NC East Alliance

Sustainability in Manufacturing: Sharing Environmental, Energy and Waste Reduction Practices

Thursday, March 26th, 2015 (1:00 pm - 3:30 pm)
Wilson Community College - DelMastro Auditorium
902 Herring Avenue East
Wilson, NC 27893

Contact Information
Steven Pearce
(252) 689-6496

Registration for this event has closed. Thanks to all who registered!

Event Details 

Bridgestone Logo.jpg

Event will be highlighted by remarks from Bridgestone’s Wilson Plant Manager, Michael Darr, speaking about their journey to achieve zero waste to landfill, reduce waste and achieve ISO 50001 certification. A panel of senior manufacturing operators from across NC will also speak about their successes related to sustainability, and how this has benefited their business. Attendees can also select to attend a post main event Sustainability Workshop in which they will explore the details of developing a sustainability plan in a manufacturing setting - hosted by Bridgestone Americas Director of Environmental Management, Greer Tidwell. 

Attendees have the option of attending a lunch meeting in which Executive Director of STEM East, Steve Hill will speak about Strategies That Engage Minds”– an NCEast Alliance workforce development initiative that is engaging employers and educators to fill the talent pipeline.



Pre-Main Event Options

9:30 am - 11:30 am  Pre-Main Event Bridgestone Plant Tour - at capacity
11:45 am - 12:45 "Strategies That Engage Minds" Lunch - at capacity

Main Event Agenda

1:00 pm - 1:10 pm


John D. Chaffee

President & CEO, NCEast Alliance

1:10 pm -1:30 pm

Donald R. van der Vaart

Secretary, NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources

1:30 pm - 1:35 pm

Jennifer Lantz

Executive Director, Wilson Economic Development Council

1:35 pm - 2:05 pm

Bridgestone Wilson Manufacturing Sustainability Successes

Michael Darr

Plant Manager, Bridgestone Americas - Wilson

2:05 pm - 2:55 pm

Manufacturers Roundtable: Sharing Sustainability Success Stories

Bridgestone Americas - Wilson, NC

Cummins - Rocky Mount, NC

NACCO Materials Handling Group - Greenville, NC

2:55 - 3:00 pm

Closing Remarks

John D. Chaffee

President & CEO, NCEast Alliance

 3:00 pm - 3:30 pm Networking

Post Main Event Options

3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Manufacturers Sustainability Workshop

Greer Tidwell

Director of Environmental Management, Bridgestone Americas

 3:30 pm - 5:30 pm  Post-Main Event Bridgestone Plant Tour at capacity


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Michael Darr - Plant Manager, Bridgestone Americas - Wilson, NC

Michael Darr is the plant manager of Bridgestone’s Wilson Passenger tire plant.  He has been with Bridgestone 17 years, starting at their Aiken County, SC plant for 10 years before being named Operations Manager of the Wilson plant in 2008.  He has been plant manager since 2014.   Michael has an industrial engineering degree from Geneva College and an MBA from the University of South Carolina


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Greer Tidwell, Director of Environmental Management, Bridgestone Americas

Greer Tidwell is Director of Environmental Management for Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations. The company’s tire manufacturing plants are all ISO 14001 certified; include the first two LEED certified tire plants in the world, and an ISO 5001 certified plant.   Three of the plants have achieved zero landfilling including the world’s first  manufacturing plant certified for zero landfilling by Underwriter’s Laboratory.   

Donald R. van der Vaart - 2.13.2015.jpg

Dr. Donald R. van der Vaart, Secretary of the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources

Donald R. van der Vaart was named Secretary of the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources effective January 1, 2015. 

Since Aug. 2014, Dr. van der Vaart has served as DENR's deputy secretary, and as the department’s energy policy advisor.

Before becoming deputy secretary and energy policy advisor, van der Vaart worked as an engineering supervisor and later as program manager for the N.C. Division of Air Quality. He also teaches environmental policy and law at N.C. State University. His previous work includes scientific research at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and at Research Triangle Institute. Van der Vaart also has experience in research and regulatory positions for energy and utility companies in the private sector.

Van der Vaart holds a doctorate in Chemical Engineering from the University of Cambridge (England), a law degree from North Carolina Central University, a master’s degree in Chemical Engineering from N.C. State University, and a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a licensed Professional Engineer and attorney in North Carolina.  He has published numerous technical and legal articles and holds two patents.

Steve Hill Headshot.jpgDr. Steve Hill, Executive Director, STEM East

Dr. Hill is the Executive Director of STEM East, a regional workforce education initiative with NCEast Alliance. STEM East develops networks with employers, public/private organizations and educational institutions to direct career pathways for graduates that lead to viable employment in eastern NC. A primary duty of STEM East is the creation of workforce development processes that can flex to meet emerging workforce needs. Dr. Hill has developed his career through an entrepreneurial business and within the NC Government and Education System.  He holds degrees in Business Administration and Education Administration from Mount Olive College and East Carolina University and recently earned a EdD from East Carolina University.


The main event will take place at the  DelMastro Auditorium at Wilson Community College: 902 Herring Avenue, Wilson, NC 27893. Click here for a WCC campus map. 

Directions from:

Raleigh-Durham International Airport Pitt-Greenville Airport 
Directions from RDU Airport Directions from Pitt-Greenville Airport
Travel Time: 1 hour 10 minutes Travel Time: 38 minutes
Distance: 66 miles Distance: 35 miles


Guests needing overnight accommodations may take advantage of a reduced rate at either of the hotels below by calling and stating the would like the "Sustainability in Manufacturing" rate.

Holiday Inn Express Downtown: $85 per night

(252) 246-1588

2308 Montgomery Drive

Wilson, NC 27893

Holiday Inn Express I-95: $65 per night

(252) 234-7900

5000 Hayes Place

Wilson, NC 27896

Bridgestone Tours - at capacity

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Guests will have the option to participate in a tour of Bridgestone prior to the main event from 9:30 am - 11:30 am (at capacity) or a post-main event tour from 3:30 pm - 5:30 pm (at capacity).

Please be sure to choose the appropriate track and tour preference when you register. Tours are on a first come-first serve basis and space is limited. 

Staging areas for tours will be at Wilson Community College (WCC). Guests will travel by shuttle bus to Bridgestone for the tour and after the tour will be shuttled back to WCC.

9:30 am Tour - If you register for the 9:30 am tour, the bus will depart Wilson Community College promptly at 9:00 am. Please arrive early enough to board the bus so that it can depart on time. 


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Available Tracks
Track 1Main Event Only$0.00
Track 2Main Event + Options$0.00

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