TAPPI Selects Fellows and Outstanding Young Professionals for 2024

(ATLANTA) March 25, 2024 – TAPPI is pleased to announce it will bestow the title of Fellow on 11 members, and also name three individuals as this year’s recipients of the Young Professional of the Year awards.

Fellow is an honorary title bestowed upon a small percentage of TAPPI’s membership and is given to individuals who have made extraordinary technical or service contributions to the industry and/or the Association.

The following individuals have been named 2024 TAPPI Fellows:

  • Wolfgang Bauer, Professor, Bioproducts and Paper Technology, Graz University of Technology
  • Karyn L. Biasca, Department Chair, University of Wisconsin Stevens Point
  • Suzanne Blanchet, Former President and CEO, Cascades Tissue Group
  • David Buchanan, President, Voith Paper North America
  • Beth Cormier, Vice President - R&D and Sustainability, Sappi North America
  • Calvin Fu, Engineer, Valmet
  • Peter Gorog, Partner, Houghton Cascade Holdings LLC
  • Wadood Y. Hamad, Chief Technology Officer, Seprify AG (formerly Impossible Materials AG)
  • Joel Panek, R&D Scientist, WestRock
  • Janet Preston, Senior Scientist & Technical Support Specialist, Imerys
  • Martti Tuomisto, Regional Sales Manager – Pulp & Paper, EPIQ Machinery

In addition to those who are being recognized for meritorious service, the title Fellow may also be conferred upon TAPPI Board chairs, vice chairs, and directors at the end of their terms of office, and upon Gunnar Nicholson Gold Medal Awardees and Herman L. Joachim Distinguished Service recipients.

This prestigious group will be honored Sunday, April 28, 2024 at the Fellows Luncheon during TAPPICon, April 28-May 1, 2024 in Cleveland, Ohio, USA.

The Young Professional of the Year is an annual honor that identifies aspiring young leaders in the global forest products, pulp, paper, tissue, packaging and associated industries. Eligible nominees are age 35 or younger with less than 10 years of industry experience.

The recipients of the 2024 TAPPI Young Professional of the Year award are:

  • Özlem Akdo─čan, Principal Scientist - ESG, Sustainable Packaging R&D, The Kraft Heinz Company
  • Seth Gulledge, Paper Machine Optimization Lead, Domtar
  • Stephen Bussa, Area Sales Manager, Axchem USA

The award recognizes young professionals who have made significant contributions to the forest products industries in the following areas: leadership, community service, and problem-solving contributions to scientific or engineering projects.

Winners are granted one full year of TAPPI membership and are invited to attend their division-specific TAPPI conference during 2024 to receive their award.

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