Paul gives the two thumbs up gesture and a smile while running in his Eastman shirt.

Paul Burger often wears his Eastman running shirt during races and while training.

The race to success is a marathon, not a sprint. Paul Burger learned that lesson as both a runner and an Eastman employee.  

The patience and determination crucial to marathon training help in his role as a global quality assurance representative. In 2022 he helped Eastman gain full membership into FAMI-QS, a global organization that evaluates the quality and safety of specialty feed ingredients. The company had been an associate member since 2004.

“I need to balance the energy I spend at work like when I run a marathon,” Burger said. “I need to decide where I can reserve and also where I need to put in extra energy. It’s the same as I do in a marathon to pace myself, which helps me continue enjoying the work at hand.”

Based at Eastman’s Rotterdam site in The Netherlands, Burger travels on behalf of the company performing quality audits of Eastman products and ensuring customers have great experiences. He also acts as a liaison with external auditors and certifying organizations. He’s been with Eastman for 25 years; the last 12 have been with the company’s global quality team. 

Burger picked up running in 2014, thinking it would be a good pastime during his daughter’s weekly horseback riding lesson. He had a lot to learn and even took a training course in running basics and technique. 

“If I do something, I want to do it well,” he said. 

Eventually, he began running 5K and 10K races, which led to an even bigger challenge. He completed his first marathon in 2017 and has since completed 11 with another scheduled in April 2023.

“Sometimes even 5 kilometers seems to be far, but I know the next run will be better,” he said. “Like in my work at Eastman, I like to improve and learn new stuff every day.” 

His role at Eastman supports his running journey. As the animal nutrition business has expanded, Burger has traveled to new cities and countries for product quality, and this has given him opportunities to log miles internationally. Finland, Spain, and the U.S. — Burger tries to run wherever business takes him.

“That keeps me going,” he said. “I can combine my passions for running and working. Eastman wants to have healthy people — in the mind and in the body — so what’s better than to bring your running shoes on a business trip?”

About Eastman

Founded in 1920, Eastman is a global specialty materials company that produces a broad range of products found in items people use every day. With the purpose of enhancing the quality of life in a material way, Eastman works with customers to deliver innovative products and solutions while maintaining a commitment to safety and sustainability. The company’s innovation-driven growth model takes advantage of world-class technology platforms, deep customer engagement, and differentiated application development to grow its leading positions in attractive end markets such as transportation, building and construction, and consumables. As a globally inclusive and diverse company, Eastman employs approximately 14,500 people around the world and serves customers in more than 100 countries. The company had 2022 revenue of approximately $10.6 billion and is headquartered in Kingsport, Tennessee, USA.