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.

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 www.tappi.org.

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

Until next time………………..Larry