the new chairman and chief executive officer of Celanese, has a tremendous reputation on Wall Street and investors wanted to hear first-hand his vision for our company.
In forty-eight hours, the Celanese team attended investor meetings in Boston and New York. These meetings are a gauntlet of physical and mental endurance with long days followed by dinner meetings fielding probing questions from investors and sell side analysts.
And with a new CEO, demand was overwhelmingly high when we hit the road…
Celanese Leadership Program – The Summer Job Of A Lifetime
In a few short weeks, eleven summer interns and five full-time associates of the Celanese Leadership Program (CELP) will make their way to Dallas. They will come from Austin, Ann Arbor, Salt Lake City and Charlottesville. They are chemical engineers, CPAs, mechanical engineers and econ majors. They will hold passports from China, countries in Africa, India, the US and more. They want to be general managers, CEOs or CFOs. They are incredibly diverse. But they share a common objective: they all want to develop their skills and talents to accelerate their careers with the types of opportunities that Celanese can provide.
With Michael Stubblefield, the general manager of our Ticona business, I have the pleasure to serve as the executive sponsor the the Celanese Leadership Program. Our objective is simple: …
Employee Opportunity And Development In Celanese
As an HR professional, people often ask me: “How can I develop my career at Celanese? What are the traits the company truly likes? “
Through my job, I have had the opportunity to discuss this idea of talent with senior leaders. I’d like to share some of their unique insights on talent and what makes a successful manager.
First, what’s the most impressive trait an employee has? I had that conversation with a senior executive once. Here is what he said. “We have many employees who graduated from reputable universities with good professional knowledge. Their second language English is better than mine. All these are good. But what I really like is their passion on the job. I don’t care what…
Our Students Are Going To Shine
Since August, Garland Independent School District and North Garland High School have launched an engineering program called Project Lead the Way (PLTW). PLTW is the leading non-profit provider of rigorous and innovative Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education used in middle and high schools across the U.S. With this program our students are engaged in hands on, project based learning that will prepare them for a possible career in the engineering field.
We have been fortunate to work with Celanese; without their sponsorship and guidance, it wouldn’t be where it is today. With Celanese’s help, I received training at the University of Texas, Tyler, to prepare me to teach the Project Lead the Way curriculum which is standard in every state. We also have been able to supply all of our students with their own engineering ‘kits’ and purchased other supplies required by Project Lead the Way.
The Future Is Even More Exciting
Over the past month, I have had the honor of representing the innovative work of Celanese’s employees. By now, you should have heard about our success at CERA, the Forbes magazine article highlighting TCX® Technology and the recent live broadcast on Fox Business News. Please take a moment to view these links at the end of this blog.
In all these instances, I have been privileged to share the success of TCX® Technology development. Not only was this an honor – but it was an adventure.
Although as CFO I frequently get the opportunity to present to investors and other key stakeholders, I have never been a part of the broader media world as I have been in the last month. Like many, I don’t necessarily like to see myself on video or in pictures – but I am so proud to represent Celanese I couldn’t help but blog about it…
Prioritizing Your Work-Lessons From The Navy Seals
Typically when our workload increases or timelines shorten, we can easily become overwhelmed and stressed. The ability to prioritize becomes clouded and we run in circles, performing a little bit on each, but never get any single priority complete. Over the past few years, I’ve spent many weeks with former Navy Seals. Regardless of the situation, or location, when they go in to survival mode it’s simple…
Everyone’s Talking About Natural Gas
Today I visited our manufacturing site in Clear Lake, Texas. This plant makes a variety of acetyl based chemicals, but it’s gaining recognition for being the home of the company’s latest innovation, TCX® ethanol technology.
The minute I walked in the door I noticed a positive buzz, in part, because employees are proud that TCX® ethanol technology was invented at Clear Lake by a local team of talented Celanese scientists…
Bridging Communities And Cultures In 365 Days
I am not going to lie, when I got the job offer to start the new Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program, Celanese Connects, I had no idea what I was in for. Before this I was working as a project manager in the IT department. I worked on an assortment of projects including the data center relocation. It was a huge change to say the least. But I was up for the challenge and absolutely thrilled to be given the opportunity to be a part of a new program that affects employees around the world. When we began communicating the new CSR program, which focuses on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education, I really wasn’t sure what the response was going to be…
Celanese Intellectual Property Is Rocketing
It all starts with great people with the drive and motivation to do the right thing for our company. Our company culture is unique in that everyone is enthusiastically rowing in the same direction. We are one team striving towards the elusive goal of being the best in everything we do. We have been able to achieve more than a 70% increase in IP (intellectual property) activity as a direct result of this can-do culture. This achievement would not have been attainable without the significant understanding, support and trust from our most senior management team, our CEO and even our board of directors. For me, without the significant support from our general counsel, our team of general and IP lawyers and our administrative staff, this milestone would have not have been achievable…
Welcome To CE-Blog
Good communications are vital to the success of any business. And today’s social media forums present remarkable opportunities to share information between people and groups. This blog is the start of what I believe will be a dynamic ongoing conversation between Celanese and the people and organizations we interact with. We want CE-Blog to be a place where the perspectives of our leaders, the talents of our employees, and eventually the voices of customers and suppliers, will be heard and seen. We look forward to engaging with you on relevant topics of the day and using this medium to its fullest capability including videos, infographics and more…