Innovation and Leadership Conference Series
Innovation and Leadership Conference Series
Thursday, September 03, 2020 to Wednesday, September 30, 2020
Leading Mills Successfully into the Future
Experience a new session topic every
Wednesday and Thursday in September
The global pandemic is rocking the business world, and causing companies to quickly alter their priorities to remain stable. Mills need to be agile and adjust to the changing business climate as well.
TAPPI’s PIMA Division has created a series of virtual sessions to provide content and support for critical discussions by executives, mill managers, emerging leaders and suppliers.
Virtual Conference Schedule
- Sept. 3, 11 am – 1:00 pm: State of the Industry, followed by PIMA Division Annual Meeting & Awards
- Sept. 9, 11 am – 12:30 pm: Engaging a Generational Workforce: A Conversation on Attracting & Retaining Young Talent
- Sept. 10, 11 am – 1 pm: Future of Leadership, followed by Women in Industry Division Annual Meeting
- Sept. 16, 11 am – 12:30 pm: The Pillars of the Digital Mill
- Sept. 17, 11 am – 12:30 pm: Mill Manager’s Panel: Evolving Mill Culture from the Industrial Age to the Digital Age
- Sept. 23, 11 am – 12:30 pm: Couch Pit University Superintendent’s Roundtable
- Sept. 24, 11 am – 1 pm: Problem Solving & Creating Positive Change
- Sept. 30, 11 am – 12:30 pm: Executive Panel, presented by Paper360
Registration Fee Schedule
|Full Event Pass
(All 3 sessions)
|Single Session||Full Event Pass
(All 3 sessions)
|Young Professional - under age 30||$29||$19||$158||$29|
Employees of a TAPPI Corporate Sustaining Member receive a 25% discount on the professional member full event pass: $29/full event
Thank You to Our Media Partners
Grab your 'seat' to the entire virtual conference or individual sessions.
Thursday, September 3 • 11am - 1:00pm
State of the Industry
Don't miss hearing this panel of subject matter experts share their insights on the before, during and after impacts of today’s rapidly changing industry environment.
Participate in the Q&A session afterwards - bring your questions.
Chairman and CEO, Galileo Global Advisors; Lecturer in Law, International Banking and Finance, Columbia Law School
Is the World Economy Sinking?
- The Resurgence of Humanity
- Employment, Purchasing Power and Consumption
- The Debt Trap
- Economic Recession and Globalization
- Risk Management in Manufacturing
- Wall Street in Delirium
Vice President, Global Sales, Fisher International
Key Issues and Trends in Today’s Global Pulp, Paper and Tissue Industry : COVID-19 and its Impact
- Trends before COVID-19
- Global PPI Growth
- Big Trends that will Continue to Impact – with or without COVID
- Trends by Paper Grade
- Impact on the Paper Industry
- New Times
- Two Drivers of Change
- Demand Changes Due to Recession
- Longer Term Changes Due to Post-Covid Consumption Patterns
Senior Editor, North & South America, Paper360°
The World is Changing; Can the Industry Accept It?
- What Does the Future Hold
- Improving existing products
- Bio/Nano Products
- Connecting Business Practices with Employee/Societal Concerns
- Water Consumption
- Climate Change
- Work:life Balance
Stay for the PIMA Awards Ceremony and PIMA Annual Meeting immediately following the State of the Industry Q&A.
Following the State of the Industry presentation, PIMA will honor its 2020 Division Award Winners. This is your opportunity to congratulate this esteemed group of individuals.
- Brookshire Moore Superintendent of the Year - Ron Sherman, Graphic Packaging International
- Technologist of the Year - David Zerr, Georgia-Pacific
- Mill Manager of the Year - Michael Glowdowski, Verso Paper
- PIMA Student of the Year - Lexi Ivan, Auburn University
The PIMA Division will also hold its annual meeting after the State of the Industry presentation.
About Our Panelists
A lawyer and economist by training, Georges Ugeux has focused his entire 30-year career on the global dimensions of business, government and finance. He has a deep understanding of the cultural dimension of negotiations, networks and partnerships.
Georges began his career in commercial banking at Société Générale de Banque (now Fortis Bank), where he became the General Manager of the investment banking and trust division. He later served as Managing Director of Morgan Stanley’s Mergers and Acquisitions department, as well as Group Finance Director at Société Générale de Belgique, a Belgian conglomerate. In 1992, he became President and Managing Director of Kidder, Peabody Europe. He was also a member of the European Corporate Executive Council of General Electric. He was President of the European investment Fund, a public private partnership financing infrastructure and SME projects owned by the European Investment Bank, the European Community and 77 European banks.
For seven years Georges immersed himself in the global equity markets by heading the International Group of the New York Stock Exchange, bringing over 300 non-US companies, valued at $ 2.7 trillion, to the US market. He teaches European Banking and Finance at Columbia Law School. He is a frequent public speaker and educator on global issues (at the College of Europe in Bruges and Harvard Law School).
Georges Ugeux holds a Doctorate in Law and is Licentiate in Economics from the Catholic University of Louvain. He is a director of AXA Tianping, a Shanghai based insurance company. He chairs and sits on Boards of numerous transatlantic organizations.
Matt Elhardt is a Strategic Planning professional with 20 years of pulp and paper industry experience in sales, marketing, product development, and operations. His area of expertise is identifying growth potential and achieving performance end-goals through strategic management, pricing and margin optimization, and anticipating marketplace dynamics.
At Fisher International, Matt helps clients leverage Fisher’s resources to achieve their objectives particularly in assessing disruption and predicting price cycles and turning points in pulp, packaging, and OCC markets.
Prior to joining Fisher, Matt held management positions in marketing and operations at Longview Fibre Paper and Packaging, being responsible for corporate strategy and marketing during the period Longview underwent “the best turnaround in the past 25 years,” according to Mark Wilde, a well-known paper industry stock analyst.
Matt earned his MBA from the University of Washington, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from Washington State University.
A native of Montreal, Graeme joined Pulp & Paper Canada in 1980 as Assistant Editor. He was with them for more than 20 years, serving as editor from 1994 through 2001.
In 2001, he joined RISI (then called PaperLoop) as European Editorial Director and Editor of Pulp & Paper International (PPI), working in the Brussels office. He returned to Canada in mid-2007, working from his home in Nova Scotia as Executive Editor of PPI as well as Editor of the International Forest Products Transport Association (IFPTA) Journal, which RISI took over in late 2006.
In late 2015, TAPPI and RISI decided to merge PPI into Paper360°. Since, Graeme has served as Senior Editor, North and South America, Paper360°. He also took over as Editor of Tissue360° in 2017.
In his career, Graeme has visited and written about approximately 300 pulp and paper mills worldwide. He has also attended countless industry-related conferences. He holds a B.A. degree from Concordia University, Montreal, and an M.A. in Journalism, from Marshall University.
Wednesday, September 9 - 11am - 12:30pm
> Engaging a Generational Workforce: A Conversation on Attracting & Retaining Young Talent
Young professionals make up more than 50% of the global workforce, however, retaining young talent has been a struggle for employers across all industries.
Join the TAPPI Young Professionals Division as we explore the multifaceted topic of retaining young talent within the paper, pulp and packaging industry through a moderated panel and Q&A session.
Key insight from a survey sent to young professionals in the paper, pulp and packaging industry on industry retention will be presented. Attendees will leave with data and ideas that can be applied on an individual or company-wide basis.
This session is perfect for young professionals, managers working with or trying to recruit young professionals, and human resource professionals.
Moderator: Lena Sharesky, Sales Representative, Packaging Corporation of America
- Marcina Rogers, Quality Technical Leader, International Paper
- Caitlin Knight, Process Engineer, Jacobs
- Lauren Baksh, Senior Manager of Talent Acquisition, Graphic Packaging International
- Tim Hagenbuch, Managing Director, Paper Technology Foundation, Western Michigan University
- Dan Schott, MES/QCS Sales Specialist, Panther Systems
Thursday, September 10 - 11am - 1pm
> Future of Leadership - presented by the Women in Industry Division
Please join us for presentations and an interactive question and answer session with a diverse group of leaders on the Future of Leadership. Topics will include models for developing future leaders, how the nature of developing leadership capabilities is shifting, how to equip employees with the right tools, the myth of work / life balance, and role of ego as it pertains to leadership and multigenerational work force cohesion.
Moderator: Paula Hajakian, Technical Manager Paper, USG
- Mike Farrell, Executive Vice-President Mill Division, Graphic Packaging
- Brianah Stamp, Division Quality Manager, Georgia Pacific
- Michael Subilia, II, Process Engineering Lead, Domtar Paper Company
- Rebecca Boyd, PE, Project Manager, Jedson Engineering
> Women in Industry Division Annual Meeting
The Women in Industry Division will hold it annual meeting after the Future of Leadership session.
About Our Panelists
Sept. 9th Engaging A Generational Workforce
Senior Manager of Talent Acquisition, Graphic Packaging International
Lauren D. Baksh is the Senior Manager of Talent Acquisition at Graphic Packaging International, a leader in packaging design and innovation serving hundreds of the world’s most recognized brands. She has been with Graphic Packaging since 2016 and prior to that, she grew her career through a combination experiences in human resources and higher education.
In her current role, Lauren leads the talent acquisition team focused on meeting the recruiting needs of the organization. She is responsible for developing and implementing long-term talent acquisition strategies, managing talent acquisition systems, and managing hiring programs including university relations, military and community outreach, and diversity & inclusion.
Managing Director for the Paper Technology Foundation, Western Michigan University
Tim Hagenbuch is a 1994 Paper Engineering graduate from Western Michigan University and currently is the Managing Director for the Paper Technology Foundation at WMU. He is a proud third generation papermaker and prior to coming to WMU Tim worked in the coated and uncoated recycled paperboard space for 25 years. He has held a variety of positions including General Manager, Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt, Production manager, General Superintendent, Plant Engineer, Process Engineer, and Tour Foreman. Tim has always held a passion for people and especially mentoring and coaching the WMU paper-engineering students, interns and co-ops, and new full-time graduates. Throughout his career, his overriding mantra is “I am 100% responsible, no excuses, no blame” and “In order to work on the process, you need to know the process”. During his last 8 years in industry, as General Manager, Tim had interns and co-ops reporting directly to him to ensure their success and learning as they worked in his facilities.
Process Engineer, Jacobs
Caitlin Knight is a Process Engineer at Jacobs with five years of experience in diverse industries including Pulp and Paper, Specialty Chemicals, Polymers and Consumer Products. Jacobs is a globally renowned solutions provider working to build a more connected, sustainable world. Caitlin graduated from Clemson University with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering. Currently located in Greenville, SC, she serves as an Advocate in the Process Department supervising interns, young professionals and career level technical staff.
Caitlin is passionate about active work to build a workplace that values the safety, positive mental health and sense of belonging of all employees. She serves as a Positive Mental Health Champion and facilitator for Conscious Inclusion. In addition to her professional work, Caitlin is a mother to a 10-month old and enjoys cooking plant-based meals, hiking and being in nature.
Quality Technical Leader, International Paper
Marcina Rogers graduated from SUNY ESF (State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry) with a B.S. in Paper Engineering and a minor in General Management in May of 2016. Following graduation, she moved to Pensacola, FL to begin her career with International Paper. Through the REACH program, Marcina was able to spend several weeks and rotate through each department of a fully integrated mill, as well as several companywide technical events. In October of 2017, she moved into a first line leader role for Finished Products, for two machine crews (one containerboard and one fluff pulp). In this role, she was responsible for nearly 20 employees’ safety and performance. In July 2019, Marcina became the Pensacola mill’s first quality technical leader. In this role, she focuses on customer complaints, dry end testing lab management, and quality related improvements on the front end of the mill.
MES/QCS Sales Specialist, Panther Systems
Dan Schott leads technical sales and marketing for Panther Systems, which provides manufacturing intelligence, automation and advanced process control solutions only to pulp, paper, nonwoven and packaging manufacturers.
Dan has 29 years of product design and manufacturing experience, which he uses to improve and sell his company’s products. He co-founded Panther’s UI/UX Team, developing graphical user interfaces and software user experiences.
He earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and integrated marketing communication from the University of Nevada Las Vegas. As a former creative director and college adjunct, he appreciates talent and insight, no matter their origins.
Dan is a Sustaining Corporate Member of TAPPI and is a member of the PIMA IT Committee. He and his wife LaRinda call Oregon home and have four children.
Sales Representative, Packaging Corporation of America
Lena Sharesky began her career with Packaging Corporation of America, a leading producer of containerboard and corrugated products in North America, following her graduation from Monmouth University located in West Long Branch, NJ in 2018. The university’s five-year program, allowed her to obtain a B.S. in Business Administration with Concentrations in Marketing and Management and Decision Sciences in 2017 and her MBA the following year. In accepting a position with PCA, she was able to move back to her home state of Maryland, while working out of the Lancaster, Pennsylvania location. Through PCA’s GIFT Program, Lena spent several weeks rotating through various departments to gain a strong understanding of PCA and the corrugate industry as a whole, before moving to her current role as a Sales Representative. Lena’s passion for interacting with people and for learning, which initially drew her to sales, also led her to join the TAPPI Young Professionals Division, where she now serves as the Director of Events.
Sept. 10th Future of Leadership
Technical Manager Paper, USG
Paula Hajakian is a paper industry professional with 33 years of experience and has been with United States Gypsum Company as Paper Technical Manager for the last 13 years.
Prior to USG Paula worked in many roles and locations with Rock-Tenn Company (now WestRock), Simkins Industries Beveridge Paper, The Newark Group (now Caraustar) and Akzo Chemicals.
Paula earned her Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Lowell Massachusetts and is a Six Sigma Black Belt. Paula has authored or coauthored six patents, coauthored one article for TAPPI Journal, and presented papers and chaired sessions at numerous PaperCon and Coating Conferences.
Paula is a 30-year Member of TAPPI and currently serves as Vice-Chair of the Paper and Board Division, Chair of the Papermaking Technology and Operations Committee, Subcommittee Chair for Pressing and Drying TIPs, a TAPPI Mentor, and Chair for the Benchmarking Committee for the TAPPI Women in Industry Division.
EVP Mill Division, Graphic Packaging
Mike Farrell is the Executive Vice President of the Mill Division at Graphic Packaging. In this role he is responsible for 8 paper mills, 4 integrated virgin mills and 4 recycled mills totaling 3.8 million tons of annual production and annual sales of $3.0 Billion.
Mike has been in leadership positions with Graphic Packaging for 13 years. After starting his career as General Manager of the Middletown, Ohio mill, he moved to Sr. Manufacturing Manager, West Monroe, Louisiana mill. In 2013, he assumed the role of VP, Recycled Board Mills, where he led the exceptional safety, productivity and quality results of the CRB system. Since his January 2018 appointment to SVP, Supply Chain, Mike lead the supply chain team and processes to support the SBS and Foodservice business integration and in mitigating our inflationary freight cost challenges. Mike was promoted to EVP Mill Division in Sept 2018. Prior to Graphic, Mike worked for The Newark Group in their mill division for 13 years in Mill Management roles.
Mike holds a degree in Pulp and Paper Engineering Technology from Sault College and a Master of Business Administration from Xavier University.
Mike has two sons and a beautiful granddaughter. His interests include working on his 66 Mustang, road cycling and football.
Division Quality Manager, Georgia-Pacific
Brianah Stamp has worked within the pulp and paper industry for over nine years in a number of different roles. Currently, she is a Divisional Quality Manager for Georgia Pacific where she is responsible for managing the quality associated with various consumer goods products from production to when it is received by the consumer. Throughout her career, Brianah has worked as a Process Engineer for an Engineering Design Firm, a Manufacturing Engineer on Towel and Tissue Paper Machines, and most recently a Brand Quality Manager for Tissue Products. Each role has added to building a strong foundation in the industry. As a member of TAPPI for over three years, Brianah has had the opportunity to both present a technical presentation and speak on panels for different TAPPI sponsored conferences. Brianah was also selected as a TAPPI Young Professional of the Year in 2017. Brianah believes that it is important to sow into the lives of young people and currently serves as a mentor with the Baton Rouge Youth Coalition. She is a graduate of Tuskegee University where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering.
PE, Project Manager, Jedson Engineering
Rebecca Boyd, PE, a Project Manager at Jedson Engineering in Savannah, Georgia. Rebecca graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. Her first position after graduating was less about the technical data she learned in school and more about her “soft skills” and ability to think critically and manage people. After a time in the beverage industry, Becky wanted to put her technical skills to use and transitioned to an engineering consulting firm in Savannah Georgia. She had to start over as an entry-level design engineer but rapidly progressed to leadership positions with responsibility for Client accounts, multi-discipline projects, and engineering staff. Becky was born into the generation known as X-ennial, having an analog childhood and witnessing the change to digital as she became an adult. This gives her a unique perspective when it comes to understanding the transitional language of two generations. The ability to communicate with executive leadership groups and also recruit and communicate with the leaders of the future has been invaluable as she has risen through the management ranks. The workplace environment she has forged around her is one of transparency and service. She currently lives in Savannah Georgia with her husband and three children.
Michael Subilia II
Process Engineering Lead, Domtar Paper Company
Michael Subilia II is the Continuous Improvement Lead & Process Engineer at Domtar’s Port Huron Facility. Michael received a BSc (Chemical Engineering) in 2010 from the University of Maine. After graduation, he joined SAPPI Fine Paper as a Process Engineer, where he assisted in the development and launch of new paper grades, before moving to a Maintenance Planning role. In 2013, Michael joined Domtar Paper in Johnsonburg PA gaining supervisory experience in papermaking, pulp production, chemical recovery & utilities, and obtaining his Six Sigma Black belt. His current role in Port Huron focuses on facilitating projects and training others in the use of LEAN and Six Sigma tools. Michael has been a Member of TAPPI since 2010.
Wednesday, September 16 • 11am - 12:30pm
> The Pillars of the Digital Mill
In this new revolution of industrial operations that we call Industry 4.0, we cannot forget the foundations to make the fruits of progress tangible.
Join us in this panel to learn how to successfully harness value from digitalization. This virtual event will focus on understanding the relationships among a common “digital language”, automation & process control, data governance, and machine learning.
Our panelist and moderators are experts in the pulp and paper industry and leaders in the respective fields covered. Bring your questions and comments to the live Q&A session following the panel.
This session targets CIO, CTO, CDO (Chief Data Officer), IT Director, IT Analyst, Information Technology, Data Analyst, Data Scientist, Data Engineering, Automation, Process Control, Digital Transformation Manager, Operations Director, Mill Operations and Process Information professionals.
Moderators: John McCormick, Director of Information Technology, Green Bay Packaging
- Robert White, Chief Executive Office, Pulmac Systems
- Patrick Dixon, President, DPAS
- David Worzalla, Senior Process Control Engineer, International Paper
- Katie Hoffman, Co-Founder, Phaidra
- Mariana Sandin, Industry Principal, OSIsoft
#digitalization, #Industry40, #Industrie40, #iiot, #smartmanufacturing, #smartfactory, #iot, #digitization, #digitaltransformation, #machinelearning, #dataanalytics, #datagovernance, #artificialintelligence, #tappi, #pimait, #pulpandpaper, #ai, #ml
Thursday, September 17 • 11am - 12:30pm
> Mill Manager's Panel: Evolving Mill Culture from the Industrial Age to the Digital Age
Workplace culture in an important factor to all workplaces. It determines how pleasant or toxic your work environment is. It has a direct influence on how your employees fit into the organization and your organization’s ability to attract and retain employees because it shapes the environment that they work in.
Hear and interact with four mill managers who will discuss how they are addressing the societal, political and technological changes that they face in today’s mill environment and how they are keeping up with their companies’ performance expectations while addressing these challenges.
Take part in the Q&A session following the panelist discussion.
Moderator: Robert White, Chief Executive Office, Pulmac Systems
- William Cone, Vice President/ General Manager, Arkansas Kraft Division, Green Bay Packaging Inc.
- Kurt Mehlberg, General Manager, Nekoosa Mill, Domtar
- Mike Sussman, Resident Mill Manager, West Monroe, LA, Graphic Packaging International Inc.
- Sylvain Houle, General Manager, Trois-Rivières Mill, Kruger Packaging L.P.
About Our Panelists
Sept. 16th The Pillars of the Digital Mill
John McCormick is the IT Director at Green Bay Packaging. John has led all aspects of IT organizations over the years including Tech Services, Application Development, Help Desk Services, ERPs and MRPs. Next generation infrastructure and application delivery have been a focus over the past four years for John and his IT organization.
Robert 'Bob' White
Bob White has years of experience under his belt and held meaningful roles along the way. He is the past Chairman of the IT Committee and now the Secretary of the PIMA Division Council. In his daily position, he is the Chief Executive Officer of Pulmac Systems International. The Company produces test equipment for the pulp and paper industry and develops technologies and processes based on fiber properties to improve the productivity and efficiency of papermaking and the quality and variety of paper products.
Bob is passionate about using the leadership, technical and other skills he acquired during his career to make step improvements in the papermaking process that result in a greater use of paper by society while using less raw material, energy, water and carbon. He holds a degree in electrical engineering and an MBA, both from McGill University. He is one of the inventors in two patents on process improvements awarded by the USPTO.
Pat Dixon is a graduate of Paper Science and Engineering program at Miami University in 1987 and is currently chair of academic committee for Paper Science foundation at the school. He has worked in industrial automation since 1984 for SD Warren (SAPPI), Honeywell, Pavilion Technologies, DuPont, Advanced System Integration, Emerson, Global Process Automation (GPA), and is now president of www.DPAS-INC.com. A registered professional engineer in 4 states and a certified project management professional (PMP), Pat is leading the PIMA “Industry 4.0 Lexicon” development.
Dave Worzalla is the Current Chairman of the TAPPI Process Control Division Council. He is currently employed by International Paper at the Georgetown, SC facility as a Senior Process Control Engineer. Dave focuses his efforts working on variability reduction projects, controls optimization, DCS configuration and IT infrastructure projects. While he holds a degree in Computer Science, he has spent the majority of his career with paper machine controls and measurement technology.
Katie Hoffman is an entrepreneur with a background in mechanical and systems engineering. She led interdisciplinary teams across the full spectrum of innovation, technology development, and operations activities for Fortune 500 Industrial and Defense companies. Her focuses are in new technology insertion and integrated control systems. She is the co-founder of Phaidra, a startup that helps industrial companies develop in-house AI solutions for continuous improvement. Katie also serves on the Washington Pulp and Paper Foundation board.
Mariana Sandin is an Industry Principal for OSIsoft. Her background is in Chemical Engineering and she has an MBA with a concentration in Economics from the University of St. Thomas. She has over 14 years of experience in real-time data solutions for different process industries focusing on Forest and Paper Products manufacturing. Mariana currently serves as the Chair of the PIMA IT Committee.
Sept. 17th Mill Manager's Panel
Moderator Robert “Bob” White
See bio above.
William Cone is Vice President and General Manager for Green Bay Packaging’s Arkansas Kraft Division, a fully integrated containerboard mill in Morrilton, Arkansas utilizing a sustainable combination of virgin fiber and recycled fiber to produce virgin linerboard and corrugating medium. A native Arkansan, William earned a B.S. Degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and an MBA from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He began his career in the paper industry with Georgia Pacific Corporation and subsequently International Paper Company, before eventually joining Green Bay Packaging in 1997. He attributes his many professional opportunities to his commitment to safety, customer service, and employee development.
Green Bay Packaging’s Arkansas Kraft Division along with Arkansas Tech University-Ozark were recently awarded The National Council for Workforce Education's Exemplary Program in the Noncredit Workforce Program category for Green Bay Packaging’s Morrilton Maintenance Training Facility. This program has been proudly graduating highly skilled electrical and mechanical maintenance technicians for Green Bay Packing and many other Arkansas based companies for more than a decade.
William is an active member of the community, serving as a board member on the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce, Conway County Community Center, and Arkansas Levee District 6. He and his wife Allison are happiest when spending time with their two grandchildren, Ellen and Norah, and are eagerly awaiting the arrival of a third granddaughter in December.
Kurt has more than 26 years of experience in the industry with a diverse background in pulp, paper and converting. He holds a Paper Science Degree from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point and has worked for multiple companies in several locations through his career. Kurt joined Domtar in 2015 as the Rothschild Mill Paper and Converting Leader and earlier this year was named General Manager at the Nekoosa Mill located in Nekoosa, Wisconsin. The Nekoosa Mill, located on the Wisconsin River is a fully integrated specialty paper mill producing a variety of publishing, specialty and security papers, as well as many functional coating base stocks.
Most recently, Kurt has served as the leader of Domtar’s pulp and paper machine functional team, been an active board member with Lake States TAPPI and is the incoming Chair of the PIMA Executive Committee.
Michel “Mike” Sussman
Mike holds a Chemical Engineering BS Degree from the University of Illinois -Champaign/Urbana and an MBA from the University of South Alabama.
He has over 30 years of experience in the Pulp and Paper Industry working at International Paper, Verso, and for the last three years with Graphic Packaging International. He has had numerous positions of increasing responsibility in many mills and corporate headquarters including Mill Manager and Vice President. Mike and his wife, Sandy, and their family have had the pleasure of living in many beautiful parts of the country such as New England, the deep South, the upper Midwest, and many places in between.
Mike is currently the Resident Mill Manager for Graphic Packaging International’s West Monroe Mill located in Northeast Louisiana. The West Monroe Mill is one of the largest producers of coated unbleached kraft (CUK) aka as solid unbleached sulfate (SUS). The mill is very proud to have been an essential business during the COVID-19 pandemic providing critical food and beverage packaging for grocery stores throughout the U.S., Europe, and Asia.
Sylvain holds a Chemical Engineering Degree from the École Polytechnique de Montréal (Université de Montréal). He has over 27 years of experience in the Pulp and Paper Industry working at Cascades in different locations and for the last two years with Kruger Packaging. He started his career as a process engineer and had numerous positions of increasing responsibility in Kraft paper, fine paper, tissue papermaking and converting and finally recycled linerboard mills.
Sylvain is currently the General Manager for Kruger Packaging Trois-Rivières complex located in Trois-Rivières, Québec, Canada on the shore of the beautiful St-Laurence River (two hours east from Montréal). The Trois-Rivières Mill is one of the largest producers of lightweight recycled linerboard. It also produce newsprint, Bleached TMP and CF pulp for different internal and external markets.
Wednesday, September 23 • 11am - 12:30pm
> Couch Pit University Superintendent’s Roundtable
Hear experts discuss how to lead Mills in a time of COVID-19. Panelists will share key challenges they are currently facing and how they are leading their mill through this difficult time.
After the panel discussion, attendees will have the opportunity to participate in a Q&A sessions. Some discussion topics will include safety, development, engagement and leadership.
Moderator: Keith Kemp, Vice President - Global Sales, Advanced Fabrics, AstenJohnson,
- Ron Sherman, Graphic Packaging International, K1 Superintendent, Kalamazoo, MI. (PIMA Supt of the Year)
- Greg Linscott, Domtar, General Manager, Johnsonburg, PA
- John Hamilton, WestRock, Operations Manager, Fernandina Beach, FL
- Gary Nyman, International Paper, SME, Innovative Solutions, Chapin, SC
Thursday, September 24 • 11am - 1pm
> Problem Solving & Creating Positive Change
Teamwork is inherent in our day-to-day roles as problem-solvers. It is also one of our greatest opportunities to demonstrate leadership.
Attend the live workshop to enhance your skills and effectiveness to succeed as we discuss how to avoid common traps leaders and teams face.
Moderator: Jay Stockard, Senior Technical Consultant - Pulp and Paper, Fisher Arnold
- Steve Farmer, Director- Pulp and Paper, Fisher Arnold
- Ron Bridges, Leadership and Human Resource Consultant, Fisher Arnold
About Our Panelists
Sept. 23rd Couch Pit University Superintendent’s Roundtable
Gary Nyman is the SME Innovative Solutions IP Technology. He has worked for International Paper for 32 years, with about half of that time spent in production roles and half in technical roles. Mill locations include Riverdale Mill, Selma AL, Texarkana TX Mill, IP/Sun Paperboard Mill Yanzhou China, and Eastover, SC Mill. Gary graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and started his industry related career at Beloit Corporation in Diagnostic Services.
Gary has been a TAPPI Member since 1988 and a TAPPI Fellow, class of 2015.
Greg Linscott has been the General Manager of the Johnsonburg, Pennsylvania Mill since January 2017 and has been with Domtar since 2004.
In this role, he leads mill operations and is responsible for the safety, sustainability, community partnership, employee engagement, and business performance along with the commitment of delivering value to our customers with the support of 350 dedicated employees.
Greg has 29 years of experience in a variety of operational, maintenance, engineering and plant leadership positions with James River, Mead Papers, Weyerhaeuser and Domtar. This includes a broad range of experience with tissue & towel, coated papers, linerboard, fluff pulp, personal care products and commercial & business papers. He has a Master of Business Operational Excellence from The Ohio State University and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology from the University of Maine.
John has more than 32 years of experience in the pulp and paper industry. Most of his experience has been on paper machines including the startup of two uncoated free sheet machines and one tissue machine. He has a diverse background in the manufacturing of uncoated freesheet, tissue, and board grades. John graduated from Auburn University with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and has worked for multiple companies in several locations through his career. He joined WestRock in 2019 as the Operations Manager at the Fernandina Beach Mill located in Fernandina Beach, FL. The Fernandina Beach Mill is a fully integrated pulp and paper mill producing a variety of linerboard grades.
Keith is currently the VP Global Sales for AstenJohnson for its Advanced Fabrics group. He has been with the company for 19 years in a variety of roles including Sales, Product Management and Mill Optimization in equipment and paper machine clothing. Prior to that he spent over 20 years in manufacturing including Superintendent roles for Domtar and IP. Keith is active in TAPPI, PIMA, ASPI and currently President of Couch Pit University.
Ron Sherman is the superintendent of the K1 machine for Graphic Packaging in Kalamazoo, MI. Ron has spent the last 27 years in the paper industry working for The Newark Group, Rock-Tenn, Voith, and Graphic Packaging. Outside of his time selling and servicing paper machine roll covers and mechanical services for Voith, Ron’s career has been spent in 100% recycled paperboard mills. Over the years, Ron has watched the daily approach to managing the paper machine become more focused, with a blend of strategic and tactical perspectives along with increased importance on the development of those we work with. Ron’s tireless work ethic, attention to detail, and staff development have yielded the returns that have him here today.
Sept. 24th Problem Solving & Creating Positive Change
After graduating from Miami University with a B.S. in Paper Science and Engineering, Jay has been a strategic and technical consultant for over 20 years with experience in a variety of operations. His travels have enabled him to develop a unique viewpoint while assisting clients at over 80 mills in North America and Europe. Jay’s primary work has been in Operations Improvement, Asset Repurposing, New Technology Reviews, Technical & Operational Benchmarking, and Strategic Investment Analyses.
Ron is a leadership development and human resources consultant with 35+ years experience in executive Human Resources and leadership positions. He was Global Director, Employee and Labor Relations, for International Paper.
He has extensive experience in labor and employee relations. He was a leader in the strategy development and successful negotiations of International Paper’s first Master Labor Agreements with the USW representing 46 facilities and 15,000 employees.
Ron has worked in Europe, Asia, Africa, Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina and Central America helping leaders at all levels understand how to engage employees to deliver business results. He has a strong passion for leadership and a desire to help people succeed. He has developed and delivered leadership training for various manufacturing organizations in the U.S. He has also presented this training in helping indigenous leaders in several countries while doing mission work. His approach to coaching is distinguished by a desire to improve bottom line results and to help individuals demonstrate progress against defined developmental objectives.
Mr. Bridges currently works with Fisher Arnold Engineering in the areas of Leadership Development, Human Resources and Personal Coaching. He is a former Advisory Board Member of the Human Resources Graduate Program at the University of South Carolina and has held memberships in the HR Policy Association and ORC Labor Relations Group. He currently serves as a board member on two non-profit organizations. Throughout his career he has been a frequent lecturer in human resources and labor forums. He has a bachelor’s degree from Park College and is a Certified Senior Professional in Human Resources, as well as a Certified Coach, Teacher and Speaker with the John Maxwell Team. He is married to Ruth Anne and they have four children and three grandchildren. They live in Germantown Tennessee.
Mr. Farmer is a 40+-year paper industry professional with extensive experience in leading large organizations in integration of customers, employees, and processes to reduce cost to serve. He has also been a leader in developing and executing manufacturing strategies to support strategic business initiatives including developing and successfully implementing several capital improvement projects for manufacturing optimization.
Mr. Farmer has developed through the operations ranks holding a variety of paper machine positions, Operations Lead on several machine rebuilds, and served as Start-up Superintendent for a Greenfield Newsprint Mill.
His experiences have enabled him to grow extensive knowledge in major project management, process optimization, cost reduction, organizational change, and organization structure design including leading major business process redesign projects at the enterprise and facility level.
Wednesday, September 30 • 11am - 12:30pm
This prestigious panel discussion is traditionally a lynchpin of the PIMA program. With a focus on leadership that fosters a culture of innovation, Senior Editors Graeme Rodden and Mark Rushton will moderate a virtual discussion with C-Suite level leaders from both the manufacturing and supplier side of our industry.
Take advantage of this unprecedented opportunity to have your concerns addressed by pre-submitting a discussion question for this engaging panel of industry leaders. Email your panel question to Paper360° editor, Jan Bottiglieri at [email protected]
- Michael Carroll, VP Innovation, Georgia Pacific
- John Panichella, Chief Executive Officer, Solenis
- Graeme Rodden, Paper360° Senior Editor, North and South America
- Mark Rushton, Paper360° Senior Editor, Europe and Asia
- Jan Bottiglieri, Editorial Director, Paper360°
About Our Panelists
Sept. 30th Executive Panel: Leading for Innovation
Mike Carroll joined G-P in 2010 to focus his technological and entrepreneurial talents on innovation and leadership. Prior to that he and a partner formed McTech Group, a company focused on innovative products for the building products and construction industry. Founded in 2005, the company brought to market several patented products that are now licensed worldwide. Previous responsibilities include CEO of North and South American Operations at Shepherd and leadership roles at Riverwood International and Mead Paper. Mr. Carroll received ASPI’s 2019 Excellence in Leadership Award, which recognizes outstanding leaders within the paper industry.
John Panichella was named to his current post in 2014; prior to Solenis, he was president of Ashland Water Technologies and senior vice president of Ashland Inc. He previously served as president of Ashland Specialty Ingredients as well as group operating officer. Under Panichella's leadership, the Ashland Specialty Ingredients business enhanced core technologies with new product investments, added adjacent technologies, and developed infrastructure to support growth in emerging markets. Mr. Panichella’s career includes significant leadership experience in the global water industry, and he is a member of the board of directors for the American Chemistry Council, the European Chemical Industry Council, and the United Way of Delaware.
Rodden joined Pulp & Paper Canada as assistant editor in 1980 and served in various roles including editor between 1994 and 2001. In 2001, he joined Paperloop (now Fastmarkets RISI) as European editorial director. He later served as editor of IFPTA Journal and then Pulp & Paper. In 2007 Rodden became Executive Editor of PPI. During his career he has visited close to 300 pulp and paper mills worldwide.
Brought up and schooled in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), Rushton moved with his family to the south of England in 1977. He trained as a journeyman printer and eventually set up a family printing business with his father. When he decided to pursue a career in writing, Rushton landed a post as a journalist on Paper Europe and Paper Equipment & Materials magazines. He later helped launch three new magazines: Print & Paper Monthly, Digital Printer and Papermaking & Logistics. In 2008, Mark joined RISI as freelance editor of PPI.
Bottiglieri first joined the pulp and paper industry in 1987, working in a variety of editorial positions for PIMA Magazine and PIMA’s Papermaker Magazine. In 2001, she joined the TAPPI staff, holding editorial positions with Paper360° and TAPPI Journal, as well as serving as Director of Communications. Bottiglieri now serves as Editorial Director for Paper360°.