Paper360 - July/August 2013 - (Page 16)

MILL WISE INTERVIEW Newark’s Frank Papa on Leadership and Innovation It is possible to infuse motivation and new ideas, and drive morale in an old company—but the guy at the top has to do it consistently GLENN OSTLE F rank A. Papa, president and CEO of Newark Recycled Paperboard Solutions, Cranford, New Jersey, may be new to the paper industry but not to the job of fixing companies. Papa, who refers to this as his “fourth turnaround,” received his industrial training at GE and later at Fortune 500 companies like Textron, Sara Lee and Stanley Tools. His turnarounds have been in diverse industries such as automotive aftermarket, specialty truck manufacturing, aluminum extrusion and now paperboard manufacturing. “I learned a lot very quickly with a wide variety of assignments,” says Papa. “Unfortunately for my family, they had the relocation blues.” In late 2011, Papa was recruited to help fi x the ailing The Newark Group, a 100-year old company in the business of recovering and recycling secondary fibers and manufacturing and converting 100 percent recycled paperboard. The vertically integrated company has ten recycling sites across the U.S.; six mills producing 630,000 tpd of recycled paperboard; fourteen tube and core plants; and three Newark Custom Paperboard sites (initially known as Book Covers Incorporated, and later Newark BCI), that serve the world’s coverboard, fi le, puzzle, game, and associated markets. “Of all my turnarounds, this is probably my most rewarding,” says Papa citing the fact that he has touched and made changes in virtually every part of the business. “The organization has embraced those initiatives in a short period of time and I’ve never heard an employee say ‘we can’t do that,’ which is a great testament to the people here.” According to Papa, when he arrived he found a company “running with blinders on. They didn’t want to make waves, and wanted to run under the radar.” Papa’s approach is radically different. “I want to challenge the sacred laws, and really push the organization to the limit,” he says. “Once we established our vision and values and a strategic plan, I assigned ownership to the senior stakeholders here. In eighteen months we implemented operational excellence, product development, and cost improvement programs.” In 2013, The Newark Group was rebranded Newark Recycled Paperboard Solutions to better reflect the company’s upward direction. Papa doesn’t feel that coming from outside the paper industry is a disadvantage saying, “I like to think I have a complete toolbox. Learning the product or process is important, but it is an easier part of the job. What’s important is the ability to apply skills within the operations, financial, and sales and marketing organizations. One of the benefits I get from being new to the industry is that I can ask a lot of fundamental questions which challenges the organization to rethink their current methods.” CHANGING THE COMPANY Papa and his team began by examining the market and “right-sizing” Newark’s capacity by shuttering 15 percent of its locations, taking out some converting sites, and selling their once profitable European operations. “Competition and the economic woes of Europe, made them a high risk proposition,” explained Papa. “Fortunately, we were able to sell them for very good value which gave us the ability to reprioritize our capital and people.” Recently, the company 16 Paper360º JULY/AUGUST 2013

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Paper360 - July/August 2013

Over the Wire . . . News Summary
Ready for Print 2.0?
Eldorado Brasil Begins Operations in the Pulp Industry
Newark’s Frank Papa on Leadership and Innovation
Tissue Mill Dewaters Pulp with Innovative Disc Filter
TAPPI Journal Summaries
Next Generation Enzymes for the Paper and Pulp Industry
The Best Resources for Your Best Resources
Consolidation Watch
Association News
What’s New on

Paper360 - July/August 2013