TAPPI is pleased to announce that Paula Hajakian, TAPPI Fellow, has been named winner of the prominent Herman L. Joachim Distinguished Service Award. Hajakian, who is the first woman to receive this distinguished honor in its 49-year history, is Principal Technical Specialist in Paper for United States Gypsum (USG) Company.

Hajakian earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering with a Pulp and Paper specialty from University of Massachusetts, Lowell and is a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt.

She has been a paper industry professional for over 38 years, 18 of those years with USG. Hajakian’s previous experiences include coating and cylinder board machine production with WestRock (Rock-Tenn Company), Simkins Industries Beveridge Paper Mill, and Newark Atlantic Paperboard, and research and paper chemistry with Kemira Oyj (Akzo Chemicals). Her roles in the industry include experience with production management, technical support, training, product development, and capital project leadership including support of a paper machine rebuild.

Hajakian has authored or coauthored nine patents, coauthored an article for TAPPI Journal, and presented papers and chaired sessions at TAPPICon, TAPPI PEERS, PPSA, and the National Council for Air and Stream Improvement, Inc. (NCASI).

A TAPPI member since 1990, Hajakian was the recipient of the 2021 Women in Industry Division’s (WIN) Woman of the Year Award and the WIN Division’s Leadership and Service Award in 2022.  She currently serves as Steering Committee Chair for TAPPICon, Subcommittee Chair for Forming, Pressing and Papermaking Technical Information Papers (TIPs), Chair for the Benchmarking Committee for the WIN Division, and is Chair Emeritus for the Paper and Board Division. Hajakian has advanced through the leadership positions for the Paper and Board Division, Papermaking, and Papermaking Technology and Operations Committees (PTOC), and she has also led the development of the PTOC through the merger of the Papermaking and Water Removal Committees and supported the development of the WIN Division.

The award will be officially presented at TAPPICon, April 28-May 1, 2024 in Cleveland, Ohio, USA.

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