Mark Smith

Profile Updated: May 10, 2017
Residing In: Greer, SC USA
Spouse/Partner: Brenda
Homepage: www.techsmiths.blogspot.com
Occupation: Retired!
Children: Dr. McKenzie (ChE) - Pursuing a post-doc in Tokyo with CalTech!
Hunter - Working as a Business Analyst More…at Novant Health Systems in Fort Mill, SC.
Titanius - cat extraordinaire, "our baby," sadly, has passed.
Military Service: US Army Reserve, 1982 - 1988  
Comments:

I graduated from Purdue University in 1974 in Chemical Engineering and immediately began the PhD program. My undergrad cooperative work experience gradually convinced me that I preferred to work in manufacturing, not research, so I left in 1976 with a Masters in ChE... and took a job doing research! (Was awarded two patents, too!) But eventually I transferred to a working plant.

In 1982 my conscience was bothering me about having had a college deferment during Vietnam. I took a 14-week hiatus from my job and went through Army boot camp and AIT... at age 31! I spent six years as an Army Reservist. My unit's mission was training initial-entry soldiers in infantry tactics and mortar gunnery. In the six years, I figure I had a hand in training 1,000 soldiers.

My work career was an extended effort to get back to Virginia. My first job, the research one, was in Ohio with Diamond Shamrock Corporation. After four years I transferred internally to a plant in New Jersey. Four years later, I transferred to another plant in Charlotte, NC - hopping over Virginia. I met my wife while working there; I was Technical Manager and she was Lab Manager. Our division was sold to a German company, Henkel Corporation. Four years later - another transfer! A short one, this time, to the other side of Charlotte, where I took over a small, recently purchased plant. A year later, it was closed and the two Smiths were sent as a package deal to Mauldin, SC, where Henkel had bought yet another plant. There we were Technical Manager and Manufacturing Chemist. Four more years... and this time I was downsized. I was out of work six months before becoming Production Superintendent at Morton International (Morton Salt was one of their divisions; Morton-Thiokol was another, making air bag propellants. I was in Process Chemicals.) I had a rocky two years there, including breaking a strike. I jumped when I found a position as Production Manager at a new plant to be built, making resins for copier toner. Nippon Carbide International was a lovely and challenging job. We built our plant from scratch based on internally-developed technology. As the senior American on staff - and the only person who could understand the pidgin English our Japanese used and translate it to the outside world - I was the public face for NCI in South Carolina. I got to take several trips to Japan for consultation and training. After nine months building, we started up the plant with a staff I selected and trained. Later, when the Japanese VP was promoted to President of the Toner Division, I moved up to Plant Manager. I finally retired after seven years, leaving in October 2005.

Fortunately for me, Henkel, Morton, and NCI were all within about ten miles of each other, so the change of companies didn't uproot my family.

In Dec '14 we bought our retirement house, about 5 miles from our old one. We spent three months moving in, shifting goods a carload at a time. Then we ourselves moved... and started working on selling our old home. We have a closing date at the end of Sep 2015.

My chief and favorite activity in retirement is narrating audiobooks for Librivox.org. We produce only works that are in the public domain, and we make them FREE to download. If you are an audiobook consumer, don't miss this great resource! www.librivox.org Our catalog contains over 4,000 books. Of these, 68 were narrated solely by me, and collectively, they've been downloaded over 11 million times!

All this "practice" has given me a start in professional audiobook narration. I have 37 works available on Audible.com.

I've also fallen in with a group of local board gamers. I find I enjoy, not just playing board games, but designing them. I've produced prototypes of ten so far; my gaming group play-tests them and helps me smooth any rough edges. Several, they think, might be commercially viable. (Note 05/17 - my stable is now up to 15 games!)

In 2015, we moved our home for the first time in 25 years... we moved a whole 5 miles! Technically, that means I'm no longer "Mark Smith, of Simpsonville, SC" as my credits on my LibriVox works proclaim me, but rather "of Greer, SC." But, shhhh! Don't tell anyone!

School Story:

I was the awarding authority for the Gordovic P. Braunowski - Steiner Svenburg Awards. Winning one was NOT a guarantee of future success in life! If you never got one... and wanted badly to have one... I may have an old one somewhere in my memorabilia for you!

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Aug 03, 2017 at 12:55 PM

Welcome aboard, Don!

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Welcome aboard, Wendell!

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Oct 06, 2016 at 12:38 PM

A very happy birthday to you, Linda! I hope we'll see you for the 50th!

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Posted on: Oct 30, 2014 at 12:04 AM

Welcome aboard, Edie!

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Feb 27, 2014 at 10:36 AM

Happy Birthday, Twinkle-Toes! Numerically, you've caught up with me again!

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