CINCINNATI – The ChemQuest Group, a global business strategy and external specialty chemicals technology development firm, has hired global specialty chemicals veteran Karl Davenport as its newest director.
Davenport brings over 35 years of global experience, having orchestrated countless projects large and small with leading specialty chemicals producers in North America, Europe and Asia. Davenport has excelled in many projects related to starting up production, expanding chemical/coatings manufacturing operations, consolidating operations/laboratories, and transferring manufacturing operations from one or multiple locations.
In 1987, after earning his Bachelor of Science degree in Polymers and Coatings Technology from Eastern Michigan University, Davenport launched his career as Q/A Chemist for Valspar’s Fort Wayne, Indiana, plant. From 1993–1994, Davenport, having assumed the role of Factory Supervisor for Lilly Industries, successfully consolidated production from three to one facility, scaling up to a 24-hour operation by initiating, then implementing, a second and third shift.
From 1996–1998, Davenport’s talent for increasing operational efficiency paid off: Lilly promoted him to Operations Manager for its $2 million start-up facility in rural Ireland, where he supervised construction, hired and trained all staff, and transitioned business to the Irish team. Ireland, having been deemed a model of success, was a stepping stone to Davenport’s next promotion to Operations Manager, where he led Lilly’s $6 million project team and established a wholly owned, business licensed, and environmentally permitted, foreign enterprise in Shanghai from 1998–1999 — while concurrently assisting with Operations in Southern China (Dongguan) and managing a sister facility’s second land deal. Davenport was selected to lead the Valspar–Lilly acquisition integration. From 2001–2005, he served as Valspar’s Montebello, California, Plant Manager. Following a stint with SRI Group in safety consulting, Davenport served as Ellis Paint’s Plant Manager in Los Angeles from 2006–2011, where he managed over $20 million in coatings production. In 2019, Davenport left his 8-year position as Vice President (Global) Operations for SDC Technologies in Irvine, California (Mitsui Chemicals Group).
“Having aspired for years to join the ChemQuest Group, given its reputation for excellence in the specialty chemicals industry, I am excited to be putting my 35-plus years of upgrading commercial and operational efficiencies in specialty chemicals’ facilities to work for ChemQuest. My goal is to ensure clients are cost competitive without sacrificing quality amid persistent uncertainty in global markets; the state of uncertainty has become a key driver of manufacturing consolidation,” said Davenport.
“We warmly welcome Karl Davenport to our practice,” said Dan Murad, President/CEO of ChemQuest. “Working with the ChemQuest team, our clients in specialty chemicals can uncover hidden EBITDA within their supply chains; for example, in customer transactions, sales, procurement, manufacturing and R&D. ChemQuest Directors Karl Davenport and Pete Smith will put their decades of successful corporate and plant audits to work for our clients to ensure their superior competitive position moving forward.”