Get to know…Chris Vaughn, Plant Manager, Bucks


At AdvanSix, it all starts with…people. Every day, our teams turn possibilities into solutions. We work together and strive to live our values of safety, integrity, accountability and respect. We’re driven by a desire to do good in the communities in which we operate and to collaborate with our customers to deliver solutions that help make the world a better place. We recently connected with one of our plant managers, Chris Vaughn, who is helping to make the world a better place from our Bucks, Alabama site. 

Chris, tell us about your professional journey that led you to AdvanSix. 

I joined AdvanSix in January of 2023 as the Plant Manager for our Bucks site in Alabama. While I had not heard of AdvanSix prior to joining, when I started meeting with the leadership team and our hiring managers, there was a great connection and I could easily tell that the senior leaders and I shared alignment of what we valued – things that I truly value as a leader. This was especially true when it came to our commitment to Health, Safety, and Environment (HS&E), and integrity and respect for people.  AdvanSix’s focus on community outreach was a big selling point! Community support had to be important in the organization I joined, and giving back really matters to me. Previously, I’ve held leadership roles in Operations, Maintenance, Turnarounds, Capital Projects and Supply Chain, working in a diverse set of industries and companies. I’ve had the amazing opportunity to participate as an international speaker, subject matter expert and am a published contributor on Turnaround (TAR) Change Management, Execution Strategies and Leadership Philosophies, and have had speaking engagements at both the national and international stage at TAR and Asset Reliability conferences.

At AdvanSix, it all starts with our people, products and partners. What does “it all start with” for you? 

It all starts with…collaboration. As I reflect on my experiences in my career, it’s incredibly rare for success to be driven by a single individual. It’s driven by collaboration of individuals and cross-functional teams working together on an aligned objective. I have been blessed to work with very talented teams to accomplish extraordinary achievements even with the most challenging obstacles and headwinds. Success is an iterative process that takes patience, persistence and self-reflection. Success is also not a linear function, it does not happen without lessons learned. If a team has a continuous improvement mindset, and members support one another, collaboration is strengthened. Bringing diverse perspectives and experiences into a team setting also accelerates the impact of collaboration.

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

I help create a people-focused culture by empowering my team, engaging the right resources at the right opportunities, providing challenging assignments and appropriate levels of support to drive growth. I believe that most individuals are capable of accomplishing extraordinary achievements if they invest in themselves and get the support they need. 

Observing great leaders from my own career has helped me develop my leadership style.  Great leaders are those who believe in the capability of individuals on their respective teams. I’ve had one of those leaders and I’ll never forget him, a man by the name of Charles Kelley Jr. He saw my potential and believed in me. He assigned stretch assignments to grow in my skillsets and leadership capabilities and regularly provided valuable feedback. As I have personally seen the impact of great leadership, I strive to provide the same level of support to others. Mentoring individuals and building winning teams are the most rewarding part of my career. 

What project or initiative are you most proud of throughout your career? 

In a past role, my team achieved the highest Turnaround (TAR) Readiness score in the company and then safely completed a complex multi-plant TAR on-time in the same year. When we started, we did not have any fundamental management systems to effectively plan, schedule and execute TARs. We worked to build maturity by identifying what we did well and opportunities for improvement with a defined development plan. Over the course of the three years, we demonstrated proficiency and were used as a case study for other sites. I had the great privilege to highlight the success by speaking at several conferences and enjoyed being able to support others. However, I did not just highlight the successes, I shared the lessons learned and vulnerabilities which are equally important to drive growth. 

In what ways have you seen AdvanSix solutions positively influence a product or industry? 

At the Bucks site, we produce essential products in the agrochemical market to optimize crop productivity. We distribute these products domestically and internationally. Our products are essential to support the crop and food supply chain globally. We also produce isopropyl alcohol, which is a critical element of disinfectants, pharmaceuticals and personal care products. During COVID-19 pandemic, the Bucks site supported the critical need for isopropyl alcohol needed for disinfectants.

What does “thinking beyond” mean to you and your work at AdvanSix? 

 “Thinking beyond” is a function of people, collaboration and leadership. Those three characteristics are fundamental elements to success. It is amazing what teams can accomplish in a collaborative setting with a focused approach to meet challenging objectives. Building a winning team is a critical success factor for our organization, and it is our responsibility as leaders to empower and support our teams with the right resources, clear expectations, and patience. It does take time to build awesome teams, and sometimes we need to “go slow in order to go fast.” Exercising patience allows teams to build momentum and enhance performance. I have seen leaders attempt to optimize systems that did not have stability. It is also important to understand that we must stabilize before we can optimize.

What is something that your peers may not know about you? 

In my personal life, I am the father to two awesome and courageous daughters, Ryleigh (13) and Leighton (8).  Ryleigh is our softball and volleyball star, while Leighton is our competitive cheerleader.  I had the great privilege to be Ryleigh’s softball coach since she was 5 years old.  My wife, Christi, and I have been together since high school and were high school sweethearts. 

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