Manufacturing Today - May/June 2017 - 136
www.marylandpaper.com / Headquarters: Williamsport, Md. / Employees: 155 / Mathew
Chakola, CEO and president: "Experience is still very much important to us."
he says of his employees. "No matter
what their skill or position, people
who share with me the same heart,
the same beat and the same sense of
responsibility. Without them I would
never be where I am."
maryland paper sources
waste materials from the
regions around its three
maryland paper's management structure
enables direct communication. by tim o'connor
Mathew Chakola gets frustrated
whenever he hears someone complain
that workers today are lazy. Automation and technology in manufacturing
have changed rapidly over the last decade and it often takes half the number of workers on the floor for production. Chakola believes it's not that
workers don't want to work, "they just
need to know how these changes affect their roles within the company."
As a small-business owner, it's been
Chakola's experience that good management, effective communication
and clear directives are key to devel136
manufacturing-today.com MAY/JUNE 2017
oping a workforce with a sense of purpose and loyalty.
Chakola, CEO and president of
Maryland Paper, is protective of workers because of the loyalty and hard
work his own employees have given
him during the past 28 years. When
the company was founded in 1989,
many employees volunteered to work
unpaid overtime to ensure it would
turn into a success. Now, Maryland
Paper is one of the largest producers
of roofing paper and building products in the United States.
"I met the most beautiful people,"
Chakola's approach to manufacturing
and people was instilled at an early
age. His father ran a family-owned
manufacturing business in India and
passed his entrepreneurial DNA to his
children. After spending the early part
of his career working as an engineer
for Flintkote Co. in Georgia, and in
Maryland for Tamko Asphalt Productions, Morgan-Keller Inc. and Laser
Applications Inc., Chakola began to
feel that entrepreneurial spirit growing inside himself.
By the late 1980s, he was ready to
start a company of his own. "This is
the land of opportunity," Chakola
says. "If you are willing to work hard
you can build anything you want."
At the time, the state of Maryland
was interested in supporting new
projects and companies related to recycling. Chakola's plan to use waste
paper instead of pulp to manufacture
dry felt paper fit Maryland's goals and
the state ended up providing some of
the start-up funding for the business.
Chakola decided early on that
Maryland Paper would not only sell
products made from recycled materials, but that its own operations would
evoke that sustainability message.
The company's production process
is designed to recycle all of the water
used to disintegrate paper into pulp
and no chemicals are used in the process. The water itself is heated using
natural gas to limit the amount of
emissions at each of Maryland Paper's
three factories in Maryland, California and Alabama.