January 18, 2017  
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Knowledge and involvement: One young professionalís story

Working as a corrugated professional was not top-of-mind for Josh Reich 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. He’s never looked back.

Reich now has seven years under his belt serving in a variety of progressively responsible roles. “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,” he notes.

Internship opened doors
Reich credits Dale Kiaski, vice president of Ohio Packaging (a sheet feeder within the Greif CorrChoice family) for kickstarting what would eventually become his career. “The summer between my sophomore and junior year of college, Dale hired me to help organize and inventory all spare parts for the corrugator,” says Reich. “This summer job in the maintenance department then led to a sales internship and eventually a full time job upon graduating from Ohio University.”

Reich later moved 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. He now serves as a sales and customer service manager in the GreenGuard Coating Division.

Another influential individual for Reich was Chris Krumm, who suggested in 2013 that joining TAPPI would be a good next step for his career. “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 has not been the only benefit for Reich. Since joining, he has become increasingly involved in the Young Professionals Division. He now serves as chairman of (2016 – 2018), which he says is helping him polish his leadership skills. He 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.

Looking forward
Reich has some clear priorities for building his industry career. In addition to building leadership skills, he’d like to continue to expand his ability to understand and develop approaches to industry-wide issues in cooperation with both seasoned veterans and young professionals (YPs). “I also hope to gain more knowledge within the entire industry and products,” he says. “You can’t effectively sell something you don’t know everything about. The ability to be a part of committees, attend events, and share ideas on industry challenges will be extremely helpful as I continue my career.”

Although he may not always have had his sights set on becoming a corrugated professionals, Reich’s efforts and involvement built a summer job into a career with a strong future. It’s no wonder that Reich was named one of the Young Professionals Division’s “Top 20 Under 30” for 2016. Yet it’s not this recognition that prompts him to advise others new to pulp, paper, and corrugated to join the YP Division.

“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,” Reich concludes. “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.”

YP Division Awards Open for Nominations
The Top Outstanding Young Professionals Award recognizes emerging leaders in the paper, packaging, and related industries. The winners will be announced in an upcoming issue of Paper360°, as well as throughout the year at TAPPI events, in various electronic publications, and online. Winners are also invited to attend their division-specific TAPPI conference during their award year to receive recognition, and receive one year of free TAPPI membership.

If you know some outstanding Young Professionals who deserves recognition, we’d love to hear about them! Eligible nominees can be up to age 35 with 5-10 years of industry experience. Nominations are open until January 31, 2017, and can be made using this online nomination form.

For a modest investment of $174, receive more than US$ 1000 in benefits in return.
Visit www.tappi.org/join for more details.