Tell me about your career path and how you got to Kadant.
I started as a Process Engineer in 1981 at a containerboard mill and progressed to a Shift Supervisor on the paper machine. After eight years of making corrugated medium, I worked at a coated paper mill for four years as a Production Assistant. 12 years of manufacturing paper was enough, and I moved on to the chemical side of the business in 1993 when I took a sales job with Calgon Chemicals. Calgon soon underwent a major transition and was spun off to form ECC which was split off again and combined with Nalco. During my 12 years at a chemical supplier, I spent most my efforts selling to tissue accounts in Wisconsin. After the direct sales experience, I spent eight years with Buckman as their U.S. Tissue Technical Specialist. When the Kadant Solutions Division opportunity was created, I was very happy to advance from the chemistry business and start working on the hardware side of tissue.
What has changed in the paper industry over the course of your career?
The industry is now digital; when I got in it was all analog. This has made controls better and has also reduced the labor needed.
What is your favorite aspect of your job?
Solving a problem in a tissue operation and helping the customer from letting it occur again.
What do you think is the most important quality for success?
Doing your best to make the customer more successful and a healthy level of curiosity. Ask why – Why is this operation different than the others? What is in the next tank?
What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned over the course of your career?
Try! Put in the effort and things will work out.
Any special recognitions, awards or accomplishments you’re particularly proud of?
I am one of the two inventors on a U.S. Patent #8,568,562, which was awarded in 2013 while I was with Buckman.
What do you like to do in your free time and why?
I run in the Senior Olympics. I am a sprinter and have won multiple state championships in Tennessee. I am currently the reigning state champ in the 400 and 200 meters. I also do a blog related to my running. I run to stay healthy and it kills a lot of dead time while on the road.
If you have a bucket list what would be the top item on your list?
We have a grand baby on the way and that is one of our bucket list items. We also want to vacation in Greece and Germany—Octoberfest. And one of my personal items is a Maserati in my garage. There is a lot going on in our household.
Do you have a favorite sports team?
How did you become a fan?
My wife is a huge football fan and we like the Steelers tradition and their solid management.