KINGSPORT – Eastman Chemical Company today hosted its Regional Leaders Breakfast for leaders in the Tri-Cities community. Chairman and CEO Mark Costa discussed Eastmans transformation into a leading specialty chemical company that today employs approximately 15,000 worldwide and has nearly 50 manufacturing sites located all across the globe.

Costa spoke to regional leaders during the companys annual breakfast, which was held at the MeadowView Conference Resort and Convention Center in Kingsport. After highlighting the companys 2014 accomplishments, Costa described how the company has improved its portfolio over the past several years by shedding underperforming, volatile businesses while adding higher value, more specialty businesses with better industry structures. This shift in the portfolio has resulted in a stronger company with more consistent earnings.

This portfolio transformation, which includes growth in our core businesses as well as through acquisitions, has also increased the companys presence both globally and in attractive end-markets that have great growth potential, said Costa. This global and end-market diversity is a strength that provides a competitive advantage for Eastman.

During his presentation Costa highlighted Eastman materials that can be found in two of its largest markets, building and construction and transportation. Eastman has increased our presence in each of these markets by innovations in our core technologies, but also through recent acquisitions, said Costa. Today we offer more complete business solutions to our customers as well as the ability to co-innovate to meet persistent, unmet needs in the marketplace.

Growth for Eastman is good news for its headquarters and the local community, added Costa. In 2012, Eastman announced Project Inspire, a $1.6 billion reinvestment of the companys Kingsport site. This project includes construction of a new corporate business center to be located on the companys corporate campus. Costa briefly updated the audience of more than 200 on the buildings construction and thanked regional leaders for their support of the project. He added that the company has made it a priority to hire locally, having awarded over 50 subcontracts for work and nearly 70 percent going to Tri-Cities area businesses or Tennessee-based businesses.

Costa thanked the group for their attendance and their leadership in the community. He then concluded the event by answering questions on a variety of topics.

Eastman is a global specialty chemical company that produces a broad range of products found in items people use every day. With a portfolio of specialty businesses, Eastman works with customers to deliver innovative products and solutions while maintaining a commitment to safety and sustainability. Its market-driven approaches take advantage of world-class technology platforms and leading positions in attractive end-markets such as transportation, building and construction, and consumables. Eastman focuses on creating consistent, superior value for all stakeholders. As a globally diverse company, Eastman serves customers in approximately 100 countries and had 2014 revenues of approximately $9.5 billion. The company is headquartered in Kingsport, Tennessee, USA and employs approximately 15,000 people around the world. For more information, visit www.eastman.com