Leaders from Graphic Packaging, and Solenis join fellow Directors from Essity, Voith, IP, Gran Bio USA and others

TAPPI’s membership recently elected three industry leaders to serve on its Board of Directors (BOD). Representing a broad swath of industry segments, TAPPI’s volunteer BOD members have successfully guided the policies and general affairs of the Association throughout the course of its 107-year history. The Board consist of a Chair, Vice Chair, and nine Directors. Its past and present list of Directors spotlights a long line of industry icons.

Meet the newest Directors on the TAPPI Board.

Lawrence Anker, Ph.D.larry anker.png

Anker is currently the Director of Commercial Operations for Solenis.  He earned a B.S. in Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics at Washington and Lee University in 1986 and his Ph.D. in Chemistry at Penn State University in 1992. He began his professional career in the paper industry at International Paper’s Erie Research Center in the corporate papermaking process chemistry group. In 1998, he moved to Ashland’s Drew Industrial Research Center. Anker has held various positions in his 23 years at Ashland/Solenis including polymer chemistry group leader, applications lab manager, field applications group leader and functional chemistry applications group leader.  

Anker was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship in 1987 and was selected as a TAPPI Fellow in 2012. He is the former chair of the TAPPI Paper and Board Division, as well as the Additives committee, and served as chair of the Centennial Celebration Steering Committee (PaperCon 2015).  He is an active member of the Student Summit Steering Committee and is a current instructor for TAPPI’s Introduction to Wet End Chemistry course.  Anker will serve a three-year term on the Board.

Michael Farrellmichael j f.jpg

Farrell is the Executive Vice President (EVP) of the Mill Division at Graphic Packaging.  In this role, he is responsible for eight paper mills, four integrated virgin mills and four recycled mills totaling 4.2 million tons of annual production.  He is also responsible for Health, Safety and Environment (HS&E) affairs and Open Market sales.

Farrell has been in leadership positions with Graphic Packaging for 15 years. After starting his career as General Manager of the Middletown, Ohio mill, he moved to Sr. Manufacturing Manager at the West Monroe, LA mill. In 2013, he assumed the role of VP, Recycled Board Mills. In January 2018, Farrell was appointed Senior Vice President, Supply Chain, and was then promoted to EVP Mill Division in Sept 2018.  Prior to Graphic Packaging, Farrell worked for The Newark Group in their mill division for 13 years in mill management roles.

He holds a degree in Pulp and Paper Engineering Technology from Sault College and an MBA from Xavier University. Farrell is also an adjunct professor at Western Michigan University (WMU) and the current president of the WMU Paper Technology Foundation. He was elected to serve a three-year term on TAPPI’s Board.

Kim Nelson, Ph.D.kim nelson.jpg

Nelson, Chief Technology Officer for Nanocellulose at GranBio USA, was initially slated to retire from the Board in 2022, but was elected for an additional term to be completed by March 2023. Nelson has more than 15 years of experience in the pulp, paper and biorefinery sectors, including process and product development, scale-up, commercialization, manufacturing, environmental health and safety and regulations. She holds 19 patents and over 50 patents pending in biorefinery processes and nanocellulose. She holds a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology and an M.S. in Pulp & Paper Science & Engineering from the Institute of Paper Science and Technology.

After participating in TAPPI’s Student Conference in 2001, Nelson joined TAPPI as a Student Member.  Since that time, she has served on five committees within the Nanotechnology and Women in Industry Divisions.

Meet the Rest of the TAPPI Board

James R. Haeffele, Chair, Essity

Donald Haag, Vice Chair, Retired, PCA

Larry N. Montague, President and CEO, TAPPI


Karyn L. Biasca, University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point. 2021-2024

Suzanne Blanchet, S.L.B. Inc. 2021-2024

David Buchanan, Voith Group, North America. 2021-2024

Andrew Jones, International Paper 2020-2023

Mark Keaten, GAF 2020-2023

Rory Wolf, Retired, ITW Pillar Technologies 2020-2023


About TAPPI:

TAPPI is the leading association for the worldwide pulp, paper, packaging, tissue and converting industries and publisher of Paper360°, Tissue360° and TAPPI Journal. Through information exchange, events, trusted content and networking opportunities, TAPPI helps members elevate their performance by providing solutions that lead to better, faster and more cost-effective ways of doing business. It has provided management training and networking to the industry’s leaders for almost 100 years. For more information, visit TAPPI’s website.

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