A Conversation With … William Goughenour

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William Goughenour debuts this month as the new paint expert for Products Finishing. He is the Senior Coatings Analyst for the National Center for Coatings Application, Research, and Education (C-Care) in Virginia, which provides one of the most advanced manufacturing laboratories in North America for coating and finishing related process engineering, applied research, training, and education. William’s career in the coatings industry has included extensive activities in research and development, process engineering, and work force training and education. We welcome William, and provide you some insight into his thoughts.


Q: Tell us how you got started in the coatings business.

A: I realized that what I was learning in high school was not addressing the aesthetics and proper finishing techniques and procedures. There really were no credible books or resources on the subject matter at that time, which is what ultimately led me to the beginning of a 30-plus year journey.

Q: How do you see the National Center for Coatings Application, Research, and Education (C-CARE) developing over the near and far term?

A: The near term is to bring about exposure to the industry of this valuable resource for training and coatings and application research. As we move beyond this initial phase, I see the lab morphing into a research center that would bring together scientists, chemists, application and delivery specialists, and finally become a full ASTM-certified physical properties testing lab to validate new processes. It would be the only full service facility of its kind in North America.

Q: What do you look forward to most about being the paintings expert for Products Finishing magazine?

A: Honestly, I look at it as a way to give something back to the industry. Early in my career I struggled to find answers that would help me solve complicated coatings issues. I depended heavily on coatings chemists and technicians to help me grasp all the nuances related to coatings. Unfortunately many of these great people are no longer with us today, but they helped me forge what was to become a successful career because of the knowledge entrusted to me. I have not forgotten the many trials and tribulations and Products Finishing magazine is a venue for me to pay it forward.

Q: Your brother-in-law is former NBA-star Larry Bird. Have you ever challenged him to a game of horse?

A: No, I have never been gifted in any type of sports, especially basketball. I left the basketball to one of the greatest players of all time. I was happy to let him shoot the basketball, while I was content to shoot the paint.

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you were given, either personally or professionally, and who gave it to you?

A: I would say my father. He told me to always look people in the eye, give a firm handshake, be honest, trustworthy, work hard, never quit, be fair and understanding, and always do what you say you are going to do. I have tried my level best to incorporate these standards into everything I do in life.

Q: What did you want to be when you grew up?

A: I have always wanted to be the best furniture maker and finisher on the planet, seriously. My grandfather made furniture and wood products, and he lit my curiosity at the young age of 6. I cannot remember a time in my life where finishing was not involved. Once the passion began I have never looked back.

Q: What was your first job, and what did you learn from it?

A: It was Star Chemical, and this is where I began to learn the basic chemistries of coatings. This opportunity became the launching pad that further ignited my passion of learning everything I could about coatings and application. I began teaching customers coast to coast, and learned to become confident with my newfound knowledge of finish.

Q: If you had $100,000 to give to a charity, who would it be?

A: ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) my wife’s mother passed away from this terrible disease at the age of 62. I would contribute the money to help find a cure or at the very least help people gain a longer life expectancy.

Q: What was your first car, and what is your dream car?

A: 1974 bright blue Chevy Vega. Yeah, I’ll admit it, a Vega. My dream car would be a Black BMW 700 series.



Family: A beautiful wife Linda of 26 years, 4 children, 7 grandchildren, one brother, three sisters and wonderful parents

Favorite hobby: Gourmet cooking learned from many years of culinary training

Favorite movie: The Hobbit Trilogy

Favorite book: Anything John Grisham

What’s playing in your car CD/radio: Dave Matthews