Travels with Larry: 2024 Student Summit

If you were wondering what my New Year’s Resolutions list looked like, here you go:

  • Exercise more.
  • Grow more hair (on my head).
  • Attend TAPPI-PIMA Student Summit!

Every January for the past 17 years, my batteries are recharged at the TAPPI-PIMA Student Summit. The prior calendar year’s worry and strife seem like a distant faded memory. As soon as I walk into the opening session, I’m greeted by a sea of brilliant students and their enthusiastic academic advisors all pumped up and ready to jump into this energy-filled weekend.

student summit

Each year’s crowd is somehow smarter than the year before. Each person has a big smile on their face, wide-open eyes, and the heart and passion dedicated to improving, changing, and enhancing the greatness of the greenest industry in the world.

This year’s event was held in Greenville, SC, January 12-15, 2024. We welcomed 195 students from 15 schools; 24 corporate sponsors (of which 21 held interviews); 72 speakers, moderators, and panelists; three terrific mill tours; and 10 TAPPI staff members. There were more than 300 attendees in total—record attendance for this event!

student summit

Speaking of dedication, the delegation from one of our participating schools, Western Michigan University, had its flight canceled in Detroit. After multiple hours of airport time, they did not give up. The group rode a bus to be with us on Saturday afternoon through Monday’s mill tours. That’s the dedication and resilience we see in our NextGen.

student summit

I am so thankful for all the time and effort from our team and all the volunteers from our schools and businesses who knocked this year’s event out of the park. Here are a few candid photos we snapped to share the energy and enthusiasm of this year’s Student Summit with you all. We look forward to seeing you January 17-20, 2025, in St. Petersburg, FL. That is one New Year’s resolution worth keeping!

In the meantime, please scan the QR code to access a 1-minute survey. Let us know how TAPPI can help you recruit and retain NextGen leaders.

Larry N. Montague
President and CEO, TAPPI

student summit