Manny Cunha - Kuehne Chemical Company, Inc.
February Member Spotlight – Manny Cunha (Kuehne Chemical Company, Inc)
I: Tell us a little about yourself, and what you do.
I was born and raised in a village surrounded by green slopes and snowcapped peaks of the mountain range.
I served in the army special forces as a lieutenant and platoon commander. The discipline, effectiveness and teamwork learned and practiced while there, were applied throughout my professional life. The Art of War, applied in management.
I’m a graduate of New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) with a Bachelor's in Engineering and a Master’s in Management.
I began my career in the Chlor-Alkali industry in 1980, working at Kuehne Company for the last 43 years. At Kuehne I performed a wide range of functions in supervision, management and administration on the production, engineering, and safety of the plants.
CI: When did you first become involved at CI? What activities have you been involved in at CI?
I have been involved with the Chlorine Institute since 1994. I attended the meetings, served multiple terms in the issue teams, and participated on several task groups developing procedures, best practices, and revisign CI pampahlets.
I’ve also served six years on the Board of Directors, and I am presently serving another term on the Board representing the Product Stewardship Issue Team.
CI: What is something interesting about you that few would know or guess?
I love to ride my six-cylinder motorcycle on the winding country roads and race my American muscle sports car on the track or empty roads! I also enjoy the camaraderie and sometimes the solitude of hunting in the woods. As my friends know, I enjoy relaxing in the company of a good bottle of “Portuguese coca cola”!...
CI: Tell us about your favorite CI memory or success story.
In almost 30 years with CI, I have lived and witnessed some experiences. I became a chair of a subcommittee to sunset it at the next meeting as it became irrelevant. The old timers remember the “ton containers and cylinders subcommittee”. We would passionately talk, argue, and debate, for the next day to repeat the exact same things on the Packaging Committee!
Remember the great fiasco of the Y2K, so many hours spent thinking that computers were going to shut down our plants and everything else in the world on the new year’s eve of 2000…
I do remember in the beginning being at some barge operations meetings chaired by the great Peter Mayo. I was impressed by his resilience and passion for safety and proper procedures to do the job right and safe.
CI: What do you value most from your CI membership?
I value the tremendous amount of information in best practices and procedures that CI offers with the pamphlets, videos, wall charts, white papers etc. It is valuable because reflects the experiences, actions and procedures produced and written by the members that give sweat equity for the benefit and safety of the industry, our employees, the environment and the general public.
CI: What advice do you have for early career professionals in the chlor-alkali industry?
Learn about the extensive knowledge that CI provides in the pamphlets, videos, and other publications. Get involved, participate in the meetings, volunteer for working groups, issue teams, task groups.
Volunteer your sweat equity to keep the information efficient, accurate and actual for the benefit of our industry, the safety of our employees and the general public.
Share your experiences, great or not so good, they will provide the members with knowledge to do things better and avoid mistakes. Work hard and relentless for the goal of keeping our plants efficient and safe, for the benefit of our industry, our employees, the environment, and the general public.
Do you know an actively engaged CI member who would make a great Member Spotlight? Send their name and company to Cindy Kuranchie at Cindy@CL2.com.