Yucel Burdurlu-Tavolara 25year inductee
I was born and raised in Istanbul Turkey. After receiving my Bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Hacettepe University Ankara Turkey, I continued on California State University Long Beach as an international student to do my graduate study. There, I worked as a graduate assistant, which involved grading undergraduate quizzes and exams, and helping undergraduate students in the laboratory.
My first job was with Smith International Tools Company as an analytical laboratory technician where I operated a Karl Fisher instrument to analyze oils from the used drilling bits brought from the field.
Then, I was hired by Ameritone Paint Corporation. This is where I started my career in coatings. Ameritone later become Sinclair-Ameritone Paint Company. I worked there 12 years. I was a member of Los Angeles Coating Society at the time.
Sinclair-Ameritone was acquired by ICI Paints North America. I was offered a position in their Strongsville Research Center. I worked on a variety of interesting projects in collaboration with their Slough Laboratory in Slough, England, ICI France in Rouge, France and ICI South America Research Center in Sao Paulo, Brazil. I was with ICI Paints North America 13 years during which I was a member of Cleveland Coating Society.
Next, I worked for BUNGE Oils North America where, I worked with inorganic synthesis of anticorrosive pigments and tested them in collaboration with Batelle Laboratories in Columbus Ohio, University of Southern Mississippi and Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas.
This was a very exciting time of my life, career wise. I liked corrosion science and thought about becoming a corrosion engineer in future life.
Presently, I am with True Value Manufacturing in Cary Illinois as a Research Chemist. After 37 years in the industry, I am back to my roots of a paint formulator. The difference is now, with the wealth of knowledge I have gathered from my various positions over the years, I am able to see gallon of paint in a different light.
Born: April 27, 1965
Birthplace: Chicago, IL
2 children and 4 grand children
Currently living in Pleasant Prairie, WI with my wife
Graduated from University of Wisconsin - Parkside with a degree in Chemistry
Began working at True Value Manufacturing in 1989 as a Lab Technician and progressed to the position of Product Formulator
In 1995, joined the T.H. Hilson Company as a Technical Service Representative offering sales support to the Sales Team. Eventually, I moved to an outside sales position myself covering the Midwest Region
In 2002 I moved to the USG Corporation in Libertyville, Il where
I was a Chemist in their newly developed Specialty Finishes group. Here I had the distinction of co-developing the industry’s first true "single coat faux finish", the Michelangelo line!
In 2013 I made a major move, down to El Reno, OK to join Gemini Coatings as a Senior Chemist/Project Manager. Here I not only developed high quality wood and metal coatings, but also served as Product Manager for their newly developed cementitious coatings.
Most recently, I’ve accepted the position of Technical Director for Textured Coatings of America (Tex-Cote) in Panama City, FL where I am overseeing the R&D operations for 3 locations across the U.S.
Served on the Board for the Chicago Society for Coatings Technology from 2009 – 2012 becoming its President in 2012.
I currently enjoy golfing, playing bass guitar, microbreweries, and spending time with my grandkids. I also enjoy house projects that add value to my home such as building decks, additions and doing residential electrical side projects. My wife Kari and I love to travel and we will be going to Kauai this year for our 30th wedding anniversary!