Paper360 - November/December 2009 - (Page 14)

PROUD TO BE A PAPERMAKER burn’s highly successful pulp and paper program and laying the groundwork for the Pulp and Paper Foundation. The Foundation garners support from more than 50 member companies to provide scholarships, fund industry research, and support the Auburn program and its students. “After I finished my BS in chemical engineering, I did an internship at a paper mill,” says Gopal. “That’s what got me interested in papermaking and pulping. I’m very happy with my decision to join this industry; it has been a very fruitful journey. Looking back on my career, I wouldn’t have changed anything.” His work with students, Gopal says, has been the most rewarding part of his career. “I love teaching, and talking about our industry to the students. We help them find placement in mills through co-ops, internships, and jobs in the industry. That makes me very happy—especially when students come back to tell me how much they enjoyed the Auburn program.” He estimates that the program has served between 200 and 250 students. A 36-year TAPPI member, Krishnagopalan holds several patents and has published prolifically. He established the Auburn Student Chapter and has served, since its inception, as faculty advisor. His has received many accolades for his teaching and research work, but being named a TAPPI Fellow in 2003 ranks among his most rewarding achievements. “It was recognition of my work by the industry—I felt I had been working for that all my life.” Another proud moment was being honored at the most recent meeting of the Pulp and Paper Foundation—the final of his career. “It was very nice, because of all the students who returned to Auburn, or who sent letters,” he says. “I’ve been so involved with the program, I really feel it is part of me.” Gopal’s advice for those launching careers in pulp and paper? “Work hard. Try to learn each and every part of the mill. What you do in one part of the mill affects every other part—it’s not just papermaking, it’s not just pulping. There’s so much interrelation. You can only give a small part of this lesson in academic study; the rest is learned only by experience.” Jan Bottiglieri is senior editor of Paper360° and editor of TAPPI Journal. Contact Jan at M A R C A L PA PER M I L L S Marcal rises from the ASHES KEN PATRICK Most industry observers gave this fledgling operation little or no chance of survival M arcal Paper Mills, privately owned by the Marcalus family of New Jersey, USA, since startup in 1932, filed for bankruptcy in the fall of 2007. In January 2008, the court approved the sale of the company’s assets, which centered around a 160,000-tpy tissue and toweling mill in Elmwood Park, NJ, USA, to a group of private equity investors based in Dallas, TX, USA. The acquisition was completed in May, and Timothy Spring was named CEO in June, at a time when the current global economic downturn was heavily fermenting on Wall Street and in financial centers around the world. This clearly was not a good time to be emerging from bankruptcy, and most industry observers gave the f ledgling operations little or no chance of survival. However, Spring, a consumer goods turnaround specialist with extensive senior-level experience, immediately launched an ambitious turnaround strategy in the face of the oncoming economic storm. This also was not a good time to vacillate. One of the first elements in Spring’s new strategy was to reposition the company’s marketing strategy center stage of the global “green” movement by restructuring and rebranding its recycled tissue and towel products to “Small Steps.” Becoming profitable in the first five months, the new company has been operating in the Timothy Spring, Marcal CEO Paper360º November/December 2009

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Paper360 - November/December 2009

Paper360 - November/December 2009
Over the Wire ... News Summary
Effluent Clean Enough to Drink
A Klass Act
Verso Awakens Maine
Twenty-Three Years of Bringing Students to the Industry
Marcal Rises From the Ashes
Buckeye Turns Lemon to Lemonade
Forty Years and "Still Doing It"
There's No Business Like Paper Business
Saving Energy at the Paper Machine
Low Alkali System Meets the Challenges of ONP/OMG Recycling
Around the Industry
Conquering Innovation Fatigue
Give Yourselves a Hand
Index of Advertisers

Paper360 - November/December 2009