Michelle Caveness
Director, Adhesives Manufacturing
Eastman Chemical Company


“I am passionate about manufacturing, because it is on the frontline of growth. I love leading the team challenged with turning ideas into reality, developing new leaders, and making a difference in our community. Manufacturing is an exciting place to grow where customer needs and innovation intersect.”

Michelle currently has responsibility for manufacturing results at six sites globally, where her work underpins safety and reliability and accelerates volume growth. Prior to this role, she drove growth by sourcing and supporting oversight for ten successful capacity de-bottlenecks and startups across three continents and three business organizations, working closely with business leadership and manufacturing teams to change asset strategy while addressing cultural, capital and technology challenges.

Most significantly, Michelle was responsible for organic anhydride sourcing following a process safety event that constrained normal production routes for a major production stream. Successful recovery from this event was critical to Eastman’s overall growth strategy. Michelle’s leadership was an invaluable element of Eastman’s response during this critical time. Not only was reliability reestablished, but under Michelle’s guidance and mentorship, productivity was even higher than before, and new leaders were developed.

Having benefited from those who invested in her, Michelle now mentors women in Eastman’s manufacturing and technology organizations, seeking to strengthen early-career employees by reinforcing design and operational fundamentals. She championed the development of a corporate onboarding program for consistent development of technical and project leadership fundamentals for both new and experienced employees. Recently, Michelle has also devoted a significant amount of time developing a multiyear campus strategy to boost the technical strength and diversity of Eastman’s campus hires. 

Outside of work, Michelle has partnered with a local community church and elementary school to start an after-school tutoring program focused on underpinning reading and math skills for third through fifth grade students. She has also volunteered extensively with Girls Inc. of Kingsport, which provides after-school care, educational support and leadership motivation for girls. From an initial field day volunteer opportunity, Michelle’s interest has extended to rallying volunteer support for the organization, resulting in a record number of Eastman volunteers at annual events during the past two years.  

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