Introducing TAPPI’s Newest Directors


TAPPI’s membership recently elected three industry leaders to serve on its Board of Directors. Representing a broad swath of industry segments, TAPPI’s volunteer board members have successfully guided the policies and general affairs of the association throughout the course of its 107-year history.

The board consist of a chair, vice chair, and nine directors. Its past and present list of directors spotlights a long line of industry icons. Meet the newest directors on the TAPPI Board.

lawrence anker
Lawrence Anker, Solenis


Anker is currently the director of commercial operations for Solenis. He earned a BS in chemistry, mathematics, and physics at Washington and Lee University in 1986 and his Ph.D. in chemistry at Penn State University in 1992. Anker began his professional career in the paper industry at International Paper’s Erie Research Center in the corporate papermaking process chemistry group. In 1998, he moved to Ashland’s Drew Industrial Research Center. Anker has held various positions in his 23 years at Ashland/Solenis, including polymer chemistry group leader, applications lab manager, field applications group leader, and functional chemistry applications group leader.

Anker was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship in 1987 and was selected as a TAPPI Fellow in 2012. He is the former chair of the TAPPI Paper and Board Division, as well as the Additives Committee, and served as chair of the Centennial Celebration Steering Committee (PaperCon 2015). He is an active member of the Student Summit Steering Committee and is a current instructor for TAPPI’s Introduction to Wet End Chemistry course. Anker will serve a three-year term on the board.

michael farrell
Michael Farrell, Graphic Packaging


Farrell is the executive vice president of the Mill Division at Graphic Packaging. In this role, he is responsible for eight paper mills, four integrated virgin mills, and four recycled mills, totaling 4.2 million tons of annual production. He is also responsible for health, safety, and environment (HS&E) affairs and open market sales.

Farrell has been in leadership positions with Graphic Packaging for 15 years. After starting his career as general manager of the Middletown, OH, mill, he moved to senior manufacturing manager at the West Monroe, LA, mill. In 2013, he assumed the role of VP, recycled board mills. In January, 2018, Farrell was appointed senior vice president, supply chain, and was then promoted to EVP Mill Division in September, 2018. Prior to Graphic Packaging, he worked for The Newark Group in its mill division for 13 years in mill management roles.

Farrell holds a degree in pulp and paper engineering technology from Sault College and an MBA from Xavier University. Farrell is also an adjunct professor at Western Michigan University (WMU) and the current president of the WMU Paper Technology Foundation. He was elected to serve a three-year term on TAPPI’s board.

kim nelson
Kim Nelson, GranBio USA


Nelson, chief technology officer for Nanocellulose at GranBio USA, was initially slated to retire from the board in 2022, but was elected for an additional term to be completed by March, 2023. Nelson has more than 15 years of experience in the pulp, paper, and biorefinery sectors, including process and product development, scale-up, commercialization, manufacturing, and environmental health and safety and regulations.

Nelson holds 19 patents and more than 50 patents pending in biorefinery processes and nanocellulose. She earned a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology and an MS in pulp & paper science & engineering from the Institute of Paper Science and Technology.

After participating in TAPPI’s Student Conference in 2001, Nelson joined TAPPI as a student member. Since that time, she has served on five committees within the Nanotechnology and Women in Industry Divisions.