Dreams Do Come True

Dreams do come true...in so many ways. Our industry has been called many things during the past 2,000 years, but the term "glamorous" normally does not roll off the tongue when one speaks of the forest products industry.

Okay, I am sure there are many of you who have been invited to spend time in the presence of a king, queen, or ambassador in your career, but this is the first position that I have held where this was actually the case for my wife and me. This occurred back on Sept. 24-25, 2013. I waited until now to report it, to be certain it was not a dream. The scene was at the Grand Hotel in Stockholm, Sweden.

A dream came true for Dr. Derek Gray, holder of the NSERC/Innovations Industrial Research Chair at McGill University, when he was named the recipient of the 2013 Marcus Wallenberg Prize (MWP). The MWP was established in 1980 for one purpose—to recognize, encourage, and stimulate path breaking scientific achievements that contribute significantly to broadening knowledge and technical development within the fields of importance to forestry and forest industries. The MWP has a cash value of 2 million Swedish Krona (SEK), or the equivalent to more than $300,000.

"Dr. Gray was awarded this prize through his work showing that cellulose crystals in water suspensions align spontaneously in a specific pattern, in turn creating unique optical properties," said Kaj Roesen, executive secretary of the MWP Foundation. "This discovery has extended the boundaries of the uses of forest raw material and, in doing so, has created the potential for a series of new products in the forest industry, such as applications of films in "intelligent" packaging materials, printed electronic circuits on paper, surfacing and filler materials for paper and paperboard, inks and cosmetics, and iridescent or magnetic films."

In the photos above, Dr. Gray receives his award from H.R. Carl XVI Gustaf, The King of Sweden. On then right, he and his wife were honored the next evening at the Canadian Embassy, in Stockholm.

If you are a student, young professional, or a mature professional, do not stop dreaming. We have only cracked the surface of what this great indiustry of ours has to offer. Who knows? You may be the next MWP award winner.

In the photos above, my wife Suzanne and I were honored to be invited to share in both celebrations.

More information about the MWP is available online. Also,  more information about TAPPI is available online.

There are two types of people in our industry; TAPPI members and those who should be.

Until next time...Larry

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Travels With Larry

Travels With Larry

A Passion for TAPPI Local Sections

How many times do you get to actually meet with two of the legends of TAPPI's Local Section community...

The Year of the Dragon - Part 1

Back in 1991, during my days with Republic Paperboard in Hutchinson, Kan., USA, a gentleman set up an appointment with me to discuss a "revolutionary idea...

One of a kind CEO, one of a kind company

Recently a politician made a statement during a campaign speech: "Corporations are not people, people are people...


All About Axchem

Larry spends time with TAPPI's newest Sustaining Member company at PaperCon 2016

Familiar Names, a New location and a New Attitude

April 19 20, 2017 (right before PaperCon2017) Kristi Ledbetter, TAPPI’s Converting Division Manager, and I had the privilege to revisit a company that I had the pleasure of writing about several years ago.

Seneca Steel Erectors, Inc.

Eric Fletty and I recently discovered that the town of Logan, OH is home to Men and Women of Steel.


An Accent on Innovation

On May 13, 2014, Eric Fletty and I had the opportunity to visit with one of TAPPI’s Sustaining Member companies, Kadant Inc., at its Kadant Johnson facility in Three Rivers, Mich., USA. 


If you Mess it Up, Un-Mess It!

If you have been around any time at all in our industry, you know that things will get messed up in the areas of finished goods...

The Great Pacific Northwest! Part 1 of 3

Travels with Larry February 2017 


Paper Shows up in the Strangest Places

I have adopted nine cities in my career in this industry, but my hometown was and remains to be Memphis, Tenn., USA.

You Never Know

John, you will be missed...

There's No Place Like Home

When visiting Thompson Industrial Services, LLC, Eric Fletty and I had the pleasure to visit a town that neither of us had been before.

Is it the People or the Equipment?

Finally an answer to that age old argument—is it the people or the equipment?


What a whirlwind in September & October 2016 Volume 2

Fall 2016 -- I have seen the Future


Old Home Week

It never ceases to amaze me, when TAPPI Members come together for a corporate visit or TAPPI conference with 100-5,000 people...

A Very Special Visit

Turning Pulp into Possibilities; Making Big Ideas Fly; All Custom Specifications; To Protect our Customer’s Products; We Design to Our Customer’s Specification; Bigger, Brighter, and Stronger Together.

Runs Batted In

In non-baseball terms, RBI stands for the Renewable Bioproducts Institute located at Georgia Tech. 

What a whirlwind in September & October 2016 Volume 1

Fall 2016 -- Keynote Speaker at Pulp and Paper Industry Reliability and Maintenance Conference. 

WestRock Production Managers Development Program

Have you ever had one of those days when you discover a project that makes you say; “Wow, I wish I had thought of that one!”?

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