Buckman Sees Leadership Changes

By Bill Dries

Kathy Buckman Gibson is changing her role in the Buckman family business, Buckman International.


Buckman Gibson became president and chief operating officer of the global specialty chemical company with a company announcement Thursday, Jan. 30. She had been chairman of the Buckman board since 2000.

Succeeding her as chairman of the board is Otto Heissenberger Jr., retired president and CEO of Voith Paper Inc., who has been on the Buckman board since 2010. Heissenberger is the first chairman of the board who is not a Buckman family member.

The company was created in 1945 by Buckman Gibson’s grandfather, Stanley J. Buckman. Its original location, on the site of a former lumberyard in North Memphis, remains the company’s global headquarters.

Buckman Gibson succeeded her father, Robert Buckman, as chairman of the company in 2000.

The president position at Buckman has been open since Edson Peredo retired last year. As president and CEO, Buckman Gibson will focus on the company’s global strategic plan and track industry trends.

She is involved in numerous civic organizations, including the Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis and the Chairman’s Circle of the Greater Memphis Chamber. Buckman Gibson also leads the company’s BuckmanCares initiative, which coordinates Buckman employees’ community volunteer work.

Steven B. Buckman remains chief executive officer and president of Bulab Holdings Inc., the parent company of Buckman International.

Buckman International makes chemicals used in pulp and paper production, water treatment and leather production.

As part of the changes in the front office, Buckman also announced Robin Luck, vice president of global marketing since 2004, has retired.