Carpenter: Stanley F. Pauley passed away
On 23 November 2020, Carpenter Co. announced that Stanley F. Pauley has passed away at the age of 93. Until several weeks ago, he had remained engaged in the daily activities of the company he had led for more than 40 years.
“The term visionary is often over used, but in the case of Stan, it would be a completely accurate description,” said Brad Beauchamp, President and CEO. “He was one of the true giants in our industry who saw polyurethanes grow from its infancy into the premier material choice for comfort and insulation applications.”
Pauley was hired by E. Rhodes Carpenter in 1954 and moved from Canada to Richmond, VA, USA. At that time, Carpenter was making seating cushions out of latex foam. In the early 1960s, with Mr. Carpenter’s blessing, Pauley and a small group of executives made the decision to switch to manufacturing polyurethane foam, which at that time involved making a prepolymer and moulding foam. Shortly thereafter, Union Carbide helped Carpenter implement the one-shot process which forms the basis of how most polyurethane foams are made today. Throughout the ensuing decades, the company embarked on an expansion strategy that initially focused on North America but eventually included acquisitions in Europe. The expansions were largely directed by Pauley. In addition to increasing the flexible polyurethane foam production footprint, in 1970 Carpenter Co. broke with convention and opened a greenfield site for the production of polyether polyols. Upon the death of Mr. Carpenter in the early 1980’s, Pauley became Chairman & CEO and the majority shareholder. The company continues to be owned by the Pauley family.
According to Carpenter, today the company is one of the largest manufacturers of flexible foam in the world and is one of the largest producers of polyether polyols in North America, which not only supplies Carpenter but is a major raw material supplier to other segments of the polyurethane industry. Carpenter has 17 foam pouring plants as well as 25 other locations and over 4,200 employees. It is also a leader in rebonded foam for carpet underlay as well as chemical systems, tyre fill, polyester fibre and expanded polystyrene.
In addition to his numerous industry recognitions, Pauley supported a variety of educational and philanthropic institutions including the VCU Health Pauley Heart Center, the VCU School of Engineering, Hampden-Sydney College, the University of Manitoba and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
“It was his vision that Carpenter Co. should remain an independent privately held company because that was the best way to ensure clear decision making and strategic focus. He believed in investing in equipment and training. With his passing, it will fall upon the rest of us to ensure that the company remains true to that vision. We are fortunate that he had the foresight to structure the company in a way that will help keep that a reality,” said Beauchamp.