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Paper Industry Hall of Fame Honors Six

Six new honorees for 2016 will join those honored in the Paper Industry International Hall of Fame.

“To celebrate all things paper – the wonder and the legacy” is the established mission of the Paper Industry International Hall of Fame in Appleton, Wisconsin.  Since its first induction ceremony in 1995, the Hall of Fame has worked to recognize individuals who, through their inventions, initiative and efforts, have built or improved paper and allied industries worldwide.

The Paper Industry International Hall of Fame has announced its 2016 class of honorees. This 22nd induction class will expand the membership roster to 135 men and women who have made significant and lasting contributions to our industry. Here is a brief introduction to the six newest members of the Paper Industry International Hall of Fame.

Thomas Gardner, Appleton, WI
Thomas Gardner conceived of and developed a new process for drying paper using air. His inventions that resulted from this concept have been applied to a number of different aspects of papermaking and paper processing. Gardner applied his air drying knowledge to improving the dryers on Yankee tissue machines, developing systems for drying heat set inks, and inventing the “Floater” dryer that allowed drying heat set inks on both sides of the web at up to four times previous speeds. He also developed the Pocket Ventilating system, and the Gardner-Blow-Through Steam Control System. In 1967 he founded Gardner Systems where he served as President and CEO until his retirement in 2011.

Niilo Heikki Hakkarainen (deceased), Helsinki, Finland
Niilo Heikki Hakkarainen took over as president and CEO of United Paper Mills (UPM) at a time when it was suffering from severe financial problems; he converted a centrally managed company into a group of profit centers that were compelled to compete not only on the market but also with each other. The strategy was a success. When UPM started investing again, it was in TMP-based papers using path-breaking new technology, and Hakkarainen was known as a leader who trusted his young engineers. At the end of Hakkarainen’s era in 1991 UPM was Finland’s strongest pulp and paper company and also one of the world’s largest.

Charles Klass, Madeira Beach, FL
Since the 1970s, Charles (Chuck) Klass has established a history of service to the paper industry. However, beginning in 1986, Klass made his mark on the industry as a consultant to numerous companies involved in coating various paper grades. His contributions led to the commercialization of the metered size press, coating of deinked post-consumer recycled waste papers, the addition of fluorocarbons for grease resistance, the development of Crayola Wonder® paper, the development of rod coaters for Kohler Coating, the commercialization of nanoparticle biolatex® binders for Ecosynthetix, and the development of Colorlok technology for Hewlett Packard for their inkjet papers.

Otto Kress (deceased), Appleton, WI
When the Institute of Paper Chemistry opened in 1929, Dr. Otto Kress was responsible for the organization’s academic direction, and over nearly nine decades his efforts have been critical in establishing its success. For the first eighteen years of IPC’s existence, Dr. Kress served as the inaugural technical director, setting the tone for cutting-edge graduate programs for the industry and conducting invaluable research. Over the course of almost ninety years, he served in every capacity needed or imaginable, from janitor to secretary, lab technician and teacher. With his help, IPC became the first graduate program in pulp and paper sciences in the US, and he was the first practitioner and likely creator of an IPC academic program to produce “scientific generalists” who understood and could apply a wide range of scientific disciplines to paper manufacturing.

Costello Named as New Executive Director

The Board of Directors of the Paper Industry International Hall of Fame Inc. and the Paper Discovery Center have announced that Maria Costello has joined the staff as the new executive director following the retirement of Kathleen Lhost on June 10. Lhost has served as executive director for the past five years.

Most recently, Costello served for nearly six years as executive director of the Charles Allis and Villa Terrace Art Museums in Milwaukee, WI. During her tenure the museums introduced new programming and events including a coalition of five smaller museums (Milwaukee’s Museum Mile) which increased membership and attendance at these venues. Prior to the museums she was executive director of Historic Milwaukee, Inc., a nonprofit dedicated to the history and preservation of Milwaukee’s built environment.

The Paper Industry International Hall of Fame and the Paper Discovery Center, an interactive science and technology museum, are housed in Kimberly-Clark Corp.’s historic former Atlas Mill in Appleton, WI.

Irwin Pearl (deceased), Appleton, WI
Dr. Irwin Pearl strengthened the paper industry and many mills with his skills as a researcher in organic and analytical chemistry. He was a pioneer in creating more value from wood by finding uses for the lignin and other materials that are normally burned after being separated from wood fibers. Starting in 1941, he was one of the first in the world to recognize and explore the hidden value of lignin in black liquor. Dr. Pearl was a strong believer in the use of waste materials for value-added products; he showed that, with further chemical treatment, the lignin in black liquor from kraft pulping could yield useful lignosulfonates similar to those coming from sulfite pulping. The work he launched is known today as biorefining.

Juhani Strömberg, Helsinki, Finland
Juhani Strömberg conceived of and spearheaded water-based label stock laminates, which development revolutionized the global market. In 1969, Strömberg was named product development manager in Raf. Haarla, later Raflatac, a division of UPM. He soon realized that water-based label stock laminates offered great opportunities because of qualitative and environmental reasons. Strömberg also led the development of a superior glassine release paper, and influenced the development of better quality face papers. The developments revolutionized the global market, with market share of 65% by the end of the 1980s.

The six honorees will be lauded at the 22nd Annual Induction Ceremony on Thursday, October 6, 2016. The event will begin with a reception at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 6:30 and the ceremony at 8 p.m. Attendees will have the opportunity to witness the hanging of the commemorative plaques at the Paper Industry International Hall of Fame within the Paper Discovery Center located at 425 W. Water Street, along the Fox River in Appleton, in the historic Atlas Paper Mill.

Reservations and sponsorships for the induction event can be made through the Paper Industry International Hall of Fame office at 920-380-7491.

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