Executive Council Breaths New Life into Young Professionals Division

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Executive Council Breaths New Life into Young Professionals Division


   Someone once said that youth is wasted on the young, but they never met the inspiring group that forms the TAPPI Young Professionals Division Executive Council (YPEC). This dedicated trio of professionals—Josh Reich, Greif Inc., YP division chair; Sudip Neupane, WestRock, division vice chair; and Matias Gonzalez, EDT, division secretary—channel their energy toward augmenting the future of the division and enriching the experience of its members.

“Being on the executive council has been a great experience where I’ve grown personally and professionally,”says Reich. “I’m fortunate to work with a group that is committed to making the YP Division better every day.”

Some of the initial plans for enhancing the division’s prominence and resources include the creation of a Young Professionals Division Manual, which will give all YP members an understanding of both the division and of TAPPI as a whole, as well as theintroduction of the YP BaseCamp at TAPPI events. The BaseCamp is designed to act as a “home base,” bringing together young professional conference attendees to enhance their ability to network and collaborate in person. Additionally, the YPEC is con-ducting a survey of young professionals to assess member needs and has recently developed four new council positions to boost their brainstorming sessions and provide further opportunities for YPs to get more involved.

The TAPPI Young Professionals Division is an unparalleled resource for recent graduates and professionals under the age of 35 with up to 10 years of industry experience looking to enhance their careers in the global pulp, paper,packaging, tissue, converting, and related forest products industries. For more information, contact Tanya Hickson at

[email protected]’s

Young Professionals Executive Committee. From left: Matias Gonzalez, Josh Reich, and Sudip Neupane.

Spring Meeting Offered Industry Insight

      With a focus on learning from customers and honoring excellence, ASPI’s recent 2017 Spring Meeting in Sarasota, FL, at-tracted a strong member turnout. The meeting featured a program of speakers from core customers, a market forecast, and networking opportunities.


Following a brief welcome from ASPI President Keith Kemp, attendees welcomed Rodger Fuller, senior vice president of Sonoco. He offered insights into Sonoco’s successful growth and shared new innovations in packaging being development by this US$5 billion global provider. Fuller noted that rising OCC prices were prompting Sonoco to explore new ways to capture that value stream. Expanding margins and optimizing operations will be key to growth. Fuller invited ASPI members to learn more about this dynamic company at the Fall Customer Alignment meeting, which Sonoco will host (see below.)

Expera Specialty Solutions is a new company with roots that go back to 1883; it was formed through the merger of Thilmany Pulp and Paper with Wausau Paper. Steve Myers, Expera’s vice president strategic initiatives and integrated mills, spoke to meeting attendees about the successful integration and the company’s market position. He also addressed Expera’s strategic approach to energy efficiency and capital expenditures in light of increased Boiler MACT regulations.

Glen Sanders, senior director of sourcing for Verso Papers, discussed Verso’s approach to operational excellence. The company uses “gap analysis” to help hit its targets. He told ASPI members that suppliers can play a key role in that process. “We don’t do a good enough job of tapping the potential of key suppliers,” he said. “Our suppliers know more than us, and we always want to speak with subject matter experts. My job is to make it compelling enough for you to bring them in.”

Business sustainability is a key concern for Domtar Paper, according to Michael Garcia, president of Domtar’s pulp and paper division. Currently, 52 percent of the company’s cash flow is generated by declining businesses. Garcia shared the strategy that Domtar is using to drive business to growing markets through what he called “fiber innovations.” Deploying capital to growth areas is part of that strategy, and a strong supplier base is imperative. “What I would ask of (suppliers) is to remain viable and successful. I want you to be able to navigate the changing industry as successfully as we do,” Garcia said.

The Spring Meeting’s final presentation came from Economist Rod Young, RISI, who offered a forecast of the North Amer-ican paper industry through 2018. He said the new US presidential administration is causing uncertainty in the general eco-nomic outlook, particularly regarding trade policy. Expected movement toward deregulation could be a positive for industry, though inflation is expected to accelerate over the next two years. He expects the tight jobs market to lead to wage inflation.


The Fall 2017 Customer Alignment meeting will be held September 27-29, 2017, in Myrtle Beach, SC. Hosted by Sonoco, the meeting will include breakout sessions and panel presentations, and will offer attendees outstanding access to a major pro-ducer. As Kemp commented, “Sonoco plans to fully participate as host of our Fall Meeting. This will be a great opportunity to understand how our key customers operate—and how we can help.” Learn more at www.aspinet.org.

ASPI President Keith Kemp, right, with speaker Rodger Fuller of Sonoco. Sonoco will host ASPI’s Fall meeting in September.
ASPI meetings offer attendees a chance to engage with speakers from major pulp and paper industry customers.

TAPPI BOD Election Results

TAPPI is pleased to announce the official results of the elections for its 2017 Board of Directors.

Paul Durocher, Sappi North America, was elected chair and Peter R. Augustine, Fabio Perini North America, was elected vice chair. Paul Durocher will begin a two-year term as TAPPI chair. Durocher is responsible for the coated paper development efforts of Sappi NA. In this role, he has accountability for all development activity relating to the graphics, packaging, and technical papers businesses, including early stage development work as well as implementation at the Somerset and Cloquet mills.

Peter R. Augustine, Fabio Perini North America, will begin a two-year term as TAPPI vice chair. Augustine is president of Fabio Perini North America and has full responsibility for strategic planning, operations management, sales, project devel-opment, customer service, and production for the North American division.

The following new directors have been elected to serve a three-year term: Fernando Bertolucci, chief technology and innovation officer, Fibria Celulose; Jim Cooper, senior research scientist, the Dow Chemical Company; and Don Haag, vice president of manufacturing services, Packaging Corporation of America.

The board consists of the chair, vice chair, president/CEO, and nine directors who determine the policies and have general charge of the affairs of the association. The following individuals will continue to serve on the TAPPI Board:

• Richard Berry, CelluForce

• Medwick Byrd, NCSU Paper Science and Engineering

• Anitra Collins, International Paper

• James Haeffele, SCA Americas

• Marko Hakovirta, NCSU

• Tony Lyons, Imerys Technology Center

• Larry N. Montague, Tappi

The Nominating Committee members are:

• Tom Garland, Quad Graphics (Chair)

• Paul Durocher, Sappi North America

• Elizabeth Etheridge, WestRock

• Charles E. Hodges, Hood Container

• Bob Morgan, Geo. M. Martin Company

• Lew Shackford, GL&V USA Inc.

• Larry N. Montague, TAPPI

Special thanks are extended to the following TAPPI board members as they complete their terms: Chris Luettgen, Renewable Bioproducts Institute, Georgia Tech, outgoing TAPPI Chair; and outgoing directors Kirt Cuevas, International Paper and Christopher Krumm, CorrChoice, Div. of Greif LLC.

Please direct inquiries to Mary Beth Cornell at [email protected].

Paul Durocher
Peter R.
Bertolucci Jim
Cooper Don Haag