“This was not the career path I originally thought I’d be on,” says TAPPI member Josh Reich. “But I’m glad I am now.”
True, working as a corrugated professional was not top-of-mind for Josh when he first attended Ohio University as a candidate for a B.B.A. in Marketing and Sales. But it definitely was by the time he completed his M.B.A. in 2015. That’s because between his sophomore and junior years he took a summer job at Greif in Massillon, OH, inventorying spare parts for the corrugator. He’s never looked back, moving on to become a Sales Intern, then a Commercial Excellence Business Analyst in the Packaging Division, then to Customer Service Representative at the Greif Riverville Paper Mill, and now as a Sales and Customer Service Manager in the GreenGuard Coating Division.
Now with seven years under his belt serving in a variety of progressively responsible roles, it’s no wonder Josh took Chris Krumm’s advice to join TAPPI back in 2013. “Chris is Vice President of Operations for Greif’s CorrChoice Division,” Josh said, “and he is a major advocate for talent development, training and networking. I wanted to learn everything I could to help my company be successful.”
Learning is not the only benefit Josh has taken advantage of either. Since joining, he has become increasingly involved in and now serves as Chairman of the Young Professionals Division (2016 – 2018) where he says he is polishing his leadership skills and sharing ideas through TAPPI Connect.
“I think TAPPI Connect is a major resource which is now just taking off,” he said. “The ability to write on discussion boards, read posts, upload files, and share knowledge is going to be a huge benefit for all members as we move forward into the future.” Josh strongly recommends utilizing this new resource as a timely and effective way to communicate and collaborate.
He also encourages active participation in the Young Professionals Division to not only help acclimate to the industry, but also as a way to deepen existing knowledge and to connect with other professionals who serve as valuable resources and potential mentors.
Looking back at his unexpected career path, what does Josh think about it now? “After seven years I count myself very fortunate to work in an industry with such great people who care a lot about the success of its young professionals,” Josh notes.
Click here to see a video of Josh at the recent SuperCorrExpo in Orlando, Florida, discussing his role as YP chairman and the benefits he's derived from being involved.
Q. How did you find yourself in this industry?
A. The main reason I am in the P&P industry is because of Dale Kiaski, Vice President of Ohio Packaging (a sheet feeder within the Greif CorrChoice family). The summer between my sophomore and junior year of college, Dale hired me to help organize and inventory all spare parts for the corrugator. This summer job in the maintenance department then led to a sales internship and eventually a full time job upon graduating from Ohio University.
Q. Why did you decide to join TAPPI?
A. Current TAPPI board member and Vice President of Operations for Greif’s CorrChoice Division Chris Krumm got me involved with TAPPI. Chris is a major advocate for talent development, training, and networking and is always promoting Greif involvement with TAPPI. Chris continues to be a major supporter of my involvement with TAPPI’s Young Professionals Division.
Q. How has TAPPI membership helped you in your career?
A. As a member, I think the one thing I have gained is an ability to
understand and develop approaches to industry-wide issues in cooperation with
both seasoned veterans and young professionals (YPs) my age. Then have them
validated by the likes of PIMA or Couch Pit University. I hope to better my
leadership skills, especially with my new role as chair of the YP Division. I
also hope to gain more knowledge within the entire industry and products. You
can’t effectively sell something you don’t know everything about, so the
ability to be a part of committees, attend events, and share ideas on industry
challenges through TAPPI Connect will be extremely helpful as I continue my
TAPPI has given me so much
in the short time that I have been involved. I have been to a number of events
including training sessions, PaperCon, etc., and have been introduced to some extraordinarily intelligent people with great experience and insight.
Q. Tell us about some of your interests outside of TAPPI and your professional life.
A. There are several:
1. More than anything, I enjoy spending time with my girlfriend Courtney and dog Oakley (pictured at right). We got Oakley over the summer and he is a six-month-old silver lab.
2. My favorite time of the year is fall because of football season. I am a big fan of the Ohio State Buckeyes and Philadelphia Eagles.
3. I enjoy golfing and am in a golf league with my friends.
4. I like spending time with my friends.
Q. Can you share a unique or fun fact about yourself?
A. I was actually born in Fort Knox, Kentucky on their army base on November 26, 1989. My father was in the army.
Q. Please share closing thoughts on how you think TAPPI membership will continue to help you in your career pursuits.
A. If you are a young professional in the pulp and paper industry looking to better yourself personally and professionally, then a TAPPI membership is for you. Not only do you get to meet other people your age that are in very similar roles, you get to network with seasoned professionals who have a wealth of knowledge they want to share with us. Joining TAPPI at a young age has allowed me to attend training sessions and industry events, learn through social streams like TAPPI Connect, and given me the wonderful opportunity to lead the Young Professional Division as Chair. This foundation will only grow as I continue my career, especially by expanding my network, attending events, and utilizing the resources available to me through TAPPI.