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 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...

Seneca Steel Erectors, Inc.

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Paper Shows up in the Strangest Places

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Dreams Do Come True

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A Very Special Visit

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Is it the People or the Equipment?

Finally an answer to that age old argument—is it the people or the equipment?

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.

Runs Batted In

In non-baseball terms, RBI stands for the Renewable Bioproducts Institute located at Georgia Tech. 

What a whirlwind in September & October 2016 Volume 1

Fall 2016 -- Keynote Speaker at Pulp and Paper Industry Reliability and Maintenance Conference. 

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...

Riddle Me This!

On Thursday, January 8, 2015, Kristi Ledbetter, Eric Fletty and I had the privilege of having two gentlemen from one of TAPPI’s newest Sustaining Members...

Larry Travels to Delaware

Our trek to Wilmington, Del., although extremely interesting was not to find the answer to this burning question.

The Year of the Dragon - Part 1

Back in 1991, during my days with Republic Paperboard in Hutchinson, Kan., USA, a gentleman set up an appointment with me to discuss a "revolutionary idea...

If you Mess it Up, Un-Mess It!

If you have been around any time at all in our industry, you know that things will get messed up in the areas of finished goods...

You Never Know

John, you will be missed...

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. 

Old Home Week

It never ceases to amaze me, when TAPPI Members come together for a corporate visit or TAPPI conference with 100-5,000 people...

A Passion for TAPPI Local Sections

How many times do you get to actually meet with two of the legends of TAPPI's Local Section community...

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...