Hampden resident Barbara Hamilton of Emerson Process Control was elected chair of the foundation and John Wolanski, vice president of Savage Safe Handling was elected president. John Donahue, vice president of Sappi North America was elected secretary. Dennis Castonguay, manufacturing support manager of Verso Paper was appointed to the executive committee. Those elected to the foundation's board of directors were Lee Cyr, manager- customer service, production Planning of Twin Rivers Paper; Luke Czarnecki, national sales manager of Bercen; John Desjardins, New England sales manager of Buckman USA; Michael Reider, general manager of Katahdin Paper; and Tom Ramundo, president of New England Controls.
Paper Days is a two-day event attended by paper industry executives and employees, industry suppliers, UMaine professors and students. More than 300 people attended the meetings.
"The record attendance of more than 300 at Paper Days this year is more evidence that Maine's pulp and paper industry is revitalized and continues to be a viable economic engine for the State," said John Wolanski, president of the University of Maine Pulp and Paper Foundation. "And Paper Days at the University of Maine in Orono is the premier event where the industry meets to share new ideas, present innovative technologies, engage the engineering students and network with industry professionals."
The foundation recognized 23 graduating UMaine engineering students who have had full-tuition scholarships from the Pulp and Paper Foundation. The foundation currently supports full scholarships for 90 students with an interest in pursuing technical and management careers in the paper industry. Donors provided $742,000 in scholarships last year. This year's budget includes $750,000 for scholarships. Orono residents Ted and Rose Marie Curtis presented the foundation's 223rd named scholarship, which will also be used to support students interested in a career in the pulp and paper industry.
UMaine chemical and biological engineering Professor Douglas Bousfield received the Dr. Joseph Genco Award for industry support. Teacher of the Year awards were presented to Annette Giardin of Jay High School and Sasha Alcott of Bangor High School. Jeff Dutton, president and CEO of Twin Rivers Paper in Madawaska, and former president and chairman of the foundation, was the recipient of the foundation's Honor Award.
The theme for this year's meeting was "Maine on Paper." Speakers included Bob Byrne, president of Flambeau River Biofuels; Carlisle McLean, Maine's senior natural resources advisor and a representative of the Governor's office; Larry Montague, president of the Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry; UMaine College of Engineering Dean Dana Humphrey; Monty Henderson, director of paper technology at Kennebec Valley Community College; Mark Libby, chair of engineering at Maine Maritime Academy; Mark Doty, the manager of community affairs for Plum Creek; and Guy West, vice president of Ashland Hercules Water Technology.
Verso Paper President and CEO Mike Jackson was a keynote speaker. Jackson noted in his talk Verso has invested more that $62,000,000 in energy projects in Maine in the past two years, reducing Verso's dependence on foreign oil, as well as the company's carbon footprint. Jackson challenged the students present to consider degrees in engineering and careers in the U.S. paper industry, which he said employs more workers than the auto industry and is 65 percent energy self-sufficient - by far the highest percentage of any industry in the U.S.
Paper Days activities, included a panel during which students discussed their experiences applying for jobs; an engineering research exchange
Birdie Googins, a comedian and storyteller noted for starring in commercials for the statewide chain Marden's Surplus and Salvage, provided entertainment during one of the evening events.