The Young Professional of the Year is an annual honor that identifies aspiring young leaders in the global forest products, pulp, paper, tissue, packaging and associated industries. Eligible nominees are age 35 or younger with less than 10 years of industry experience.

The recipients of the 2024 TAPPI Young Professional of the Year award are:

  • Özlem Akdo─čan, Principal Scientist - ESG, Sustainable Packaging R&D, The Kraft Heinz Company
  • Seth Gulledge, Paper Machine Optimization LeadDomtar
  • Stephen Bussa, Area Sales Manager, Axchem USA

The award recognizes young professionals who 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.

Winners are granted one full year of TAPPI membership and are invited to attend their division-specific TAPPI conference during 2024 to receive their award.