Leading for Change: 2023 TAPPI Award Winners

Paper360° is proud to introduce this year’s TAPPI National- and Division-Level Awards winners: industry leaders making a difference for their companies, customers, and colleagues. These awards were presented at TAPPICon 2023 in Atlanta, GA. Learn more about these outstanding individuals at tappi.org, and check this list for familiar names—you may find one of YOUR peers, vendors, or customers!


annica bresky

Annica Bresky, President and CEO, Stora Enso

This award recognizes management excellence and outstanding industry contributions and is TAPPI’s highest honor for industry executives. Bresky took over as CEO in December 2019 and has served as a member of the Group Leadership Team since joining the company in 2017. Among other important roles, she is a board member of the Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) and the Swedish Forest Industries Federation (Skogsindustrierna).

“Being selected as the TAPPI/PIMA Executive of the Year is a great honor,” says Bresky. “For nearly 60 years, TAPPI has meticulously selected the winners of this prestigious award and I am deeply honored to join the ranks of some of our industry’s best and most respected leaders.”

Bresky will share her perspectives on leadership and the future of our industry as a guest on an upcoming episode of Paper360°’s podcast, “Better Together: Conversations with Innovative Leaders.” Subscribe and download wherever you get podcast content.


martin hubbe

Martin Hubbe, Ph.D., Professor, and Buckman Distinguished Scientist, North Carolina State University

Dr. Hubbe has edited three books for TAPPI Press and served as chair of TAPPI’s Introduction to Wet-End Chemistry course for several years. His research has involved the broad area of papermaking additives focusing on the charge-related properties of fiber furnish, the development of paper’s dry-strength, optimal usage of retention aids, and chemical programs to promote dewatering. Hubbe achieved international recognition as an innovative researcher and an important contributor to the development of science and technology. He has published more than 100 peer-reviewed papers and has been a TAPPI member since 1978. Dr. Hubbe will share his perspectives in an interview in Paper360°’s July/August issue.


brian n. brogdon

Brian N. Brogdon, Ph.D., TAPPI Fellow, Owner and president of Future Bridge Consulting Services, LLC.

A TAPPI member since 1992, Dr. Brogdon has been a member of the TAPPI Journal Editorial Board since 2008 and served a term as its editor-in-chief. He has published over 30 peer-reviewed journal articles, presented more than 60 conference papers, and has written chapters on brownstock washing and pulp bleaching for two TAPPI PRESS publications. Dr. Brogdon’s main focus areas are chemical pulping, bleaching, brownstock washing, and wood/lignin chemistry, and his many professional accolades reflect both his expertise and his leadership in knowledge-sharing. An interview with Dr. Brogdon will appear in the July/August issue of Paper360°.


This annual honor identifies aspiring young leaders in the global forest products, pulp, paper, tissue, packaging, and associated industries. These early-career professionals have made significant contributions to the forest products industries in the following areas: leadership, community service, and problem-solving contributions to scientific or engineering projects. TAPPI has selected five recipients for 2023:

brennan augst

Brennan Augst
Technical Expert, Voith Paper

sage duguay

Sage Duguay
Business Intelligence Consultant, Fisher International Inc.

garrett fisher

Garrett Fisher
Assistant Project Manager, Clark, Richardson & Biskup Consulting Engineers, Inc.

landon kirkland

Landon Kirkland
Process Engineer, Wood PLC

harrison talton

Harrison Talton
R&D Associate Scientist, WestRock


Coating and Graphic Arts Division:

Division Leadership and OMYA Prize

Gregg Reed

Technical Support Leader, Paper & Board

Imerys, Sandersville, GA

Division Technical Award and BASF Charles W. Englehard Prize

Joe Fernandez

Technology Manager

Sappi Technology Center, Westbrook, ME

Division and WestRock Outstanding Educator Award

Dr. Martti Toivakka

Professor/Head of the Laboratory of Natural Materials Technology

Åbo Akademi University, Finland

International Research Management Committee:

2022 Technical Award and William H. Aiken Prize

Robert Pelton

Professor of Chemical Engineering

McMaster University, Hamilton, ON

2023 Technical Award and William H. Aiken Prize

Dr. Jim Frederick (Retired)

Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Georgia Institute of Tech., Atlanta, GA

Paper and Board Division:

Division Leadership and Service Award and Oscar May Prize

Darren Swales

Awarded posthumously

Formerly of Plasmine Technology, Pensacola, FL

Division Technical Award and Harris O. Ware Prize

David Mcdonald

Awarded posthumously

Formerly president of JDMcD Consulting Inc., Quebec, ON

Jasper Mardon Memorial Prize for Best Papermaking Technology Paper

Donald Stanley

Digital Innovation Program Manager

ABB, Cincinnati, OH

PIMA Division:

Innovator Award

Shivamurthy Modgi

Technical/Quality Manager

Domtar Packaging, Kingsport, TN

Student Leadership Award

Isabelle Ownby

Graduating Senior

Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI

Division Leadership Award

Michael Farrell

Executive VP, Mills Division

Graphic Packaging International, Atlanta, GA

Division Leadership and Service Award

Garrett Fisher

Assistant Project Manager

Clark, Richardson & Biskup Consulting Engineers, Portage, MI

Process and Product Quality Division:

Division Leadership and Service Award

Todd S. Bolton

Group Leader

Solenis, Newark, DE

Division Technical Award and Richard S. Hunter Prize

David Warren Loebker

Group Scientist

Procter & Gamble, Cincinnati, OH

Process Control Division:

Division Best Paper Award

Matthew Howard

Pulp Mill Area Process Systems Manager

Sappi NA Somerset, Skowhegan, ME

Division Leadership and Service Award

Dave Worzalla

Senior Process Control Engineer

International Paper, Georgetown, SC

Professional of the Year

Doug Bray

Manager Process Control

International Paper, Georgetown, SC

Women in Industry Division:

Woman of the Year Award (co-winners)

Beth Cormier

VP, Research, Development, Sustainability

Sappi NA, Boston, MA

Jennifer Piercy

Assistant Dean for College Advancement, College of Natural Resources and President, NC State Natural Resources Foundation

North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC

Division Leadership and Service Award

Sarah Loner

Senior Key Account Manager

Solenis, Greenville, SC

Meet the TAPPI Fellows Class of 2023

Only a small percentage of TAPPI members ever achieve the distinction of being named a TAPPI Fellow. Considerations for selection include longstanding TAPPI membership, exemplary volunteer leadership, and outstanding contributions to the industry’s knowledge base. Innovators—leaders—mentors—TAPPI welcomes the following individuals as new Fellows for 2023:

mark keaten

Mark Keaten

Senior Director

Operations, GAF

kecheng li

Kecheng Li, Ph.D.

Paper Technology Foundation Inc. Endowed Professor/Chair of the Department of Chemical and Paper Engineering, Western Michigan University

dave maddux

Dave Maddux

Regional Sales Manager, Valmet

robert j

Robert J. Moon, Ph.D.

Materials Research Engineer, USDA Forest Service

jeffrey peters

Jeffrey Peters

Tissue Applications Manager, BTG Americas, Inc.

danny s. tandra

Danny S. Tandra, Ph.D.

President, Clyde Industries

rory a. wolf

Rory A. Wolf

CEO, PackEdge Global

TJ Honors Best Research Papers for 2022

Each year, the TAPPI Journal (TJ) Editorial Board honors the best of TJ content by nominating and voting for the TAPPI Journal Best Research Paper, selected based on scientific merit, innovation, creativity, and clarity. For 2022, two papers claimed this distinct honor.

srinivasan narasimhan
Srinivasan Narasimhan

From the January, 2022, issue, editors selected “Microbial load and proliferation associated with various face mask types and sources during the COVID-19 pandemic” by Srinivasan Narasimhan, Meenashree Balakrishnan, Olukayode James Ayodeji, and Seshadri S. Ramkumar. “It is notable that a Nonwovens paper, for the very first time, has won the TAPPI Journal Best Research Paper Award. This speaks to the excellent caliber of their research,” said Doug Coffin, TAPPI Journal editor-in-chief.

joel panek
Joel Panek

“Review of coating cracking and barrier integrity on paperboard substrates” by Joel C. Panek and Peter W. Hart was selected from the November, 2022 issue. “This research paper… represents a great starting point for anyone looking to develop sustainable packaging solutions,” says Steve Ottone, the TJ Editorial Board member who facilitated the paper’s peer review.

As primary authors, Narasimhan and Panek will also share the Honghi Tran TAPPI Journal Best Research Paper Award. The cash prize is endowed by Professor Emeritus Honghi Tran, Ph.D., of the University of Toronto, author or co-author of more than 80 papers published in TJ. Tran established the award in 2019 to encourage and reward the publication of high-quality research in TJ.

Are You a Contender for TJ’s Best Research Paper and Honghi Tran Prize?

Find out by submitting your research to TAPPI Journal! With its stringent peer-review process and distinguished editorial board, TAPPI Journal (TJ) is a unique and reliable source for impactful basic and applied research and technical reviews. Our open access publishing model gives everyone immediate, free access to TJ articles, improves visibility of scientific advances, and promotes citations. You’re invited to submit your research for consideration. The copyright remains with the author, and unlike many technical journals, TJ does not require a publication fee. Visit tappi.org/tjsubmit for details.


Do YOU know an industry professional who deserves recognition through TAPPI’s prestigious National Awards? For many TAPPI Awards, nominations are open until August 1. Several association-level awards include generous honorariums funded by private donation. You do not need to be a member to nominate; however, most awards require TAPPI membership for consideration. Visit tappi.org and choose the “Get Involved” tab for more information on TAPPI Awards & Honors.