T.A. Smith on Sept. 1 assumed responsibilities as vice president and general manager of Eastman Chemical Co.'s container plastics business. He relocated to Eastman's headquarters in Kingsport, Tenn., from Coral Gables, Fla., where he had been president of the firm's Latin America region.
Under Smith's leadership in the past five years, Eastman's sales in that region grew from approximately $135 million in 1994 to more than $367 million in 1998. During that time the company started up manufacturing plants in Argentina and Mexico, as well as customer service centers in Coral Gables; Mexico City; Sao Paulo, Brazil; and Buenos Aires, Argentina.
A native of Houston, Smith earned a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from Texas A&M University. He began his career with Eastman in 1966 at the Longview, Texas, plant. Since then, he has held varied positions of increasing responsibility, including vice president and general manager of the flexible plastics business, and head of the Latin America region.
He participated in the negotiations to spin off Eastman Chemical from Kodak in 1993-94.
Smith, a registered professional engineer in Texas, has been a member of The Council of the Americas, the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce, and the Multinational Executive Forum of Coral Gables.