2022 TAPPI/PIMA Awards: Celebrating Excellence

“Excellence is doing ordinary things extraordinarily well.” This quote (attributed to John W. Gardner, former US Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare) may well apply to the pulp and paper industry professionals profiled here. Not content with merely ordinary work, they have each found a way to contribute that is truly extraordinary.

Each year, Paper360° spotlights the recipients of TAPPI’s association-level awards, as well as those receiving awards from several TAPPI Divisions. We’ve placed this feature in the “Millwise” section to illustrate that these outstanding pulp and paper professionals demonstrate excellence in their mills and at their companies every day.

Most of these awards were presented at TAPPICon 2022 in Charlotte, NC. In the words of TAPPI Board Chair Jim Haeffele, who helped present the awards, “These individuals have led by example — in their service to others, their exemplary leadership, and their remarkable contributions to the industry.”

For many TAPPI Awards, nominations are open until August 1. Several association-level awards include generous honorariums funded by private donation. Visit tappi.org and choose the “Get Involved” tab for more information on TAPPI Awards & Honors.

In the following pages, we are pleased to introduce this year’s winners.

For Scientific Achievement:
Gunnar Nicholson Gold Medal Award


Dr. Peter Hart is one of TAPPI’s most prolific authors, having published more than 100 peer-reviewed technical articles and edited and co-authored three textbooks for TAPPI PRESS. He is director-research and innovation at WestRock, where he has worked for 29 years.

A TAPPI Fellow and a member since 1981, Hart has been in the leadership ranks of both the Southeastern and Gulf Coast Local Sections. He has served in every leadership position on the Alkaline Pulping and Bleaching Committee and on the Pulp Manufacture Division. Hart has been a TAPPI Journal (TJ) Editorial Board member for 20 years, served one term as TJ assistant editor, and recently completed his second term as the journal’s editor-in-chief. Hart also served on TAPPI’s Board of Directors.

He earned his Bachelor of Science from the University of Maine (UMaine) majoring in both chemical engineering and pulp and paper technology. After obtaining an MS in chemical engineering from UMaine, Hart worked for the university and assisted with the relocation of a pilot paper machine, among other projects. Hart then earned his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology. His dissertation was on the formation and release of AOX during kraft pulp bleaching.

First presented in 1985, the prestigious Gunnar Nicholson Gold Medal Award is TAPPI’s highest technical honor in recognition of an individual’s exceptional industry contributions. It recognizes preeminent scientific and engineering achievements of proven commercial benefit to the world’s pulp, paper, board, and forest products industries.

For Business Leadership:
TAPPI/PIMA Executive of the Year


Building on his family company’s firm foundation, William “Will” Kress has kept his eyes on the future as chairman and CEO, earning him recognition as a visionary leader. The Executive of the Year Award is traditionally presented to senior-level executives in the pulp, paper, or converting industries for excellence in management and outstanding contributions to the industry. It is one of TAPPI’s highest honors.

TAPPI President and CEO Larry N. Montague says, “Under Will’s guidance, Green Bay Packaging continues to uphold its longstanding commitment to the community and the environment. Its new Green Bay mill recently achieved Net-Zero Water in its production of 100 percent recycled containerboard with the first-of-its-kind, circular reclaimed water system, significantly reducing the environmental footprint of the operation.”

GBP is a family-owned, vertically integrated manufacturing company consisting of corrugated container plants, a folding carton facility, recycled and virgin linerboard mills, pressure-sensitive label roll stock plants, specialty converting operations, timberlands, and a sawmill facility. GBP’s footprint expands across 37 locations in 16 states.

Kress holds a BS in finance from University of Colorado-Boulder and joined the company as a sales trainee in 1979. He worked through several leadership roles before becoming president in 1995. He was named CEO in 2001 and was elected chairman in 2019. Kress has spent his entire career at GBP, furthering the vision of innovation, environmental sustainability, and quality set forth by his grandfather, George, and father, James. Kress currently serves on the boards of Green Bay Packaging and the Green Bay Packers and Advisory Boards for the Associated Bank and Junior Achievement.

“Being selected as the TAPPI/PIMA Executive of the Year is a great honor,” says Kress. “GBP has been involved in this industry for 90 years and I take great pride in our employees who are focusing on providing customers with superior quality and unparalleled service, while also being good stewards of the environment.”

For Local Section Service:
Paul Magnabosco Outstanding Local Section Member Award


The Magnabosco award recognizes remarkable leadership and service at the Local Section level; recipients are those whose exceptional service has resulted in significant and measurable benefits to their section. Both of this year’s winners have exhibited this high level of service.

Meggison is a process improvement Black Belt with Sappi North America in Westbrook, ME, the mill she has worked at her entire career. She served on Sappi’s Sustainability Council from 2010 to 2022, collaborating with colleagues to develop and execute strategic goals and objectives.

Meggison became involved with the TAPPI/PIMA Student Chapter as a freshman at University of Maine and served as chapter VP her senior year. Meggison joined TAPPI as a professional member in 1990 and served on the Maine-New Hampshire TAPPI (ME/NH TAPPI) executive committee for several years.

She was recruited to the executive committee of the Northeast PIMA Local Section in 1999, and has held a variety of offices within the section. Meggison joined the PIMA Executive Council in 2008, serving until 2012. She received the PIMA Del Boutin Division Service Award in 2011. Meggison has co-organized the Northeast PIMA/TAPPI Scholarship Fund Golf Tournament each year since 2012.

Von Grumbkow is part of BTG Instrument’s Global Solutions Team — Paper and Board. He has been in the paper industry for 28 years, and joined Lake States TAPPI/North Central PIMA in 2007. Von Grumbkow served as chair of the section’s Executive Board from 2017 to 2021. He has also served on several committees for both PIMA and TAPPI.

His passion in local section work has been helping and mentoring students entering the industry; he has shown “incredible dedication to make Lakes States TAPPI better each year,” notes his nomination. A graduate of University of Braunschweig, Germany, Von Grumbkow and his family recently relocated from Neenah, WI, to the city of Linz, Austria.

For Service Leadership:
Herman L. Joachim Distinguished Service Award


John Neun, TAPPI Fellow, has served the paper industry since 1979 and is now a consulting engineer. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY.

A summary of his service activity makes it clear why Neun has received this prestigious award. He began his career as a research engineer with Albany Felt Company, followed by a long tenure at Kadant-AES. His first boss at Albany Felt, Ed DeCrosta, was an officer of the TAPPI Engineering Division and introduced Neun to TAPPI in 1980. Neun served as an officer and ultimately chairman of the Water Removal Committee, the Papermaking Technical Program Committee, and the Paper and Board Division. He has written and presented many conference papers and has lectured in TAPPI courses for decades. He has played some role in every annual conference since 1990.

Currently, Neun serves on the TAPPI Journal Editorial Board. He has received the Leadership and Service Awards from both the TAPPI Engineering Division and Paper and Board Division, as well as the TAPPI Engineering Division’s Technical Award. He holds six U.S. patents.

The Herman L. Joachim Distinguished Service Award was established to recognize individuals for voluntary leadership and support. Recipients have significantly and demonstrably advanced the mission and vision of TAPPI and made specific improvements in the association’s internal or external endeavors.

Welcoming the TAPPI Fellows Class of 2022:

For more than 50 years, TAPPI Fellows have continued to enrich the industry with their contributions. Only a small percentage of TAPPI members ever achieve this distinction. TAPPI Fellows represent every area of the industry and hail from all over the world, creating a global fellowship of men and women whose professionalism and high personal standards serve as inspiration. “TAPPI Fellows truly represent our best and brightest, and their service forms the foundation of TAPPI,” says TAPPI President and CEO Larry Montague.

Considerations for selection include longstanding TAPPI membership, exemplary volunteer leadership, and outstanding contributions to the industry’s knowledge base. The TAPPI Fellow designation is also conferred upon those who have served on TAPPI’s Board of Directors upon completion of their term. Innovators — leaders — mentors — TAPPI welcomes the following individuals as new Fellows for 2022:

TAPPI Member since 1993

MiniFIBERS, Inc.
TAPPI Member since 1986

North Carolina State University
TAPPI Member since 2017

GranBio USA
TAPPI Member since 2013

TAPPI Member since 1994

Texas Tech University
TAPPI Member since 2005

TAPPI Member since 1983

TAPPI Member since 1997

TAPPI Member since 1984

Doug Sweet & Associates, Inc.
TAPPI Member since 1984

Coating and Graphic Arts Division:

Division Technical Award & The Charles W. Englehard Prize


Gagnon began his career in 1989 in research for Potlatch Corp. and in 1999 joined DuPont Soy Polymers, where he served until retirement. He has published extensively on a wide range of industry topics. Gagnon joined TAPPI in 1993, and in 1995 joined the C&GA’s Technical Program Committee, serving for several years. He has been a presenter at TAPPI’s Coating Conference and an instructor at TAPPI sponsored courses.

Division Leadership and Service Award & DuPont Soy Polymers Prize


After starting his career at Stora Enso’s Varkaus paper mill, Tuomisto had a 35-year career with Valmet. He is now with EPIQ AD (Advanced Dynamics) and is recognized as a leading technical expert in papermaking process technology, paper machinery, and paper coating and finishing. Tuomisto has chaired both TAPPI’s Calendering Committee and Coating Operations Committee.

CGA Division and WestRock Outstanding Educator Award


A TAPPI Fellow, Dr. Gane is credited with more than 400 scientific publications and named inventor on over 300 corporate patents. Focus areas include interaction of liquids and heat with complex porous network media, including nanoscale phenomena applied to printing, environmental sciences, and composite biomaterials. He is a two-time winner of the Swedish Kempe Prize for research.

International Flexible Packaging & Extrusion Division:

Division Leadership and Service Award & Andreas Ahbrandt Prize


Lush joined Celplast in 1989 and is now sales manager. He got involved with IFPED at the committee level by joining the Flexible Packaging Committee and has also served on the Technical Program Committee. During his time as an IFPED officer, he was instrumental in the reorganization of the division’s structure into Teams and also in introducing the Mentor Match program to the division.

Division Technical Award & Samuel Zweig Prize


At Dow, Marks is a key member for global technical support of heritage DuPont materials. He began TAPPI committee work in the late 1980s and has held all the Division Council positions in IFPED; currently he is a chair emeritus of the division and a council member-at-large. He has been a core instructor in IFPED Short Courses from the 1990s through today.

Paper and Board Division:

Division Technical Award & Harris O. Ware Prize


Hubbe teaches and conducts research related to chemical additives for the paper manufacturing process. He earned an M.S. in paper technology from the Institute of Paper Chemistry and a Ph.D. in colloidal chemistry from Clarkson University. His industrial work has focused on alkaline sizing and paper product development. At NCSU his research involves papermaking chemistry and colloidal science.

Division Leadership and Service Award & Oscar May Priz


Nyman is an SME-Innovative Solutions and has spent 34 years with International Paper. His experience in the industry includes both technical support and production management roles at multiple locations around the world. Nyman has also been involved in several new or rebuilt paper machine capital projects. He is a TAPPI Fellow and a member of Couch Pit University.

Jasper Mardon Memorial Prize for Best Papermaking Technology Paper


As the owner of Spectrum Technologies, Zwart specializes in advanced vibration test techniques. He holds an MASc in mechanical engineering and is a Professional Engineer and spent the first 10 years of his career in R&D for a large newsprint company. Since then, Zwart has been with Spectrum Technologies developing specialized tools and advanced algorithms to aid in consulting.

PIMA Management Division:

Technologist of the Year


Smith is a senior process control engineer at Domtar’s Kingsport mill and an integral part of the mill’s production and continuous improvement team. She has been instrumental in the mill’s transition to Domtar’s first 100 percent recycled packaging facility. Smith holds a BS in chemistry from Georgetown College as well as a BS in chemical engineering from University of Kentucky.

Process Control Division:

Division Technical Award


VanPembrook’s career in the pulp and paper industry has spanned 34 years; he has been with Valmet since 1996. He excels in wet-end chemistry and alkaline conversions of fine paper machines and now works with advanced wet-end and stock prep measurements and controls. VanPembrook is considered a subject matter expert and has published numerous papers with TAPPI and PAPTAC.

Division Leadership and Service Award


Maddux joined the pulp and paper industry in 1990 and today is a regional sales manager with Valmet Automation. He is past chair for the Process Control Division, current vice-chair for the TAPPICON Steering Committee, and will serve as chair for TAPPICON 2023. A TAPPI member since 2001, Maddux is passionate about getting students and young professionals interested in the engineering and automation aspect of the industry.

Professional of the Year


Hinchcliffe is a senior operations engineer for Domtar Paper’s Hawesville, KY, mill. He has 31 years of engineering experience in industrial automation — remarkably, all at the same facility. Hinchcliffe notes, “Our greatest challenge is to develop reliable systems that present the right information to the right person at the right time — enabling our operators to transform data into insight.”

Division Best Paper Award


With over 25 years in technical and production management positions, Burton has spent the last 15 years of his career with Asten-Johnson, where he is a member of the Papermaking Specialist team. Burton has served as Water Removal Committee past chair and is a member of Couch Pit Fraternity. His winning paper, “Using Process Information Survey Techniques to Support Gap Closure,” was presented at TAPPICon 2021.

Process and Product Quality Division:

Division Technical Award & Richard S. Hunter Prize


At IP’s corporate technology center, Crawshaw leads a team of scientists and technicians providing chemical analysis, microscopy analysis, and physical measurements for IP’s manufacturing plants and business groups. He is a member of TAPPI’s P&PQ Division Council, Quality and Standards Management Committee, and Standards Advisory Review Group. He chairs the Physical Properties Committee and the Optical Properties Committee and has served as Working Group Chair for 28 TAPPI standard methods.

Division Leadership and Service Award


Loebker has worked in the pulp and paper industry for more than 32 years and is named as inventor on 28 US patents in the areas of tissue paper product, process, and analytical analysis technologies. He has been a leader within the TAPPI Tissue Properties Subcommittee for over 10 years and has presented at many TAPPI conferences on tissue topics and the benefits that TAPPI standards provide.

Women in Industry Division:

Woman of the Year Award


Duram is a managing consultant and, since joining Trinity more than 20 years ago, she has served clients in a variety of industries, with a particular focus on forest product manufacturing. Deanna helped develop and now directs Trinity Consultant’s Women in Leadership (WIL) initiative and is a member of Trinity’s Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) committee. Duram is a graduate of the University of Michigan and a registered Professional Engineer in Georgia and South Carolina.

Division Leadership and Service Award


Hajakian is a paper industry professional with 35 years of experience and a Six Sigma Black Belt. She has authored or coauthored six patents and presented at numerous conferences. A 30-year member of TAPPI, Hajakian is a TAPPI Fellow, an active member of the WIN Division, outgoing chair of the Paper and Board Division, and was the WIN Division’s 2021 Woman of the Year.

Young Professionals Division:

Division Leadership and Service Award


Sharesky is a sales representative who launched her career with PCA following graduation from Monmouth University, where she earned a BS in business administration in 2017 and an MBA in 2018. She began her TAPPI journey as director of events for the YP Division and she is now YP liaison for the Corrugated Packaging Division Council and the incoming vice chair of the YP Division.