My last word.
Looking back, during the early 1990s, environmental issues were hot. Concerns over dioxins, odors, and potentially harmful emissions prompted mills to modify their production methods and upgrade their pollution control systems. Spotted owls and old growth forests made headlines. Chlorine bleaching gave way to elemental and totally chlorine free sequences. The much-debated Cluster Rule was finally adopted after revisions. Everyone pushed to recycle more and find ways to improve deinking processes and the quality of recycled paper.
Globalization took many forms during the 1990s. As the former Soviet Union once again became Russia, TAPPI sent a delegation to strengthen ties and assess the condition of the industry in Eastern Europe. TAPPI also conducted study tours of Asia, where new mills and acacia plantations were fueling rapid growth in capacity, and to South America, where plantations of fast-growing cucalypts were becoming a significant source of pulp fiber. Companies also expanded beyond their national and regional boundaries--including into the United States.
The business of making paper also evolved. We adopted ISO standards and became highly computer-dependent. Process control shifted to open systems. We flirted with e-commerce and web marketing. Outsourcing became standard practice. We mostly survived the Asian monetary crisis, but lost Beloit to the resulting fiscal meltdown. The North American Free Trade Agreement passed.
Significant events at TAPPI included the death of Executive Director William Cullison and the return of Wayne Gross in till the vacancy. Public outreach became a priority, culminating in the "Forests for our Future" exhibit at Disney's Epcot Center in Florida. A photo project, displayed at the TAPPI '99 conference, helped mark TAPPI JOURNAL's 50th anniversary. Two years later, the journal and PIMA's Papermaker magazines were combined as Solutions! for People, Processes and Paper.
Inevitably, the economic conditions that affect the industry also affect TAPPI and other associations. Fewer companies equate to fewer mill and research staff and fewer potential association members. Fewer suppliers equate to less advertising, fewer exhibitors, and reduced revenues. In spite of that, TAPPI continues to offer an impressive array of membership benefits in print, electronically, through conferences, and otherwise.
We have all weathered many changes. We survived Y2K, but the mood has become noticeably more somber in the 21st century. I expect it will still be awhile berate the situation improves, but odds are it will.
Unlike Gen. Douglas MacArthur, I don't intend to entirely fade away. I will continue to do some writing, copy editing, and photography for Solutions!, TAPPI JOURNAL, and other publications on a freelance basis, while also considering further career opportunities. You can contact me by email at DonM51@aol.com.
Janice Bottiglieri, senior editor for Solutions!, will serve as editor of the new TAPPI JOURNAL. Manuscript submissions and questions regarding the status of papers should be directed to her (firstname.lastname@example.org; + 1 847 466-3891) or to Lisa Hightower (email@example.com; + 1 770 209-7313).
There are many I would like to mention, many I would like to thank, and many I consider friends. They range from TAPPI staff to Editorial Board members, reviewers, authors, TAPPI volunteers, suppliers, and others. For now, I'll only mention Michael Kouris, who coached me in the traditions and responsibility of being editor of TAPPI JOURNAL.
Best wishes to all. Keep in touch. S!
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|Title Annotation:||Last Word|
|Author:||Meadows, Donald G.|
|Publication:||Solutions - for People, Processes and Paper|
|Date:||Apr 1, 2003|
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