The pioneering spirit of this company was born early and laid a strong foundation for future generations. Eastman has current team members who proudly serve as fourth and fifth generation employees and who possess values they say were passed on by those who came before them. These are their stories.
James “Mike” Egan never wavered in his desire to become a pilot. When he toured the Tri-Cities Airport as a high school student and saw Eastman’s Aviation Operations, he knew he wanted to become a corporate pilot.
In 2012, when he was hired by Eastman, he became a fourth-generation employee.
“It’s kind of cool to be able to say that, with the three generations before you, there’s over 100 years of service to the company. I know that’s old-fashioned and that’s not the way of the business world these days to have that kind of legacy in a company, but that is something our family is proud of,” Mike says.
His history with Eastman started with his great-grandfather, James Egan, who worked in Central Shops for more than three decades. His grandfather, George Milford Egan, was a production supervisor in CE Division for more than 40 years. Mike’s father, Larry Egan, worked in Acid Division for nearly 33 years. “He was an analytical chemist. When I was in middle school and high school, he was running the Building 359 lab, processing samples. He spent some time in research, but most of his service was in Acid Division,” Mike says.
"Growing up, I didn’t show much interest in most of the things Eastman did, other than flying,” he says. “When I was in middle school, I took a tour of the hangar and the company planes and thought, ‘this would be something I might like to do.’ I toured the hangar again in high school, after the company had transitioned to jets. I had already decided long before that I was going to become a pilot, but that visit convinced me that corporate flying, and flying for Eastman, was something I wanted to pursue.”