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PIMA honors industry leaders: John A. Luke, Jr., Richard D. Arnold, and Kenneth W. Brown were honored at the Annual PIMA Awards Banquet in July.

The Paper Industry Management Association (PIMA) named several award winners at its 84th Annual International Management Conference in New York, New York, USA, June 30 to July 2 (see page 55). Among those award winners were John Luke, Jr., Dick Arnold, and Kenneth Brown.


Luke, chairman, president, and CEO of MeadWestvaco Corp. since 2092, was named PIMA's Executive of the Year in ceremonies during the Annual PIMA Awards Banquet on July 1. The award is given annually to executives in the pulp and paper or converting industry for excellance in management and outstanding contributions to the industry as a whole.

Luke was chairman, president and CEO of Westvaco Corp. from 1996-2002; and president and CEO from 1992-1996. The merged MeadWestvaco is now the second largest producer of coated paper in North America, with 2.2 million tons/year of capacity, and it is a leading global packaging producer.

Luke holds a BA from Lawrence University and an MBA from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. He began his career with Westvaco in 1979. In 1983, he was elected treasurer; and, in 1986, was elected vice president. Between 1987 and 1989, as a senior vice president, his responsibilities expanded to include the corporate marketing function, the international sales organization, and Rigesa, Ltda., Westvaco's Brazilian subsidiary. In 1989, he became a member of the Board of Directors. He was elected executive vice president in 1990, president and CEO in 1992, and chairman in 1996. He was elected chairman of MeadWestvaco in November 2002.

From 1971 through 1974, Luke served as an officer with the U.S. Air Force in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam conflict.

Luke's professional associations include:

* Director, FM Global

* Director; The Bank of New York Co.

* Director, The Timken Co.

* Chairman, CEO Committee on International Trade, AF&PA

* Member, Board of Governors, National Council for Air & Stream Improvement, Inc. (NCASI)

* Trustee, American Forest Foundation

* Trustee, Institute of Paper Science and Technology

* Trustee, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research

* Director, National Association of Manufacturers

* Director, Tinker Foundation

* Director, The Americas Society

* Director, United Negro College Fund

* Trustee, Lawrence University

* Past chairman, American Forest & Paper Association


Arnold, vice president and manager of Katahdin Paper Co., East Millinocket, Maine, operated by Nexfor Fraser Papers, was named PIMA Mill Manager of the Year during the annual PIMA Awards Banquet. The award recognizes outstanding leadership, management and organizational skills leading to improved results.

The following is an interview with Arnold:

SOLUTIONS! How did you get started in the paper industry?

ARNOLD: I really had no plans to be involved in the paper industry when going to college. My studies were focused on the consulting/construction industry (civil engineering). When a mechanical engineering job came up at Fraser Paper in Madawaska, Maine, I interviewed with the plant engineer and that was my first association with the mill. I was hired and worked my way through plant engineering and then onto project engineering work within the central engineering group. During this period, I was exposed to all aspects of the operation, from woodlands to the sawmills, and finally the pulp and paper mills. I eventually became a leader for the paper mill engineering group.

In 1987, I was appointed project leader for a modernization project in our Madawaska mill. From that point, I spent the majority of my time in the paper mill in engineering and maintenance. In 1998 I was appointed operations manager until I came to Katahdin Paper in May of this year.

SOLUTIONS! What do you like most about your current situation? What makes it interesting to you?

ARNOLD: I have always enjoyed a challenge. My current position encompasses all aspects of the paper business--fiber, pulp, energy, paper, and sales/marketing. The prospect of being involved in a business that has struggled for many years--including bankruptcy--probably is the most exciting part of this challenge, which undoubtedly includes dealing with the impact to the surrounding communities.

SOLUTIONS! You are being honored for your leadership qualities. What is it about the way you manage people and the way you manage your operation that led to this award?

ARNOLD: In all sincerity, this award took me by surprise. My leadership style is based on integrity and empathy. I believe that the people who work for you are the keys to success. Their potential leadership skills and support of me as we develop a relationship based on trust, loyalty, integrity, and empathy were probably key to this award.

SOLUTIONS! what is your biggest management or leadership challenge today?

ARNOLD: There is no doubt that my biggest challenge today is building the foundation for Katahdin Paper to be a world-class operation in terms of performance and profitability. These facilities have potential, but the changes required in how we manage and lead are the real challenges. It could be summed up in "managing change." We cannot manage the same way and expect different results. This is not only a Katahdin Paper issue; it applies industrywide. The paper industry has not performed to the level where it covers the "cost of capital," and for a capital intensive industry this is not acceptable.


Brown, operations manager, Visy Paper Co., Conyers, Georgia, received the Brookshire Moore Superintendent of the Year Award at the Annual PIMA Awards Banquet. The award honors a papermaker who has shown high personal standards and professional management qualities.

Visy Paper produces 100% recycled 23-40 lb. corrugating medium and 26-61 lb. linerboard on a Voith paper machine with a winder trim of 200 in. The mill averages production of 930 tons/day.

The following is an interview with Brown.

SOLUTIONS! What were you looking for when you entered the paper industry--a job or a career?

BROWN: I'm going on 40 years in the paper industry and I wouldn't trade jobs with anyone. When I interview people today I tell them they can choose to make it a job or a make it a career. If they make it a job, that's all it will ever be and they will be frustrated. But if they make it a career, it will be very rewarding. The constant challenge of papermaking is what makes it exciting. What you do today may not work tomorrow for the same problem. I like to see young people come in with the attitude that they want to learn how to do everything. You can always learn something new, something different.

SOLUTIONS! Where did you start your career?

BROWN: I started in 1963 at the Dierks Paper Company in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. I interviewed with Jeff Malone, master mechanic, and there were five people being interviewed that day. He asked me when could I go to work, and I said well, you have a shift starting in about two hours--I'm ready! I worked at Pine Bluff for about two years, then went to G-P in Crossett, Arkansas, working on the paper machine for a year. Floyd Duncan then hired me to help start up two paper machines at a mill in Sheldon, Texas. I moved on to Weyerhaeuser in Valliant, Oklahoma, and then Champion in Missoula, Montana. The cold weather got to me, though, and I moved back south to Freeport, Louisiana, where I worked For Albany International for about a year. Mr. Ben Wesby, who owned Jacksonville Kraft, hired me to see if we could turn that mill around. He was later forced out in a leveraged buyout and I ended up out of a job. After working for a fabric supplier, I went to work at Visy Paper in Conyers, Georgia, in 1996, and I've been there ever since.

SOLUTIONS! What have been the biggest technical and management changes in the paper industry over your career?

BROWN: Automation, DCS control, and computers. Also, the work force today is more educated than it was 40 years ago. When I started out, half the people in the mill didn't have high school educations. Today, people start with more education and they want to know more about the process, why changes need to be made, and what the benefits are. When I started out a lot of mills used "management by fear," but that's gone, never to be resurrected. Participative management gets better results, and companies that don't train their people are going to be the losers.

We've seen the benefits of participative management at Conyers. Our mill was designed to make 720 tons a day, and our team has continuously improved the process to the point where we average 930 tons, day in and day out. We did that without any large capital projects. When we want to make process changes, we don't hear "we tried that 10 years ago and it doesn't work." People are eager to make changes if it will help the mill. If you want to improve your mill, a lot of times it's not what you can buy, but what you can do with existing systems to improve your processes.

I'll match our crews against any in the country. Teamwork is the key. To me, teamwork is the fuel that fires the flames of success. We talk it, we practice it, we instill it. We use a crew concept at Conyers. Our operators may run the wet end today and stock prep a month from now. Our goal is to have every operator qualified to do any job on the paper machine. That's beneficial for both the operator and the company.

SOLUTIONS! What has been the biggest single factor in your success?

BROWN: The people around me. The people I've developed relationships with that I can call on. It amazes me still, after 40 years, that you can be in trouble on a paper machine and call a friend at another mill operated by a different company and get help. There's a lot of camaraderie among papermakers--they take a lot of pride in their work. Their pride is what drives them.

SOLUTIONS: In this era of downsizing, how can pulp and paper mills maintain the expertise needed to run their mills properly?

BROWN: Mills must be able to draw on the experience of the older guys. They need to team them up with younger workers so they can gain some of the experience that will soon be gone. At Conyers, our crews and our managers wear multiple hats and do a lot of different jobs. The end result is more interaction among different groups of people at different levels. Young people can draw on that.

At the same time, the older person has to be able to listen to the younger person. The best piece of advice I've been given is to learn to listen. Listen to the paper machine and listen to the people on the machine. Someone else will always be looking at things from a different angle than you are.

I've tried to retain a little bit of what I've learned from the people that I've worked for, like Carl Plumlee, Jimmy Monahan, and Billy Sprague. That way I can go back and remember what they did in the same situation. I was very fortunate that I could work for some of the best.

SOLUTIONS! Winning the Brookshire Moore Superintendent of the Year Award has special meaning for you, right?

BROWN: Yes it does. I had the privilege of working for Brookshire at one time and developed a close and lasting friendship with him up until the time he passed away. Throughout his lifetime Brooks would take some people under his wing and I was fortunate to be one of them. The phone would ring and I would hear, "Hey Boy," and I knew it was Brooks! Sadly, we've lost a lot of legends like Brookshire, Carl Plumlee, and Laurie Driggers, and we're losing more every day. S!


* John Luke's executive credentials

* Dick Arnold's biggest challenge

* Kenneth Brown's views on teamwork and management


For more information on the PIMA Awards Program, visit, or call PIMA at +1 847 375-6860

* Additional award winners are listed an page 55 of this issue.

ALAN ROOKS, Editorial Director
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Title Annotation:Awards
Author:Rooks, Alan
Publication:Solutions - for People, Processes and Paper
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 1, 2003
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