November 22, 2017  
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What Papermakers Are Thankful For

Accounts of the “First Thanksgiving” vary; but we know that President Abraham Lincoln made it official in 1863 with a proclamation that read, in part: “The year that is drawing towards its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies… I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving.”

While Thanksgiving is considered a time for family and friends, we here at Ahead of the Curve had heard many papermakers refer to our industry as a type of extended family. With that in mind—and because tomorrow is officially Thanksgiving Day in the United States—we decided to visit the archives to TAPPI’s Member Spotlight to compile a few answers to two relevant questions:

What do you believe have been the most significant contributions/breakthroughs
in your area of our industry?

What is your favorite paper product?

We feel their answers create a brief look at “What Papermakers Are Thankful For.” We hope that they remind our readers what they, too, are thankful for on the job—including their coworkers, colleagues, and friends. Thank YOU for reading!

Danny Haynes – Tucker, GA
Senior technical coordinator
Eka Chemicals

First, the kraft process is just amazing when you think about how the process would just not be viable without reprocessing the chemicals to reuse them. You have to give the nod to the technical insight and determination to make that all work. Secondly are the contributions and breakthroughs in the world of paper recycling. I am impressed with the fortitude of men like Mahendra Doshi, Wayne Carr, and so many others, along with the financial commitments of numerous companies who made that effort real.

My favorite product is the unfolding paper robot; I love showing that video when teaching the Pulp and Paper merit badge. My future favorite paper product will be Harry Potter Paper—when we can give the ability to have moving images in a newspaper or magazine. It will be so cool and it seems so close to being a reality. An additional favorite are the videos by Domtar’s “Paper Because” which show just how helpful paper is to our daily lives. The series is a good reminder of the importance of the paper business.

D. Robert Hammond - North Haven, CT
Technical sales director
Mica Corporation

Functionality is the future of packaging and brand owners are looking for more of it. Security is an extremely important packaging function, especially in a global market. It is important to protect against counterfeiting because it endangers the brand owner’s reputation and puts at risk the consumer with potentially unsafe products.

My favorite example showcases increased functionality in a flexible package. Frito-Lay has developed a product that can detect a person’s blood alcohol level and even order them an Uber. It is called “The Party Bag” and features special sensors that can detect the blood alcohol level of anyone who breathes near it. If the circle turns green, then you are safe to drive. But if the person’s blood alcohol level is too high, the circle instead turns red and displays the words, “Don’t drink and drive.”

Paula Hajakian - Naperville, IL
Technical manager, paper and board
USG Corporation

I would say automation has been one of the biggest breakthroughs in our industry. The ability to monitor and control the process at a safer distance from rotating machinery has improved the quality and consistency of paper, as well as the safety of employees.

Right now my favorite paper product is gypsum liner. The ability to create new gypsum board products with the help of papermaking capability provides a quicker time to market. Press board and coated recycled are also near and dear to my heart.

Michael Segal - Portland, ME
Director of logistics and operations planning
Sappi North America

At Sappi, the three pillars of people, planet, and prosperity represent our commitment to sustainability, which mirrors the industry in my opinion. The focus on the ability to balance profitability with environmental responsibility, as well as the investment in development and growth of our employees, suppliers, and customers has resulted in sustainable gains in quality, knowledge, and performance. In many ways the industry has remade itself over the 26 years I have been a part of it.

My favorite paper product is a blank sheet of fine coated paper. It has the potential to be anything and is a platform for creativity.

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