Good afternoon Dr. Spagna, I guess I’m writing to address your request for Alumni information. It’s nice to know that there is some concern for what we do to generate the donations and not just how much the donation will be this year. I’m glad you are taking this step to build a network of contacts.
I started working for Bear Island Paper a few weeks after finishing in December 1989. I worked in the production labs running tests on various feed stocks and finished product characteristics. The realization, that a mistake in test results at 2:00 am could costs hundreds of thousands of dollars in the space of an hour, got me out of the college mode pretty quickly. In 1992 tired of shift work and looking for more opportunity, I started at Virginia Abrasives to help them install a beta gauging system to measure add on coat weights in the production of sandpaper. I was also tasked with developing a company wide quality control program to include process monitoring and training. From there, I developed the company’s first safety program. Developing those two company wide programs gave me a broad understanding of the process and ultimately led to me running the operation from raw materials through initial jumbo production. My move into marketing was not exactly planned but has been very rewarding. In 2001, Virginia Abrasives purchased another manufacturer and due to my experience constructing the products I was tapped to head up their more technical sales. This put me in constant contact with the entire sales team and with marketing. Within a year, I was asked to take over marketing in addition to my technical sales. I’m currently working on my third 44-page catalog and will start updating our website to include a full shopping cart by the end of the year. The biggest challenge I constantly face is the fact that customer behavior is anything but “Physics” rational. In 1996, I married my wife Tara and we have two boys, Jared and Matt. Our free time is fairly non-existent since we own a dance school that my wife started in 2004.
That’s as brief as I can be about the last 17-years. Please let me know if you have any questions. Thanks again for putting this together.
Reg BurgessMarketing ManagerVirginia Abrasives Corporation2851 Service RoadPetersburg, VA 238051(804) 732.0058