Working Together



A job involves the work you do; a career involves the people you do that work with—coworkers, customers, peers and colleagues, community members, fellow volunteers—all the contributors to the whole grand effort. At the end of each year, we at Paper360° like to highlight a few of those making a difference in our industry. We hope you enjoy these stories and, whatever your role in the mill or in the field, that you share the sentiment “proud to be a papermaker.”

Sending Relief

At press time, there are still two months remaining in the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane season—yet it has already been one of the worst seasons on record, with tremendous damage reported throughout the region. According to a report in USA Today, by September 18 there had been 30 days in 2017 with hurricanes spinning over the Atlantic Ocean—more than double the average, and the highest number recorded since 2004. Billions of dollars of damage have been reported.

In affected areas, many small and large pulp, paper, and packaging companies have stepped up to help with relief efforts. Contributions include pledges of paper products, packing boxes, and volunteers; employee matching funds or charity events; donations to the Red Cross and other organizations; and more. Here are just a few examples we found of these exemplary efforts:

International Paper pledges US$1 million: Following Hurricane Harvey in August, the International Paper Foundation pledged to contribute US$750,000 to American Red Cross chapters in Texas and Louisiana, and US$250,000 to Feeding America. International Paper has established strategic partnerships with these organizations to provide disaster relief in communities where IP employees live and work. The company also produced 100,000 boxes for donation to the American Red Cross and Feeding America, which will use them to deliver food, water, and other critical supplies to those in need. “Our hearts go out to the many families impacted by Hurricane Harvey,” said Mark Sutton, chairman and CEO, International Paper. “We know these communities are resilient and hope that our contributions help accelerate relief efforts and the distribution of essential goods.”

Kimberly-Clark sends diapers and more: According to an August 26 report in the Dallas News, Irving, TX-based Kimberly-Clark made a significant product donation including diapers, wipes, bath tissue, and feminine hygiene products. “Most is planned to go to Houston, [with] some staying here for Dallas shelters housing victims,” said Bob Brand, director of external communications for KC. The products came in from KC facilities around the country.

KC is also a founding sponsor of the National Diaper Bank Network (NDBN), which expanded its emergency diaper relief efforts in the aftermath of Harvey and Irma. “We are working with our corporate donors and our member diaper bank programs to deliver millions of diapers to children and families impacted by the storms. Our efforts in Texas and Florida are ongoing. We are coordinating efforts in Puerto Rico as well, and we are prepared to respond to the needs of additional communities impacted by the storms once it is safe to do so,” according to the NDBN website.

Koch contributes funds, products: Koch Industries, parent company to Georgia-Pacific, has pledged more than US$1 million to organizations providing immediate disaster relief with the American Red Cross and Salvation Army, along with the long-term support needed to rebuild communities through the Center for Disaster Philanthropy. Additional employee matching contributions of up to US$500,000 means the company’s total support will top US$1.5 million. The company said it has also contributed $250,000 to launch the Koch Employee Assistance Fund with the Emergency Assistance Foundation. In addition, Georgia-Pacific is working in partnership with Convoy of Hope (COH), a national disaster relief organization that works with FEMA and other aid organizations to determine what’s most needed on the ground. To-date, approximately 20 truckloads valued at US$100,000 in product—including bath tissue, paper towels, cups, plates and bowls—are being delivered through COH for storm victims.

Louisiana-Pacific pledges US$1 million: Louisiana-Pacific Corporation (LP) has committed US$1 million to support Hurricane Harvey disaster relief efforts in Texas, and will match employee contributions to hurricane relief. LP will make a US$500,000 donation to non-profit organizations including the American Red Cross, Salvation Army, and the United Way of Greater Houston Relief Fund; the company will also work with appropriate organizations to donate US$500,000 in LP building products for rebuilding efforts in areas affected by Hurricane 

Harvey. “Our thoughts and concerns are with those impacted by this storm, including some of our own LP employees,” said LP CEO Brad Southern. “The devastation to lives and property caused by Hurricane Harvey is unprecedented and we trust that our contributions will help provide some measure of immediate relief, as well as assist during the rebuilding process.”

Protective Packaging donates bags: In the wake of both Harvey and Irma, Protective Packaging Corporation is donating 15,000 moisture barrier bags to the Salvation Army for use in hurricane relief efforts throughout the Gulf Coast, Florida, and the southeast US. The military-grade, moisture barrier bags are designed to protect contents from harsh conditions, including being submerged in water. Packaging food, clothing, medical supplies, or equipment in these bags can extend the usable life of items, ensuring they don’t go to waste during indefinite recovery operations. “As news pours in about the extent of damage and devastation caused by the hurricanes, our thoughts and prayers go out to residents affected,” said Steve Hanna, company CEO. “We hope our contribution will provide some assistance during the long recovery process.”

Victory Packaging sends truckloads: Houston-based Victory Packaging has donated or sold at cost four truckloads of material to area families in need. According to a company statement, demand for the packing boxes has been so great that entire truckloads of boxes were unloaded and distributed within two hours. While the company’s Houston branch was closed during the height of the storm, Victory Packaging was able to quickly resume normal operations. “We are very proud to be able to help rebuild our community in any way possible from the devastation that was caused by the storm while still providing the best service we can to our customers,” said Ben Samuels, co-president of Victory Packaging.

Preserving the Past

Daniel Nigrosh is president and CEO of Can- Am Machinery, a dealer of used equipment for the pulp and paper industry. The company has more than 8,000 items listed in inventory—but in addition to collecting machine parts for sale, Nigrosh enjoys collecting historic images of mills and machines as a way to preserve the industry’s rich past.

I have been interested in paper mill antiques for about 20 years—since I bought my 1912 4-in. Eagle paper machine,” Nigrosh reports. “I have antique pumps, beaters, dandy rolls, and a collection of brass nameplates from machinery makers. We also have a collection of paper mill factory mutual insurance drawings. We have some great black-and-white photos of mills and machines.

We also have about 150 postcards, purchased mostly on eBay. Many of the postcards are 80-100 years old and have been written on and mailed with 1-cent stamps. A typical card might be addressed to Aunt May and say ‘visited Uncle John at the mill. On a vacation now with the new automobile doing a tour of Ohio.’ My favorite cards are of old mills, still running, that I have visited. There are dozens of cards from mills no longer running from which we have sold equipment. There are many where the equipment has been sold and the complete paper machines are up and running overseas.

It is rewarding to see situations where the paper machines can live on long after their first use is no longer economically viable,” says Nigrosh.

Students Score Supplier Support

One of the most important ways the pulp and paper industry’s supplier community supports the industry is through supporting engineering students. Here are a few examples:

After attending a paper industry conference demonstration of the IDEAS v Plant Modular Pulp and Paper Operator Training Simulator from Andritz Automation, Dr. Richard Venditti, professor in the Department of Forest Biomaterials and instructor of the senior PSE Process Control Course, was so inspired that he spent more than a year trying to bring the simulation software to his process control lab. In August 2016, he received two memory sticks from Paresh Kenkare, an NC State Engineering alumnus and vice president of simulation, PAS Division at Andritz Automation—a donation valued at more than $750,000.

The school’s 12-week fall semester lab rotates between several hands-on control experiments that demonstrate important concepts used to run a paper mill. With the addition of the simulator, students get an interactive lab experience

with the chance to look at how to strategically run the whole paper mill, instead of just individual pieces. “The Andritz simulator was by far my favorite part of the lab,” said Charles Joseph, a senior paper science and chemical engineering double major. “I worked at a paper mill this summer and saw a little bit of the control screens the operators used. As an intern, I had little opportunity to work with the operator interface, but it was something that deeply interested me…the lab simulation allowed me to play with the operator interface and attempt to start up the process from a dead stop. I gained an appreciation for how interconnected the system is and the balance that must be achieved between every aspect of the process.”

Vendetti says, “I really want to emphasize the generosity from Andritz. I’m always looking for ways to improve and add value to the lab, and with the simulator, students can go in and see all the operating systems, all the motors and pumps and controls… they get to use the same interface they will see in industry.”

Sulzer has created a summer internship program offering students the chance to develop commercial experience within an engineering environment. Interested students are invited to attend an Intern Day at Sulzer; the most promising are selected and placed in different departments throughout Sulzer’s turbomachinery, electromechanical and pumps product lines. Each intern starts by working on the shop floor, where they gain some hands-on experience. “We wanted to create an exciting internship opportunity that would help to show students what sort of opportunities are available in engineering, while also allowing us to identify the most promising students who would be able to add value to our business in the long term,” said Alexei Bushunow, who helped to start the new program. “Having enthusiastic and talented students working in our production sites adds value.”

Voith celebrated its 150th anniversary year in 2017, choosing local good causes at each of its locations worldwide. Voith Paper Fabric & Roll Systems employees in Austell, GA, selected to provide a US$1,000 scholarship donation to nearby West Georgia Technical College, which offers a variety of technical education programs for high school graduates who want to pursue careers in skilled labor. Two students received US$500 each. “Our theme for this 150th year is putting a program in place so that we can have 150 more successful years,” said Ronnie Hines, operations manager of Voith Paper Fabric & Roll. “Qualified employees are essential to making that happen. Anything we can do to support schools like West Georgia Tech is a win-win for everyone because we can ensure that we will have more qualified employees who can carry us into the next 150 years.”

Journey of Knowledge

Paper industry consultant and TAPPI Fellow Tom Rodencal is an avid supporter of the TAPPI Library. When he heard that long-time TAPPI member and historical book collector Rich Townley of Middletown, OH, had a collection of Paper Trade Journals that he hoped to donate to the library, Rodencal volunteered to drive them to TAPPI Headquarters himself. A side trip to the Dard Hunter museum in Chillicothe, OH rounded out the journey. (Read more about the library in the article on page 40.)

The trip was first and foremost to get the magazines, as we did not want to risk damaging them in a commercial shipment to TAPPI,” says Rodencal. “I then decided to visit the Mountain House Press and meet Dard Hunter III, since we had so many of his grandfather’s works in the library.

The really nice aspect of this trip was to know that we have people associated with the industry who care about its history and try and preserve a small slice of it with personal actions,” says Rodencal. “Rich had the journals stored in his basement, and the timing was right for him to consider giving them up. He was excited to know that they would go to a place that would allow them to be safely stored and made available to others. Dard Hunter III was going to become a stock broker, but when his father died unexpectedly, he switched gears to oversee the family homestead that housed the museum; he is preserving the legacy of his grandfather and father in the industry.”

William Joseph “Dard” Hunter was passionate about acquiring and preserving paper industry knowledge. Hunter established Mountain House Press, a hand papermaking mill and workshop, in 1919. The commercial studio houses a diverse collection of watermarked handmade paper collected by his grandfather, as well as the original printing press from Hunter’s Marlborough Mill. The Mountain House is available for tours by appointment.

Europe has a large number of papermaking museums, while the US and Canada have very few,” Rodencal notes. “I hope that publicizing places like Mountain House Press will get some folks thinking about where this industry started and how it has evolved and how it should be preserved.”

Victory Packaging donated truckloads of packaging to families affected by Hurricane Harvey.

International Paper Foundation pledged US$1 million in donations, and produced 100,000 boxes for donation to the American Red Cross and Feeding America.

Interns gain knowledge from experienced engineers through Sulzer’s internship program.

A workshop table at Mountain House Press/Dard Hunter Studios.

Tom Rodencal and Dard Hunter III with an antique watermark.

The donated Paper Trade Journals are dated from 1878 to 1924.