1998 Laureates

Toy F. Reid

As Toy Reid recalls , "I was at Georgia Tech studying for a masters degree in chemical engineering, when I interviewed for a job with the Eastman people. Several factors motivated me to seek them out. An older sister worked for a textile mill in South Carolina, to whom Eastman sold fibers. Her boss had always spoken highly of them, said it was well managed, with high regard for its people. My brother worked for Union Carbide and we both thought it best we not work for the same company. In addition, the chemical engineering department at Georgia Tech recommended them highly. So when they offered the job, I took it."

A native of Rock Hill, South Carolina, Toy Reid was one of eight children born to Methodist minister Toy Fennell Reid and Marteal Mulliken Reid. While attending high school in Columbia, Toy met Martha Josephine Eggerton , who became Mrs. Reid in May 1947. The Reids are parents of a daughter, Marjo, and a son, Mark, and have two grandchildren, Kailyn and Toy Marcus Reid.

Toy earned a BS in Chemistry from the University of South Carolina, a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Illinois, and an MS in Chemical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology. He served as a meteorologist in the U.S. Army Air Force during World War II with the rank of Captain.

When Toy retired as an executive vice president of Eastman Kodak Company and general manager, Eastman Chemicals Division in 1989, he ended a career that spanned 40 years. He joined Tennessee Eastman Company in 1948 as an assistant research chemical engineer. Toy directed various manufacturing divisions before serving as plant manager at Carolina Eastman Company and was elected a vice president of Tennessee Eastman in 1972. His election as an executive vice president of Eastman Kodak Company and appointment as general manager, Eastman Chemical Division, came in1979.

Toy Reid's career was highlighted by his direction of the pioneering of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) in beverage and food containers, and he was responsible for the decision which resulted in Eastman's becoming the first United States manufacturer to commercialize a modern generation of industrial chemicals using coal as feedstock. Toy led the development and application of matrix organizational approaches to accelerate commercialization of the PET packaging business. He was an industry leader in applying quality concepts to all management processes and particularly to innovation and commercialization. In 1988, Toy received the 39th Commercial Development Association Honor Award for exemplifying the highest standards of commercial development and practice. He was listed in Marquis' "Who's Who in America". In 1994, he was inducted into the Academy of Distinguished Alumni of Georgia Tech's College of Engineering.

Toy Reid served on numerous boards of directors including: the Eastman Kodak Board, the Tennessee State Board of Education, Provident Life and Accident Insurance, American Electric Power Company, First American Corporation, Holston Valley Hospital and Medical Center, Inc., Junior Achievement of Kingsport, and United Way of Greater Kingsport. He has served as chairman of the board of the American Industrial Health Council and as a director of Chemical Manufacturers Association, and was named a Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. He is an honorary trustee of Emory and Henry College, which awarded him an honorary doctorate in 1983. He has been active in numerous civic and professional organizations including the American Society for Quality Control, National Society of Professional Engineers, Society of Chemical Industry, and Tau Beta Pi honorary engineering society. Toy is a past president of the Kingsport Rotary Club and a Paul Harris Fellow. The Kingsport Jaycees chose him for their Distinguished Service Award.

The Reids are active members of First Broad Street United Methodist Church. Toy is a former trustee of the Holston Conference Colleges of the Methodist Church.

Toy Reid's views on the role of a corporation in the community are clear. "Each company has to be a good citizen, doing not only what is right by law, but what we morally should be doing." Toy Reid's life mirrors his philosophy. His leadership and vision continue to make a difference—in our region, the state of Tennessee and the global chemical industry.