TAPPI Connect Offers Mentor/Protégé Program

Mark your calendar and sign-up in April.

Next enrollment window opens April 1-30, 2020


Since its launch in 2016, TAPPI Connect has served as an online resource for TAPPI members, non-members and active volunteers that helps users collaborate, share knowledge and expand both their personal and professional networks.


One of unique network building resources available through TAPPI Connect is the TAPPI Connect Mentor Match program, an effective platform to share resources and experiences between mentors and protégés. The program encourages the protégés to steer the direction of the relationship from the get go by giving the protégé the option of being either randomly matched with a mentor or choosing their mentor based on criteria that is most important to them. TAPPI Young Professional (YP) Member Lena Sharesky, a sales representative with Packaging Corporation of America, chose to pick her own mentor. She was looking for someone outside of the corrugated packaging industry that would be able to provide her with a different point of view.


Sharesky and her mentor, Mark Crable, CEO, Crable Engineering, connect via email and phone calls. She said, “Mark encouraged me to dive deeper into TAPPI’s offerings, especially in relation to the TAPPI Standards Committees in order for me to gain additional technical knowledge. As a new industry professional, learning technical knowledge can help me stand out in the field.”

Protégés can utilize Mentor Match to ask technical questions or seek advice on business interactions or career paths - and gain a real world education that is often not available in academic settings. The program can also be used to learn how to navigate TAPPI division and committee participation.


Sharesky highly recommends this program for other YPs. “This is yet another great opportunity that YPs should be taking advantage of in order to connect and learn from industry professionals. However, since this program is protégé driven, the amount of time and follow-up you invest in building a relationship with your mentor will directly correlate to the benefits you reap.”


Participation in Mentor Match is open to any current TAPPI member. Both Mentors and protégés must apply, and are then matched-up to work together according to their needs, interests and talents. The mentoring will take place over the course of 6 months and can be extended to meet each team’s needs.

Participants can communicate however they choose; through TAPPI Connect, phone, Skype or email. To learn more about Mentor Match and what is required for mentors and protégés, visit TAPPI Connect Mentor Match. The program’s next enrollment window will be open April 1-30, 2020.