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Mark Keaten graduated from NC State in 1979 with a BS degree in Pulp and Paper Technology.  We recently reached out to Mark to find out about his experiences here at NC State, his career and advice for current students.  Thanks for your time and your willingness to share Mark.

Internship & Co-Op Experiences While at NC State

  • St. Joe Paper (May – August 1977)
  • Container Corporation of America (May – August 1978)

Best Memory at State: 

  • Attending the basketball and football games.

Worst Memory at State:

  • My first Chemical Engineering test grade.

Clubs/Hobbies:

  • I was married with 1 child and living in married student housing thus, this was my club and hobby.

Favorite part of PSE Program:

  • The fact that you really got to know your professors and your classmates while achieving a top quality education to build a future, while attending a large university with all the added advantages it offered.

Most important thing PSE taught me:

  • The basics taught within the program set the floor for me to be able to build my career, what I needed to add was effort and commitment.

Current career information:

  • GAF – Director Mat Operations

Years at current job:

  • July 2010

What is your favorite part of your current job: 

  • The ability to manage the nonwoven business for GAF which supplies all of the required product to meet our shingle businesses for residential roofing customers in the United States.

What are your current hobbies and interests: 

  • I am a workout fanatic and like to work on home remodeling and upkeep projects. My interests are my religion and my family.

Biggest accomplishment in your career: 

  • The turn around of a Champion International plant from a significant loss situation into a profitable manufacturing operation.

Advise for Current Students:

  • Always follow through on what you have committed to, never consider yourself any better than anyone else, listen more than you speak, and strive to learn something new everyday.

What other positions have you held:

  • I started out at St. Regis Paper Company in 1979 as a Process Engineer. I became Technical Manager for Champion International in 1986. I was promoted to Production Manager in 1992 and Plant Manager in 1994 all with Champion International. In 2005 I became Plant Manager for GAF and was promoted to my current position in 2010.

Any other comments or thouhts that you want to share:

  • I have a great appreciation for the education I received within PSE as it has helped me to build a career that has exceeded my expectations.

Personal Information:

  • Hometown: Waxahachie, Texas
  • I have been married to my wife Joan for 43 years. I have 3 children who are all married and have blessed me with 4 grandchildren. Two of my children and their families live in Texas and my oldest along with his wife, live in Idaho.

By guest blogger Manon McAllister