Runs Batted In

Baseball’s Spring Training is in full force and Opening Day is right around the corner.

Will this be the year the Chicago Cubs repeat their World Series win? Perhaps, a couple of No Hitters will be pitched, a new season Home Run Record established, or possibly a Runs Batted In (RBI) record will be set?

I know what you’re thinking - Where is he going with this? Allow me to elaborate.

In non-baseball terms, RBI stands for the Renewable Bioproducts Institute located at Georgia Tech. The theme for this year’s conference was Growing Resources Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow: People, Technologies and Ideas.Growing Resources Final

On March 7-8, I and approximately 150-175 people had the privilege of attending RBI’s Annual Executive Conference in Atlanta.

Though they continue to get better every year, this was one of the best I have attended. The week was very special for me because I was in the presence of three former TAPPI Board Chairs: Kathleen Bennett, Norman Marsolan and Chris Luettgen, all in the same room.

The conference began with John Williams, CEO of Domtar, giving an outstanding Keynote address “Building Blocks of our Industry’s Future”. The schedule continued with an RBI Endowment Portfolio Overview, two track sessions covering six very important topics for our industry, a special student section entitled The Student Experience: Effective Means & Value of Industry Experience featuring student panels, a buffet lunch and two Poster Sessions; highlights of GT faculty research, Session 4’s RAPID Initiative: Opportunities for Bioproducts Advancement, and Flash Reports from Georgia Tech. Whew, and that was just the first day!


Dione Morton of GT and TAPPI Student Chapter Treasurer Yoon Joo Na

Seen left helping with Chris Luettgen’s class registration during Part 2 of the poster session.

60 new Student Members of TAPPI were signed. (Please note how creative they are with a set of USB thumb drives.)

Day 2 began with introductions of recent additions to the Georgia Tech Faculty and then Q &A with seven members of GT’s faculty who described their specific areas of expertise. The day concluded with the five leaders of Georgia Tech IRI’s (Interdisciplinary Research Institutes) commenting on the specific areas of each IRI.  

In Norman Marsonlan’s own words; “The Renewable Bioproducts Institute is a place of extraordinary interactions. It’s a setting where people and ideas come together to create innovative technologies through groundbreaking research. As we examine how best to meet the needs of a growing population and reduce the use of non-renewable resources, we see the world of Bioproducts and bioprocessing as key to lasting solutions. RBI has the people, ideas and technology to lead the way in this new revolution toward a more sustainable global environment.”

In addition to these exemplary qualities and mission, RBI is proud to have 13 Member Companies whose engagement makes possible the advancement of RBI’s research, programs and students.

If your company is not a member I recommend that you contact RBI Executive Director Norman Marsolan at 404-894-2082 to see how your company can become involved.

If you are not a member of TAPPI please go to

Remember, there are two types of people in our industry, TAPPI Members, and those who should be.

Until next time………………..Larry

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Travels With Larry

Travels With Larry

A Passion for TAPPI Local Sections

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Paper Shows up in the Strangest Places

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Is it the People or the Equipment?

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How Many Times Have You Heard the Term Found Money?

During a recent early morning walk around Peachtree Corners, Ga., I found what I thought was a small pile of leaves.

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You Never Know

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If you Mess it Up, Un-Mess It!

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When It Rains, It Poors Or Does it?

When it rains, it pours… or does it? During TAPPI’s recent, very successful, PEERS and IBBC conferences in Tacoma, WA, we had over 400 people registered. There were representatives from 14 countries who attended these meetings. Three of

The Year of the Dragon - Part 1

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To find something Special sometimes you have to look under every Rock

On June 22, 2016 I had the pleasure to visit a location of a 75 Year TAPPI Sustaining Member Company. That company is WestRock and that location was the Aurora, IL Paperboard Facility.

An Accent on Innovation

On May 13, 2014, Eric Fletty and I had the opportunity to visit with one of TAPPI’s Sustaining Member companies, Kadant Inc., at its Kadant Johnson facility in Three Rivers, Mich., USA. 

A Small World

On June 25, 2012, Scott Springmier, Eric Fletty, and I accepted a previous invitation from long-time TAPPI member and a young, Mike Ditka look-alike, Jim Niemiec...

Travels with Larry near the Windy City

The date of August 16th has a special meaning to me. This date happens to be the day, in different years, when the Sultan of Swat, Babe Ruth...

Dreams Do Come True

Dreams do come so many ways. Our industry has been called many things during the past 2,000 years...

WestRock Production Managers Development Program

Have you ever had one of those days when you discover a project that makes you say; “Wow, I wish I had thought of that one!”?

Familiar Names, a New location and a New Attitude

April 19 20, 2017 (right before PaperCon2017) Kristi Ledbetter, TAPPI’s Converting Division Manager, and I had the privilege to revisit a company that I had the pleasure of writing about several years ago.

One of a kind CEO, one of a kind company

Recently a politician made a statement during a campaign speech: "Corporations are not people, people are people...