CUYAHOGA FALLS, OH – Emerald Specialties Group, a business group of Emerald Performance Materials, has formed a team focused on digital applications, expanding its commercial and research and development (R&D) staff for Hilton Davis® color and black dispersions. The move supports growing demand in the key digital and inkjet segments. The company appointed Willis Reese as Business Director and added Jim Brock and Xiaoming Wu to the growing R&D team as Dispersions R&D Chemist and Senior Digital Technologies Chemist, respectively.

As Business Director, Reese will focus on the commercialization of Emerald's newly patented line of Lucida Colors self-dispersed pigment dispersions, including the development of markets and customers, and develop strategy for select technical dye and polymer technology in the digital marketplace. He is involved in several digital ink and printing technology associations, and his background in specialty materials includes a variety of business development and commercial roles with a focus on graphic arts and digital applications. Most recently, he held the position of Chief Digital Officer with Premier Digital Ink, and he also held business leadership positions with Sakata INX, Hexion, Lubrizol and Sun Chemical.

"We have made significant investments recently in new technologies and increased capabilities at our site in Cincinnati, Ohio, including a pilot plant expansion in 2014. We are adding people to the organization with the industry experience to drive our business development efforts and provide additional customer support,” said James Davis, Vice President, Emerald Specialties Group. "As we continue to expand our inkjet product line and capabilities, both for North America and abroad, Willis' background in leveraging opportunities, executing strategy and cultivating new business makes him an asset to our team."

As Dispersions R&D Chemist, Brock will focus on the development of color and black dispersions, especially self-dispersed pigment dispersions for printing applications. He has nearly a decade of experience in inkjet formulation and R&D, including lab management, quality control and previous work with self-dispersed pigments. He joined Emerald from Collins Ink Corp., where he most recently served as Quality Control Lab Manager and R&D Chemist.

As Senior Digital Technologies Chemist, Wu will utilize his expertise to support the company's R&D efforts to penetrate further into the digital printing market. Wu has more than 14 years of experience working in technical roles focused on graphic arts, polymers and materials science. In his most recent role at Lexmark International, he focused on projects directed toward development of materials for advanced inkjet technology, print-head assembly and electrophotographic printing. He also previously held roles with Promerus, Radiant Photonics, Brewer Science, the University of Minnesota and Northeastern University.

In addition to Lucida Colors self-dispersed pigment dispersions, Emerald Specialties' expanded R&D team and facilities will help develop and produce an increased range of high-performance color and black dispersions for printing, paints, stains and other industrial applications.