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Ascend News

Importance of the Leadership

Dear Colleagues, In one of his most important speeches to the nation, Prime Minister of Great Britain Winston Churchill, spoke to the House of Commons after the fall of France in the spring of 1940. The situation was serious; the Germans possessed air, naval, and ground superiority. Deeply committed to the survival of western civilization, Churchill focused his attention and actions on building up and training British forces, providing them with the weaponry they needed, and strategically planning collaboration with British allies, to prepare for what would come. He was honest and compelling as he called on Britain to prepare to fight Nazi Germany. the Battle of France is over. I expect the Battle of Britain is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilization. Upon it depends our own British life... The whole fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned on us. Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this Island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and the life of the world may move forward... But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister... Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, This was their finest hour.1 We know the British Empire did not last a thousand years, but Churchill led Britain to victory over Hitler, and is recognized as one of the greatest leaders of the 20th century. The leadership characteristics Churchill exhibited are relevant even today. Described as a courageous and You play an essential role in building great leadership through your engagement, and through your commitment to your team and to the principles of A2E. Be safe. Do great things. Have fun. Tim Great Leaders Set the direction. Build great teams. Are credible & engaged. Get great results. Great Employees Take the initiative. Are great team players. Are credible and engaged. Get great results.
Reliability Productivity Safety


principled leader who stuck to his convictions, it has been said that ...he never let a minute go by that he wasnt enriching himself, and thereby others.2 We recognize the importance of good leadership at Ascend and therefore, we have identified the characteristics we value in our leaders. Whether you are a citizen of a nation at war, or you are engaged in building a successful organization, everyone deserves a great leader one who sets the direction, builds great teams, is credible and engaged, and gets great results. My responsibility as the leader of Ascend is to establish leadership standards, and then provide opportunities for development so each of you has a great leaderone who sets an example of excellence, invests time in teaching and mentoring, and is deeply committed to our people and to our business.



Visit www.winstonchurchill.org to read the complete text

Daniel Myers, Churchill Centre & Museum

Table of Contents
Inside cover1 1 1 2 3 3 4 4 4 5 5 6 7 8 8 9 10 10 10 Learning to be SafeGet Involved! New IT Support Center to Improve Service Houston Office Turns Pink Leadership Profile: Andrew Ralston, VP and General Counsel Improving Our Total Rewards Structure New Ways of Learning at Ascend Site Focus: Foley, The Can Do Plant Foley by the Numbers
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ESSH Learning to be Safe

Get Involved!

by Dale Borths

As a kid, you can probably remember your parents asking, What do you want to be when you grow up? What was your answer? Mine was usually, I want to be an astronaut, even though it was not in the cards! When you think of safety, what do you want Ascend, and more specifically, your work group to ultimately be? I want Ascend facilities to be the safest in the world to work, and I dont ever want anyone to get cut, burned, bruised, or hurt in even the smallest way.

Foley Facts I'm a Hazard Otis Coleman Business Overview


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How can we learn to keep our colleagues and ourselves safer every day? Fundamentally, it starts with you. For example, Pensacola recently celebrated identifying and correcting 5000 hazards in a creative waywith an ice cream truck road trip through the plant! Keep identifying hazards that are important to your safety each day. Let me start by sharing what we have done, in a broad way, to help us move down this learning road. A Personnel Safety Core Team is now actively developing comprehensive personnel safety improvement plans for Ascend. The team is made up of safety professionals from across the sites, and is led by Chuck Clarke with Tom Boggs as the Sponsor. Your input to this group is always welcome. A2E Engagement teams have been chartered to facilitate

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Pensacola Celebrates Expansion My Job Rocks! The "E" in ESSH APEX 2011 Congratulations! IT Corner Customer Service

Safety ESSH People Customer




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Ascend will be exactly what we want to be... the safest place in the world to work.

employees in identifying how to make their area safer, rather than giving top down direction. After all, who knows more about safety needs than the people working in the area? They have begun work at Pensacola (Area 1, Nylon Manufacturing) and Decatur (Boilerhouse & HMD/ADN Refining), and Greenwood will kick off similar teams in the coming weeks. Time and resources have been allotted enabling these teams to make their workplace safer. Start your own! Leadership at all levels have learned how to improve their expectations around safety. There is a focus on the use of data, establishing clear roles, incorporating safety into all daily operations, being safety visible, getting employees engaged in safety, and reinforcing safe behaviors. This is a journey, and will be ongoing in 2012.

An excellent team of Maintenance, ESSH, and Quality people recommended and implemented a new A2E toolnow commonly referred to as Think Reliability. This tool provides a consistent way of finding the causes of an abnormal event, like an injury. Using a common and systematic tool, we can now more easily capture all of the learnings from an incident and put the right corrective actions in place. Getting involved on investigation teams is a great way to understand how we learn from all incidents and apply the learnings to our processes. The good news is that there are many ways to get involved and I didnt even mention the various A2E Safety Teams and traditional Safety Committees that are ongoing!

New IT Support Center to Improve Service by Matthew Toomes

On November 15th, the new IT Support Center went live. In the spirit of continuous improvement, Ascend IT is committed to improving your IT experience through faster, dedicated support. The new center will ensure efficient use of IT support resources to address your issue as fast as possible. As you stand in the line at the grocery store and you see the line next to you moving faster than your line, have you ever said to yourself, Picked the wrong line again? Then have you noticed that at the bank youre in a different kind of queue? In the bank queue, youre in a single line, and the first available teller services you. The new Support Center will operate in much the same wayyour call will be answered by the first available support staff. Other benefits of the new center include longer support hours, after hours emergency support, and of course, a commitment to continued improvement. Be on the lookout for more information regarding the new IT Support Center! Matthew Toomes is an IT Senior Manager in Houston.

Think Safe! Look out for yourself and others! Get involved to make your work area safer!
At Ascend, we want to be the best in everything we do. It begins with you. With 3000 people engaged in learning to be safer, and involved in activities to improve safety for everyone, Ascend will be exactly what we want to be...the safest place in the world to work. Dale Borths is the Vice President of Environmental, Safety, Security, and Health.

H ow c a n help yo I u?

Houston Office Turns Pink

Barry Penney declared he would match contributions dollar for dollar until 4 pm. Barrys challenge revved up the giving and by the end of the day Houston employees supported the Komen Houston Race for the Cure with $2,291.00 in contributions. Team Ascend extends sincere thanks to the Houston employees for their very generous support of the fight against breast cancer. Team Ascend participants representing Chocolate Bayou and Houston were Cindy Barrett, Tom Barrett, Melissa Batig, Kristine Bird, Jeff Bird, Marianne Cone, Jan Cook, Louis Cook, Kelly Griego, Lisa Guzman, Laura Kelso, Melissa Kelso, Shannon Kelso, Maria Martinez, Rhonda Navarro, Jenny Park, Allison Roberman, Carol Whitlow.
Houston showing off their pink spirit

Tell us about your fund raising activities. Send an email and pictures to ascendnews@ascendmaterials.com.

Houston employees turned the headquarters office pink on September 30 in support of the Houston Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure on October 1st. Employees were asked to wear pink on Friday to support the race and the Team Ascend race participants. Knowing that some folks might be a bit reluctant to wear pink, the team asked for a voluntary contribution from those who did not wear pink. When the day started, the team was nearing its fund raising goal of $1000, with contributions from race participant fund raising, on-line donations, and cash contributions in the office. Then, at mid-morning the fund raising went to a new level when

Chocolate Bayou race day participants

Leadership Profile: Andrew Ralston, VP and General Counsel

Andrew Ralston had some difficulty locating a copy of his resume to provide the writer of this profile. It just goes to show how much I love Ascend, he enthused, that I dont even keep a resume anymore. Truly, he does seem to be a man who loves his job, perhaps because of the winding path he took to get here. Having moved to Houston with his family in 1978, Ralston is closer to being a native Houstonian than most. Hes happy to have spent his entire professional career in Houston, and prouder still to proclaim allegiance to the University of Texas (under-graduate degree) and Baylor University (law school). Hes broad-minded enough, however, to have married an A&M graduate and another lawyer. Wife Dianne is Deputy massive divestment of company assets, and settling claims. In many ways, he loved the skill-sharpening that came as a result of having to adapt and respond to each new development, each new roadblock or crisis. After Enron, Andrew moved around for a couple years, working another stint as senior counsel for a chemical company and then doing regulatory and energy work for two large law firms. All that changed in 2009 when he was contacted about a position with a new company. In joining Ascend, at the very outset of the companys formation, Andrew feels he and the company came together at the perfect time for both of them. It is so exciting, Andrew tells us, being there with a company thats been given a totally blank slate to invent itself and go in any number of fresh, exciting directions. So often, he says, you join a firm with a lot of ingrained habits or traditions. Or, a company comes out of bankruptcy still carrying a lot of baggage such as outmoded policies or procedures. In the case of Ascend, Andrew feels that everyone throughout the company really appreciates the chance to learn from previous experience without being impeded by it. His workday is incredibly varied and, as he tells us, I never know what to expect when I come to work, but its always a surprise and its always interesting. He handles trade compliance issues, drawing on his vast previous experience in international law, but also gets to handle new challenges such as patent applications and assisting in setting up a new internal auditing system. What does Andrew like most about his work with Ascend? Number one would probably be the energy and enthusiasm of the company, at all levels of the work force. Weve come a long way since 2009, he says. In a lot of ways, we got thrown into a sink or swim situation and found we were actually pretty good swimmers. After being sort of a forgotten or under-appreciated division of a larger company, now we ARE the company. And everyone seems to really appreciate the opportunity we have to make something really great here.

On September 7th, the Houston Business General Counsel for Schlumberger. Journal hosted an event honoring Andrew and Dianne Ralston have the best and brightest in the legal profession. two daughters, Reagan and Peyton, Andrew was named 2011 Best Solo ages 11 and 6. They divide their time, General Counsel.
year round, between dance recitals and multiple athletic eventsand savor, particularly, this time of year and the return of college football. He provided no clue, however, to how (or how gracefully) they settle the inevitable cross-school rivalries. Andrew began his legal career with the noted Houston firm, Baker Botts, LLP. In his years with the firm, he got a broad introduction to corporate law, handling mergers and acquisitions, securities and real estate transactions, joint ventures. His next employer was Condea Vista Company, a large German chemical manufacturing company, where Andrew began to get a feel for the practice of law on behalf of one client/company, and a chemical company at that. The primary employer of note on Andrews resume, before Ascend, was Enron Corporation. I was there for the good, the bad, and the ugly, he says. It was surely some of the most fascinating and challengingwork hes ever done. Work that, clearly, left him with a skill set that is rare and highly prized. In the early years with Enron, Andrewss concentration was on the development and acquisition of international energy assets and in providing services to large-scale commercial users of electricity. Many of his customers were chemical and manufacturing companies similar to Ascend. Having survived both the layoffs and any taint from Enrons missteps, Andrew was in a sound position to assist Enron's

Improving Our Total Rewards Structure

by Ellen Chin Maybe most important to you, the new grade and job title structure At Ascend, we aim to pay competitively in each local market and nationally. We also aim to promote equity across the company. Ascend Total Rewards, which includes pay and benefits, offers a competitive package to attract, motivate and retain our employees. Earlier this year, we introduced a new salary grade and job title structure to ensure market competitive pay, and create consistency in our job titles around the Company. Why did we change salary grades and job titles? Since Ascend started, we have reorganized existing departments, and we have established whole new departments and new jobs. We had 1,300 job titles for 2,000 Ascend employees! What may have made sense in the past, no longer made sense at Ascend. The new structure helps up develop our people plans. For example, having a common description for Senior Engineers or Operator IIIs, gives us the ability to develop career paths, create better training programs, and have more meaningful performance discussions, just to name a few. What does this mean for me? You have a new salary grade -- one of three new salary grades Hourly, Individual Contributor, and Leadership. You may even have a new job title. In creating consistency across the Company we moved from 1,300 job titles to just over 300. also allows us to get more accurate market pay data so we can evaluate and ensure competitive pay for each employee. It also helps your leader make contribution-based pay decisions where you are rewarded for your contribution to the success of Ascend. If you have questions about your new grade and title, please dont hesitate to discuss it with your leader or your site Human Resources Business Partner. How does Ascend get competitive pay data? In our aim to provide competitive compensation in pay and benefits, we regularly review local and national pay surveys from a number of industries, including chemical, oil & gas, utilities and manufacturing. We may find our compensation to be higher than other organizations in one area and slightly lower in other areas, but we continue to strive for competitive compensation for all of our employees. Our new grade and job title structure helps us do just that. Our promise to you, as a member of the Ascend team, you will be: enabled to succeed empowered to take action engaged in getting better and excited to be part of a successful team. Ellen Chin is the Senior Director of Talent and Rewards.

New Ways of Learning at Ascend

In the challenging and dynamic Ascend environment, employee knowledge and capability represent a significant part of our continued business success. The Learning teams mission is to ensure that all employees receive learning opportunities that increase their skills and professional development. We recognize that you are our key asset.

by Steve Coletti

On-boarding program for new hires that will enable them to get up to speed immediately with A2E tool sets. We will be delivering new Instructor Led Learning offerings including A2E 2012 and new Front Line Leadership workshops. We will bring more professional and skills development workshops in the coming months. We are building developmental learning that enhances your job knowledge and skills. Focusing on your success and creating a learning framework that not only helps you manage what you do, but helps you manage what you want to be. Ascend Learning Team: Steve Coletti John Nelson Chris Wilson Sr. Manager, Global Learning Learning Lead, Greenwood Learning Lead, Pensacola Matilda Reeder Manager of Learning, ISC Curt Thompson Learning Lead, Chocolate Bayou


We know that our people represent not only our current performance, but also our future potential. We want to support your efforts to excel at Ascend.

New Learning Offerings & Advanced Curriculum In addition to Operator boot camps, Safety, A2E, Lumina, Engagement, and Front Line Leader workshops, we are partnering with business leaders, and moving forward on new 2012 learning offerings including; Project Management, Team building, Leadership, Executive Education, Ethics and Compliance, Sales and Strategic Account Management, Communication for Leaders, and Finance offerings. Also, we have added a new robust A2E

Steve Coletti is the Senior Manager of Learning and Development.


Site Focus: Foley, The Can Do Plant

Known as The Can Do Plant, Ascend Performance Materials in Foley, Alabama is a group of people who have reinvented themselves, and in doing so, they have changed the future of the Foley plant. Founded in 1961, originally to process waste fiber, the plant changed ownership and product over the next 50 years, but the spirit of the workforce endured. Faced with a severe decline in the demand for staple carpet fiber due to the housing market downturn and a trend toward hard surface products such as hardwood and tile, carpet fiber processing dropped from 500 million pounds per year to the current 30-40 million pounds and a critical reduction in force. The people of The Can Do Plant were undeterredthey saw an opportunity to shift the focus to compounding. Production shifted to expand the compounding operation and cross-train the entire workforce. According to plant manager, Tom Boggs, we broke down all the silos in the plant in order to ensure we had the ability to cover all the jobs with our existing staff. This cross-training has been embraced by our employees and the engagement in the process has improved all aspects of the plantfrom safety to quality to our path toward entitlement. Resin produced in the Ascend Pensacola plant is trucked to Foley and blended with additives to produce compounds customers use to make other products; for example, automotive suppliers use Ascend compounds to make injection-molded parts. With an expansion in the existing compounding line, and a new extruder coming online in December, the Foley plant expects to make 50 million pounds of compounded material in 2012, and will be a significant contributor to the long-term growth of Ascend and its reputation as a reliable supplier.

Foley by the numbers

Foley Facts

saved per truck load by using recycled boxes

million pounds of extrusion in

employees engaged in A2E


The Foley Plant began operations in 1961 and is celebrating its 50-year anniversary. The plant was originally built as a waste fibers facility under the name of Hale Manufacturing. Later names were Fovil Manufacturing, Solutia Inc. and today Ascend Performance Materials. The facility sits on a little less than 40 acres in the heart of Foley, AL. The plant produces both nylon staple and nylon compounded products for external customers. The facility is known as the can do plant due to its adaptability and flexibility to run various products. The Foley plant has been a VPP Star Site since 1999. The people of the Foley plant are committed to the community: The United Way of Baldwin County Board of Directors, volunteer firemen, EMTs, YMCA.


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employees + contractors


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I'm a Hazard
The Hazard Recognition Team developed and implemented a program to support Ascends and Foleys hazard recognition and correction efforts for 2011. Team focused on a system to get employees to report hazards where the individual was the hazard. Program is not punitive, and is designed to get employees engaged in thinking about how their behavior can be a hazard. The system is easy to use and all plant employees are using the program. Program has been recognized as a Best Practice for Ascend. Foley has realized an increase in hazard reporting from 2010 in a large part to this teams success. Team members: Jimmy Cooper, Paulette De La Garza, Don Dinish, Francine Dinish, Derrick Foster, Jeff Gardner, David Garza, Cora Heard, Oreanthia Jackson, David Nagel, Peter Parker, William Rundle, Craig Saget, Martin Stancliff, Tom Boggs.

Decatur 349 miles Greenwood 515 miles

Houston 505 miles Chocolate Bayou 533 miles


Pensacola 42 miles

A2E Team of the Quarter

In Foleys compounding operation, only recycled boxes are used for our finished goods. We receive the raw materials from Pensacola then reuse the boxes for our product. We have expanded this team to include shipping our excess boxes back to Pensacola for reuse in their process. This results in not only packaging savings, but a savings of labor as well. Total value added for the company is about $20k per month.


Otis Coleman
miles from Foley to Pensacola site years of service as a shuttle driver

Otis Coleman came to work on June 26, 1969. Every day he drives a truck between Foley and Pensacola, an 84-mile round trip, hauling 40,000 pounds of product each trip. Otis has been our loyal shuttle driver for 42 years and according to Tom Boggs, Otis can do just about anything in the Foley plant. Career

87,360 miles
40 million pound of product

3,669,120 miles
2 billion pounds of product

Recycled Packaging Reduces Waste

Foley is recycling all super sacks, boxes, foil, and paper bags.

Business Overview
Plastics | Scott Rook
Key Successes cut by 30-40% during Q3. On a brighter note, auto production levels globally are forecasted to remain relatively strongand we hope that will true. We have concern over a possible double dip recession; however, we are committed to working very closely with our partners during the tough times. Were talking daily with our customers and at the same time were looking for new opportunities to continue to expand the business.

Polymers & Fibers | Dick Prinstein

Key Successes We renewed and extended our sales agreement with Suntex, Cable Ties: In 3rd qtr 2011, we finalized a contract with one of our largest cable tie customers globally Hua Wei. They just recently moved their plant from Shanghai China to Pattaya, Thailand. Additionally we finalized contract extensions with Hellermann Tyton and added a new contract with a cable tie molder in Brazil Frontec. Compounders: In 3rd qtr 2011, we reached agreements to increase our supply to several Korean compounders Kolon, Kopla, and Shinil by up to 25% so they could supply the growing demand from Korean auto makers such as Hyundai/Kia and Daewoo Auto: we successfully reached a deal to supply Delphi China two compounded products (one with glass & impact modifier; the other only impact modifier). Both products are being produced in Foley, AL. (We are exporting to China!) The annual volume will be greater than 4 m lbs and Delphi will use the products in a variety of applications including fasteners and tanks. Additionally, we completed contracts with Century Mold, GMCH, Kongsberg and MPC in North America as well as with Novatech in Europe. Consumer & Industrial: We closed a new Rail Insulator application in Thailand through Pandrol/Railtech; and reached a 3-month supply agreement with GracoWonderland for baby stroller parts. EE: We signed a new contract with Lights of America and reached agreement with TE Connectivity to expand sales by 3+ m lbs in 2012. New Products in 3Q 2011 Cable Ties: We have continued growth of our Phase I Next Generation Cable Tie product(s) (21 SPC1 and 21 SPF1) and began selling to KSS, KST and Hua Wei in Q2. Auto: Launched 2 new compounded products for Delphi China - R413H (black and natural) and 49H (black and natural). Consumer & Industrial: Obtained approval from Technoform Germany to supply R550a 50% Glass Filled Resin compounded product. (Thank you to Foley for figuring out tough processing!) Business Outlook We saw numerous customers reduce their inventory levels in Q3 in anticipation of a slowing global economy. In some segments (such as appliance & computer production) production levels were

a specialty textile fiber producer in Taiwan. We added 18 months to the agreement and negotiated a 30% increase in volume for textile polymer. New Products in 3Q 2011 At TWD, a German textile fiber producer, we have conducted new product improvement trials on our new textile polymer, 41SD1. Preliminary results are encouraging, and the customer has complimented our spirit of cooperativeness and technical support. (Thanks to the European and US Technology team for that!) We have launched an innovative new bcf carpet yarn. (Ombre made at Greenwood.) It features variable denier and variable dyeability to allow carpet mills to produce a striated look for commercial carpet applications. Weve teamed with J&J Carpet Mills to introduce this new technology. Business Outlook In general, demand from our customers has been very variable recently for a slew of reasons. Japanese auto production has restarted after the earthquake and tsunami damage earlier this year which has strengthened our polymer sales for airbag yarn. The Chinese government has been putting policies in place to moderate inflation. An out come of that has been a slowdown in the Chinese auto market, which slightly decreased our sales for tire cord polymer in China. On the other hand, worldwide demand for our polymer for industrial uses (airbag, tire cord, etc.) has been relatively strong. Textile customers have felt the effects of global economic uncertainty as everyone in their supply chains has become very sensitive to inventory levels. We expect that Industrial demand will remain strong in the next quarter. Carpet demand will stay relatively stable, since our customers tend to service the commercial market, which has recovered more than residential, which is so tied to housing. The fourth quarter is usually the strongest quarter of the year in Textile. This year that upsurge will only offset the softness from worldwide economic conditions.

Chemicals | John Ferguson

Key Successes We successfully negotiated new sales contracts with: Solvay ITWC ArrMaz (HMD for PPA High Temperature Nylon). Significant contract term extension for one of our key HMD customers. (AA for Polyurethanes). Extended term, increased price. (BHMT for Asphalt Chemicals). Gained new business.

ISC Scorecard | 3Q
Meeting Customers Needs
AOP Percentage of SIOP Customer Promise OTD Quality defects

ACT 95.15% 92% 23,464

100% 97% N/A*

External Events Acrylonitrile demand and margins continued to weaken during Q3 due to poor demand for the three major AN derivatives (Acrylic Fiber, ABS, Acrylamide) resulting in a shortfall to AOP vs. plans. The slowdown in the Chinese economy as the Chinese try to curb inflation remains a contributing factor. Additionally poor consumer confidence and lackluster consumer spending in NA and Europe due to current global economic conditions continue to affect demand. These factors are now also affecting market demand for Adipic Acid, though our sales continue to be strong as we mitigate reduced demand to North Amercia contract customers by selling in the spot market globally. One bright spot is that the EPAs recently finalized Cross State Air Pollution Rule should spur significant (and sustainable) increased demand of AGS for use in SO2 scrubbing systems utilized in power plants, thus increasing our profitability and taking load off our Pensacola deep-well operations. Business Outlook For Q3, challenging economic conditions will continue to create headwinds for sales of our Chemicals.

Major Achievements
3Q11 represented a return to full operations across the chain after the Decatur tornado outage. Of particular note is the significant breakthrough of ADN electrode package life. As a result of several technology and A2E projects, these packs are lasting 10 times their historic levels, leading to a significant increase in capability. Additionally, CP22/23 started up uneventfully increasing our Polymer Chip capacity to over 1 billion pounds per year

Major Opportunities
With our significant increase in ADN capability, HMD has now become our biggest challenge. The good news is we have a strong combination of Technology Project, and Operations initiatives underway to push our capabilities further in this area with specific efforts on catalyst performance being tested during the 4th Quarter. In Chocolate Bayou we need to understand and address our recent rash of AN trips to set us up for 2012 operations.
* This was not previously measured/not available Ascend wide.

Pensacola Celebrates Expansion

On October 11th, the Pensacola Bay Area Chamber of Commerce hosted a celebration event and symbolic ribbon cutting ceremony at Ascend to celebrate jobs creation and capital investment, associated with the Enterprise Florida grant. Tim Montgomery kicked off the event with a warm Ascend welcome and introduction of honored guests, including Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward, Matt Lowell from Enterprise Florida, Donnie McMahon, Chamber Board Chairman, and Wilson Robertson, County Commissioner. Barry Penney delivered the keynote message in which he paid tribute to the rich heritage of experience at Ascend, as well as our dedication to the community. Other guests included community business leaders and site leadership. Our heritage of experience was illustrated in the attendance of one particular guest -- Jim Brumley, the original director of research and development at the plant, and the namesake for Brumley Lake. Each of the dignitaries gave brief remarks, all with a similar theme of acknowledging Ascend's history in the community, and its contribution to the Pensacola Bay area. In speaking of Ascend, Mayor Hayward said, "We have a global player right in our backyard....the city of Pensacola is committed to Ascend."

My Job Rocks!

by Peter Parker

Being an extruder operator includes not only running the extruder, but making pre-blends or batches and packing out the finished product. Being on a shift that has a good supporting cast makes his job, whether it be running the extruder or one of the other jobs, fun and exciting. Peter and his colleagues must work closely together. We (Bill and Mark, the other two extruder operators on the Shift) just click, he says. We know what the other ones going to do almost before he does it. By functioning so well as a team no one individual gets overwhelmed by the task or tasks at hand. Peter says his job is all about working safe, making a quality product, maximizing our pounds per hour, and giving good customer service to his internal customers, thereby ultimately taking care of the external customer. He takes seriously his role in making a profit, and expanding product lines to ensure job security for him and his colleagues for years to come. Making a quality product while working safely, to make money thats the bottom line, he says. For every minute of down time there is a production loss on average of 60 lbs. which is equal to a minimum of $75/minute. Peter grew up in Lillian, Alabama. Not only is Peter a certified EMT since 2009, he also completed the 168-hour Alabama Industrial Development Technology Course learning to build thrust reversers for airplanes. In addition to keeping busy with two sons, ages 18 and 8, Peter enjoys power lifting and ice hockey in his spare time. Peter started with Solutia in 2003 and officially joined the Ascend team in March of 2010. Peter primarily supports Vydyne operations but works with other units as well, like logistics, lab, and maintenance, to supply a good quality product to the customer. The Vydyne operating area is comprised of three main functioning tasks: extruder operator, pre-blend/ batch operator, and packout operator. With each of these in a 50-foot radius, each one has to flow well to make a quality product. Each shift I may perform a different function, but I must ensure good customer service to my fellow workers, and they ensure good customer service in return. Peter says that by following this simple rule, they have managed to improve their run rates from 3,400lbs./hr to around 3,900lbs./hr on a consistent basis. We take every increase seriously, Peter says. If we can make just 25lbs. more per hour at the end of a 12 hour shift thats 300 lbs., and 600 lbs. for the day. Thats 18,000 lbs. for a month and 216,000 lbs. for the year! We celebrate the small increases, he says. As the new extruder comes on line, in the coming months, this will be an exciting time for not only me but for the whole Foley team. Peter Parker is an Extruder Operator in Foley.

As an extruder operator, every batch and every product has its own characteristics so everyday can be different.

But thats why Peter Parkers job rocks!


The "E" in ESSH

by Don DuRivage Team members are environmental professionals from the sites Laura Aymet, Decatur, Sharron Crayton, Chocolate Bayou, Don DuRivage and Lori Napper, Greenwood, and DeAnne Sanders, Pensacola. In its second year, the team has already had success Responsible Care RC-14001 / RC-MS The Chocolate Bayou or Decatur facilities have achieved re-certification of RC-14001, and Pensacola, Foley, and Greenwood are working toward RC-MS, and will be working toward certification throughout 2012. VOC Minimization Guidance An engineering guidance document was created stating specific recommended actions to minimize Volatile Organic Carbon (VOC) emissions from pumps and piping for new projects. Don DuRivage is an ESSH Senior Manager in Greenwood.

The acronym ESSH is as prominent as other company acronyms such as BUL or DRIVER. But what do the letters ESSH stand for? Well take one letter at a timefirst letter first! The letter E is first for a reason. If you guessed E stands for environment youre half right. It also means everyone. With environmental compliance more important than ever, everyone plays a vital role in keeping our plants compliant. Of course there are environmental professionals at each plant, but we should all be committed to sustainable practices that result in environmental compliance. The Environmental Core Team is a great resource for ensuring compliance. Their work on environmental innovation includes studying ways to ensure Ascend is at the forefront of sustainable practices.

APEX 2011
On September 19, 25 delegates from 7 Ascend locations stepped foot onto the beautiful grounds surrounding the New River Gorge in West Virginia to celebrate A2E achievements, share best practices and help lay foundation for speedier and better ways to achieve breakthroughs. Those attending, either by individual merit or voted by their A2E team to represent the team project were: Chocolate Bayou Joe De La Rosa, Jr. Jason Merchant Scott Moffatt Terry Unruh Brandon Watts Paul Pathasema Decatur Darrell Eddleman Joe Forton Ray Halbrooks, Jr. Kevin Linderman Europe Sigrid Christensen Foley Kendall Gooch Peter Parker Greenwood Devlin Amyx Bobby Davenport Gary Price Gerald Upton Pensacola Annabella Anderson Jeffrey Carreon Annie Dodson Lakelyn McIntyre Jack Mussell George Thompson Daniel Torrez Walter Woodfin Jr.

These individuals represent the highest ideals of A2E leadership, engagement and ownership. Over three days they spent time in teambuilding and brainstorming sessions to help find ways in which the impact of A2E can be improved across the entire Ascend organization. Fred Poses, CEO, made an impression on the group as they dove in and presented their projects with pride and passion on the first morning. Fred challenged the group to think of progress in terms of breakthroughs, and not be satisfied with incremental improvements go for the big opportunities to get the big results. But it wasnt all work and no play! APEX Delegates, along with other members of the Ascend team acting as hosts to the event, learned that flying through the tree tops wasnt just for monkeys! Several delegates quickly got over any fear of heights when they had a chance to experience zip lining for the first time! Day 2 found others getting over water anxieties. Rafting guides took the teams up to the top of the Lower New River to begin the adventure of a life time, as they boarded 8-man rafts and began a white water journey that left many hearts racing. Team building skills learned in the earlier sessions were key here! The APEX delegates left West Virginia motivated to think not just about how good they may be today, but to think about how good they could be!

Constructive Dissatisfaction

Speed counts!

Go for the breakthroughs!

Dont settle for incremental gains!

40 Years Don Laster 35 years Gregory Simmons Gregory Zabrecky Cora Jean Heard Jesse Roakes Kent Nesvik 20 Years Robert Turner Jr. Julian Bolden Darleen Haddock David McCullough David Newsome James Preston Timothy Segars Sheryl Aiken Kathleen Broome Nancy Siegler Chocolate Bayou Decatur Decatur Decatur Decatur Decatur Decatur Greenwood Greenwood Greenwood Chocolate Bayou Chocolate Bayou Foley Greenwood Pensacola Pensacola

Customer Service

by Lisa Entrekin

Ascend celebrated National Customer Service Week October 3-7 with banners, balloons, dinners, and giftsall in celebration of our valued Customer Service teams in Atlanta, Houston, and Pensacola! Started by the International Customer Service Association in 1988, National Customer Service week is a national event as proclaimed by the U.S. Congress. Each year, thousands of businesses celebrate Customer Service Week to recognize the importance of customer service, and to honor employees responsible for the taking care of customers. Thanks to Ascend Customer Service team members for your customer focus and your professionalism in representing the company to our customers! Lisa Entrekin is a Customer Service Advisor in Houston.

IT Corner by Donna Luebbers

A common request we receive for I.T. assistance is when Outlook 2003 users stop receiving new email.It is most often due to users going Offline in Microsoft Online Services. The email mode is Pensacola Customer Service Team

located in the lower right hand corner of the screen and will appear as either Online or Offline (assuming status bar is enabled). If a user stops receiving new mail (or their email does not get sent out)that is the first place to check. If it's in anOffline state, use the drop-down arrow and uncheck the Work Offline setting to put Outlook back in Online mode. Houston Customer Service Team

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