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Press Releases
Eastman Chemical Company Honors Airgas with its 2003 Supplier Excellence Award


Eastman Chemical Company Honors Airgas with its 2003 Supplier Excellence Award

RADNOR, PA – July 14, 2003 -- Airgas, Inc., (NYSE: ARG), the largest U.S. distributor of packaged gases and related supplies, has been honored by Eastman Chemical Company (NYSE: EMN), a manufacturer and marketer of plastics, chemicals and fibers, with its 2003 Eastman Supplier Excellence Award.

“The Eastman Supplier Excellence Award honors key suppliers that have both delivery and quality ratings above 95 percent,” said Sarah Villar, Eastman corporate team leader and buyer of indirect material and services, who nominated Airgas for the award for its work in supplying packaged gases to Eastman’s Kingsport, TN, facility. “Eastman focuses on maintaining exceptional performance levels with our partner suppliers and each year we are proud to honor those with demonstrated excellence.”

Airgas was one of only 17 suppliers to be recognized by Eastman this year, from a total of 3,200 suppliers. Airgas supplies Eastman with packaged gases and cylinder management services, in which Airgas takes primary responsibility for managing the gas supply chain, from order entry, to filling and preparing cylinders, to performing quality tests, delivery, safety conformance, and more. Airgas maintains more than 4,000 cylinders at Eastman’s Kingsport site.

Eastman Chemical Company’s Jerry Repass, vice president and general manager, Tennessee Operations and Operations Support & Services, recently presented the award to Airgas in Kingsport, TN.

Accepting the award for Airgas were Glenn Fischer, president and chief operating officer of Airgas, Inc.; and Bob Hilliard, president, Airgas Mid America, the Airgas regional company that directly serves Eastman.

“We are extremely proud to be honored by Eastman Chemical,” said Bob Hilliard, president of Airgas Mid America. “We have operated under the principle that to add value to any customer relationship you must put world-class performance before anything else. The relationship with Eastman began in 1994 under Air Products’ purview, and since Airgas acquired the packaged gas business from Air Products in February 2002, we have ensured that we continue to provide world-class service to Eastman, including an accident-free delivery record for Eastman,” he added.

The Airgas Mid America team dedicated to serving Eastman include Richard Watson, east regional vice president; Michael Brickey, account manager; James Necessary, cylinder manager; Bobby Martin, cylinder delivery; Dennis Quillen, order entry/dispatch; Steve Warner, filling plant senior manager; Tina Jones, customer service representative; Barbara Roberts, account cash applications; and Joe Sykes, regional sales manager.

“Our dedicated team works hard everyday to meet and exceed our customers’ expectations,” added Hilliard. “All of us are honored to be recognized for these efforts and we look forward to providing Eastman with world-class products and services for a long time to come.”

About Eastman Chemical Company

Headquartered in Kingsport, TN, Eastman manufactures and markets plastics, chemicals and fibers. The company employs approximately 15,800 people in more than 30 countries and had 2002 sales of $5.3 billion. For more information about Eastman and its products, visit www.eastman.com.

About Airgas, Inc.

Airgas, Inc. (NYSE: ARG) is the largest U.S. distributor of industrial, medical and specialty gases, welding, safety and related products. Its integrated network of nearly 800 locations includes branches, retail stores, gas fill plants, specialty gas labs, production facilities and distribution centers. Airgas also distributes its products and services through eBusiness, catalog and telesales channels. Its national scale and strong local presence offer a competitive edge to its diversified customer base. For more information, please visit www.airgas.com.


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For more information on Airgas, please visit www.airgas.com.
Contact Information

Airgas, Inc.
259 N. Radnor-Chester Road
Suite 100
Radnor, PA 19087
tel: (610) 687-5253
fax: (610) 687-1052

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