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NatureWorks Selects Bangkok for the Site of Its First Asia Pacific Headquarters

NatureWorks, the world’s leading supplier of biopolymers, with Ingeo fibers and plastics made from plants, not oil, announced today that the company has located its first Asia Pacific (A/P) regional headquarters in Bangkok and has expanded its team of senior commercial, managerial and technical personnel to enhance support of Ingeo customers throughout the region and to expand business.

“In many parts of Asia, most notably China, Korea, Japan and Taiwan, as in North America and Europe, Ingeo is already helping brand owners lower the carbon footprint of their plastic and fiber products, while giving these same companies significantly improved material price stability,” said Marc Verbruggen, president and CEO, NatureWorks. “The opening of our first Asian headquarters is an important move as we add support for current customers and introduce Ingeo to many more.”

New senior personnel

Rich Weber will serve as the new A/P commercial director, and Viboon Pungprasert is the new general manager of NatureWorks Asia Pacific Limited.

Weber will lead existing Ingeo market development work throughout the region. He is also responsible for establishing and managing new distribution relationships in Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent. He will coordinate Ingeo sales across segments and geographies and will set up commercial operations to support regional business development opportunities.

Weber joins NatureWorks from Cargill’s Strategy & Business Development Group, where he managed teams of associates to deliver business strategy and mergers and acquisitions advice to Cargill senior management. Weber is relocating from the U.S. to Bangkok. Weber replaces longtime NatureWorks staffer Dan Sawyer, who with this move is now responsible for NatureWorks' recently formed “new business incubator.”

“My initial focus will be to meet with present customers and to develop important new relationships throughout various channels to market, including converters, downstream manufacturers, innovative brand owners and retailers,” Weber said. “I will also be involved in growing our commercial and technical team to support the expanding market interest in Asia.”

Viboon Pungprasert, the new general manager of NatureWorks Asia Pacific Limited, will manage the NatureWorks A/P business from Bangkok. Pungprasert explained, “By establishing a physical footprint in Thailand, NatureWorks will be better able to support the growth of its existing customers in northern Asia and develop new business in Southeast Asia. We plan to add warehousing and logistics capabilities, which will improve our supply chain by providing safety stock and the flexibility to ship product samples. NatureWorks A/P will also add customer service and finance staff that will more effectively serve our customers and support the Asia Pacific sales team. These initial investments reinforce NatureWorks’ commitment to the region and its support of accelerating Asian market growth.”

Pungprasert comes to NatureWorks from PTT Global Chemical Public Company Limited, where he most recently served as assistant vice president of international business development for the company’s international investment subsidiary.

NatureWorks has hired business development and technical personnel in Thailand, Hong Kong and Japan to increase support for customers and to further market development.

Chi Au-Yeung is NatureWorks’ new technology and business development specialist for the AP region. Pauline Ning is transitioning to regional Ingeo marketing and communications manager for Asia Pacific. Kasina Samdaengdech is the new business development manager for Thailand and Vietnam, and Toshiaki Yamamatsu is now Ingeo technical sales development specialist for Japan. (Brief descriptions on the backgrounds of NatureWorks Asia Pacific's new personnel are at the end of this release.)

Ingeo, the world’s leading bioplastic, is utilized in a host of products and industries. A sampling of current solutions can be found online in NatureWorks’ COP 17 Ingeo Lookbook. For more information on NatureWorks, visit www.natureworksllc.com. Follow NatureWorks on Twitter (@natureworks) for the latest updates.

About NatureWorks
NatureWorks LLC is a company dedicated to meeting the world’s needs today without compromising the earth’s ability to meet the needs of tomorrow. NatureWorks LLC is the first company to offer a family of commercially available, low-carbon-footprint Ingeo™ lactides and biopolymers derived from 100 percent annually renewable resources with performance and economics that compete with oil-based intermediates, plastics, and fibers, and provide brand owners’ new cradle-to-cradle options after the use of their products. NatureWorks is jointly owned by Thailand’s largest chemical producer, PTT Global Chemical, and Cargill, an international producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial, and industrial products and services.

Ingeo and the Ingeo logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of NatureWorks LLC in the USA and other countries.

NatureWorks Asia Pacific New Team Members

Viboon Pungprasert: General Manager, NatureWorks Asia Pacific
Pungprasert comes to NatureWorks from PTT Global Chemical Public Company Limited (PTTGC), where he most recently served as assistant vice president of international business development for the company’s international investment subsidiary. Pungprasert has held increasingly responsible positions with such firms as Shell, MMP Packaging, and Toyota. Pungprasert has written four books on Thai Investments and currently has a weekly column in Bangkokbiznews Newspaper on investing. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Industrial Engineering from Chulalongkorm University and a MBA from the University of the District of Columbia.

Rich Weber: Commercial Director, NatureWorks Asia Pacific
Weber joins NatureWorks from Cargill’s Strategy and Business Development Group, where he managed teams of associates to deliver business strategy and mergers and acquisitions advice to Cargill senior management. Earlier in his career, he was a bio-process development engineer for Biogen IDEC (a bio-pharmaceutical company). He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Chi Au-Yeung: Ingeo technology and business development specialist, Asia Pacific region
Chi comes to NatureWorks from DSM where she was new business development manager for the company’s ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene product line. Prior to DSM, Chi held positions with Dow Chemical, Cabot, and Styron. At NatureWorks Chi will use her deep technical expertise and marketing background to provide technical support to customers and will work with business segment managers to grow business in China. Chi will be based in Hong Kong.

Pauline Ning: Ingeo marketing and communications manager, Asia Pacific
Ning has been with NatureWorks since 2004. She will be transitioning to the newly established position of Ingeo marketing and communications manager for the A/P region. In that capacity she will support all areas of marketing and communications, including conferences and tradeshows. She will be based in both Hong Kong and Shanghai.

Kasina Samdaengdech: Ingeo Business Development Manager, Thailand, NatureWorks Asia Pacific
Samdaengdech comes to NatureWorks from PTT’s Green Chemical Strategy and Business Group where she was business development manager. Earlier in her career she was a sales analyst for Siam Mitsui PTA. At NatureWorks, Samdaengdech will be responsible for establishing strong sales channel relationships in Thailand and Vietnam.

Toshiaki Yamamatsu: Ingeo technical sales development specialist, Japan
Toshiaki will be in charge of technical sales and serve as the primary contact for technical and regulatory questions with customers in Japan. Toshiaki studied architecture and environment systems engineering, and several years ago joined BP Consulting, Inc., a full line Ingeo distributor in Japan. Toshiaki will bring Ingeo training and application expertise to Japanese customers.

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