Andy Girvin Reflects on 30 Years of Service


At AdvanSix, it all starts with…people. We take pride in our people-focused culture and that our employees can grow and thrive here. One such team member is Andy Girvin, Plant Manager at our Hopewell facility in Hopewell, Virginia and Operational Excellence Leader for AdvanSix, who recently celebrated 30 incredible years at AdvanSix. In recognition of his amazing commitment to our customers, operations and his team, we sat down with Andy to learn what has kept him at AdvanSix.

Andy, tell us a little bit about your role at AdvanSix.

AdvanSix is a diversified chemistry company that has been around for almost a century. Our chemistry can be applied in a lot of different areas, not only through our physical chemistry in our products, but also our people chemistry, and not only in the workplace, but also how we interact with the community. We do that by maintaining safe, stable, sustainable operations, focusing on our customers and understanding how our chemistries can help them grow as well as build strong relationships with our local community. We take our role as good neighbors and partners in the community to heart and are committed to protecting the environment and by extension the Hopewell community and our employees. As the plant manager, I am in a unique position because I get to see this unfold every day. It is also especially exciting for me because Hopewell is actually the site where I started back in 1994 as a young engineer. I never thought I would be sitting in the plant manager’s chair one day. Today, what energizes me most about my role is the people behind it all. To see people and ideas coming together is very rewarding. We walk tall at AdvanSix because no challenge is too big for us to overcome.

You are celebrating an incredible milestone with the company. What brought you here and what has kept you here for the last 30 years?

I came to AdvanSix right out of college. What brought me here was it was close to home, and I wanted to be in an industrial setting. AdvanSix was a perfect fit for me. The reason why I’ve stayed with the company is it’s presented me with a lot of opportunities to grow as an individual. If I reflect back on my career, I’ve worked in some form or capacity at all three of our major sites. I’ve been in corporate and worked at our corporate headquarters, and I’ve also been able to go back to get my MBA. Through the years, I’ve been presented with a lot of great opportunities and challenging roles. The doors have been open for me, and I chose to make myself uncomfortable to grow my career. And that’s really what it’s about, getting a little bit uncomfortable so you can grow professionally. AdvanSix has really offered that opportunity for me because the culture here really is about our people growing and developing. It’s how we’re going to continue to grow and develop as a company.

How do you help create a people-focused culture at AdvanSix? 

It is all about the people because at the end of the day, the people make it happen. As a leader, I surround myself with good, hardworking people that I want to invest in. The way I nurture growth and development is to promote open dialogue with my employees. I strive to give them constructive feedback and space to explore and grow, because although we are a smaller company, there really is a lot of opportunity for growth and development here. I’m here to facilitate that and break down barriers and enable us to unleash what I call the “force multiplier” at the site. My goal is to get all of my employees motivated, engaged, empowered and accountable for their actions. If we can achieve that together, we can do some tremendous things at AdvanSix.

What type of advice would you give to someone just starting their career at AdvanSix?

Reflecting back on my own career path, it wasn’t always up. It was also moving across and laterally. Taking some of the skills that I learned at one plant to another, or even applying it to another function, that’s really how I’ve grown professionally. It’s important to take on those opportunities and challenges that might not feel like upward movement at the time. It’s also important to have our shared common values of safety, respect, integrity and accountability but also resilience and understanding the need to come together to rise up to challenges. When we stumble, we learn and we move forward. And at the end of the day, that’s what it takes to be successful at AdvanSix. You’ve got to be open. You’ve got to be resilient. You’ve got to have integrity in everything that you do. And you’ve got to be able to say thanks and give back.

You’ve referenced giving back. Why is this so important?

Being present in our community is very important. Our sites have been around for quite a long time, so we’ve had a big presence in the local communities in which we operate. It’s important that we are respectful and we’re good environmental stewards in those communities. It’s very rewarding and fulfilling to take the opportunity to say thank you and give back, and it’s nice to see our employees leveraging their talents and skills to be able to give back, too. While I am a plant manager, I’m also a father and instilling good values in my children is important to me. I leverage the opportunities to get involved to teach them how to give back as well. For the most part, they’re involved in a lot of the community activities that we participate in, whether it’s a Rebuilding Together event or a fun run, it’s just nice to see the whole extended AdvanSix family coming together and giving back.

Congratulations Andy on your 30th Anniversary with AdvanSix. We wish you many more years of success here!