Specialty Papers US 2018 Expert Speakers

Meet the 2018 Specialty Papers US speakers, whose expertise lead program and prompted beneficial discussion. 

  • Jeff Bassett

    VP of Marketing Footprint, LLC

    Jeff believes that every brand has a great sustainability story that is waiting to be told.  A dedicated marketing specialist, Jeff serves as VP of Marketing where he oversees and manages the strategic positioning and marketing efforts for Footprint, its products and its services.  Jeff is a versatile professional with significant experience in marketing, design, and strategic positioning.  As such, Jeff is often called upon to help craft marketing programs for Footprint’s customers that take full advantage of the sustainable solutions they launch.

    Prior to Footprint Jeff worked at Unisource Global Solutions where Jeff was an active member of the Trash Free Seas Alliance and was often invited to speak on sustainability.  His previous speaking engagements include the Sustainable Packaging Coalition and the Sustainable Cosmetic Summit.

  • Chris Boothby

    Director of Marketing Imerys Kaolin

    Education: University of Maine, B.S. Mechanical Engineering, 1985

    Experience: 2 years- Union Camp Corp- Uncoated WF/Coated Board producer, 7 years- Newark Group – Coated Recycled Boxboard producer, Technical and Production positions, 24 years- Imerys (formerly ECC International): Technical Service, 1993-96, Market Manager- 1996-00, Product Manager- 2000- 08, Director of Marketing, Imerys Kaolin Division- 2008-present

    Two daughters- 19 and 15 years old

    Activities and hobbies:

    • Running
    • Tennis
    • Skiing
  • Mark Brink

    Chemical Engineering Focus on Energy

    Marc is retired having completed 42 years of experience with a unique blend of operating, maintenance, production, engineering, OEM & consulting responsibilities in bio-fuel, chemical, power and paper facilities.  His over fifteen years of operations positions has included general manager, production superintendent, shift supervisor, technical training coordinator, senior process control systems engineer, process engineer and maintenance foreman.  During those years he developed hands-on expertise in chemical processes, process control, cylinder, twin-wire and Fourdrinier paper manufacturing, secondary fiber processing and wastewater treatment.  He provided consulting services to clients on processes and equipment in bio-chemical, chemical, power, secondary fiber de-inking, stock preparation, papermaking and converting operations.  Marc’s competencies in 23 years of engineering consulting include process feasibility studies, capital cost estimating, project management, technology assessment, project engineering, process design, process control, certified six-sigma green-belt design/consulting, check-out, start-up, trouble-shooting and process simulation.

  • Tonia Elrod

    Director Family Care Sustainability & Communications P&G

    During her 22 year tenure at P&G, Tonia has worked in Health Care, Beauty Care, Paper, and Food & Beverage. Her assignments have spanned categories including Oral Care, Personal Health, Deodorants, Tissue/Towel, Fem Care, and Snacks & Beverages. She has held Global and North America positions in two functions - Marketing and Communications. She has extensive issue management experience including manufacturing safety incidents, ingredient concerns, natural disaster business recovery, sustainable & fair wage activism, product recalls, business divestitures & acquisitions, plant community & government relations, and more.

  • Clay Enos

    Strategic Consultant Fisher International

    With 15 years in pulp and paper, distinguished by experience from both the supplier and producer perspectives, Clay Enos brings deep industry understanding to his consulting role at Fisher International. In addition to technical expertise which includes converting machines, his business and analytical work has focused on cost reduction and performance benchmarking, providing strategic insights across the management decision chain for Fisher’s diverse client base.

    Mr. Enos holds a BS degree in Chemical Engineering with a background in sales, paper production engineering, paper line area production, pulp mill strategic planning, and mill repurposing projects. Before joining Fisher, he was Manufacturing Excellence Manager at Verso Paper.

  • Annabelle Filer

    Owner Tensei

    Annabelle Filer is a Professional Deviant. She trained as an Architect but her passion is the discovery and promotion of materials, which for whatever reason will have a positive effect on the environment. She is an entrepreneur with 3 businesses: A London based Architects Practice, SCIN, the UK’s largest Independent materials Library and Resource and more recently Tensei, a next generation paper company specialising in bringing poly-fibre non wood pulp blends to market. 

    Her skill is her role at making the appropriate and rewarding connections using her and her SCIN team’s materials insight at the coalface between the material specifier the supplier. It is a unique and privileged position.

    She is a writer and researcher and a regular contributor to a number of magazines. She has been involved in many Industry think tanks and is a seasoned judge of Industry awards from New Materials to Graduating Designers to Photography.

    Annabelle is a creative and a risk taker. She doesn’t believe in the word ‘no’ and isn’t afraid to challenge the Status Quo.

  • David France

    Packaging Research Fellow Conagra Brands

    David serves as Packaging Research Fellow for Conagra Brands.  His charge is to identify new packaging technologies, processes and materials with the potential to drive innovation, new product/packaging platforms and support Conagra’s goal of becoming America’s fastest growing food company. He is passionate about good design, sustainability and consumer delight.

    David has been with Conagra for 19 years and has led the development of some of the organization’s most disruptive and successful packaging systems; including the Orville Redenbacher pop-up bowl and the technology behind the Healthy Choice Café Steamers.

    Prior to joining Conagra, David worked at Apple Computer for 10 years, during that time he served as Apple’s Manager of Worldwide Structural Packaging Design, leading the team that created structural and protective packaging for Apple’s full line of computers, peripherals, and software. David still has a carefully packaged, special edition Newton deep in the bowls of his basement. Make sure you ask him about that.

  • Paige Goff

    Vice President of Sustainability and Communications Domtar

    Paige Goff is Vice-President of Sustainability and Communications at Domtar, the largest integrated marketer and manufacturer of business and office copy paper in North America. In this role, she is responsible for communicating Domtar’s pulp and paper initiatives, identifying and leveraging the latest sustainability trends and strategies for the business, as well as developing and managing partnerships with environmental non-governmental organizations (NGO) and customers. 

    Goff has 17 years of experience in the forest products industry and joined Domtar in 2004.  In her previous Domtar roles, she was also the Senior Manager, Brand and Advertising Operations as well as a Product Packaging Manager.  Prior to joining Domtar, Goff was a marketing analyst and planner at Resolute, a North American paper industry supplier. She has a Master of Business Administration degree.  

  • Tim Hasbargen

    Energy Specialist Focus on Energy

    Key Expertise: Pulp and Paper Experience, Hydro and Utility Systems, Industrial Waste Treatment, Process Control, Project Management, Capital and Departmental Budgeting, Energy Management and Energy Reduction, Pump Systems, Paper Converting Coating and Rewinding, and Mining Experience.

    Tim has over 27 years of paper industry experience with Expera Specialty (Wausau Paper) Rhinelander Wisconsin Mill, and 9 years of mining industry experience with Eveleth Mines in Eveleth , Minnesota.  He has served in the position of Director of Engineering, Maintenance, Utilities and the Environmental Department. He has served as Manager of Engineering and Utilities, Senior Project Engineer, and Electrical and Instrumentation Supervisor. His responsibilities included management of departmental operations budgets, oversight of capital budgets, execution of multiple paper machine rebuilds, boiler control upgrades, stock prep rebuilds, waste treatment upgrades, energy reduction efforts and execution, converting and rewinding upgrades. He brings an overall paper process exposure, and is able to connect utilities and waste treatment into a process evaluation. His electrical and instrumentation background combine with the mechanical aspects of project management blends the two disciplines into complimentary solutions. Tim has worked with all levels within organizations and brings an ability to connect. Tim has overseen professional development and continues to mentor engineering professionals. Tim has presented energy improvement seminars for TAPPI energy conferences.   Tim holds a B.S. degree in Quality and Productivity Management from Marion University in Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin, and A.S. Degrees in Industrial Electronics and Electrical Construction from Dunwoody College of Technology in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

  • Kelly L. Helein

    Director of Business Innovation Footprint, US

    Kelly L. Helein has 27 years of experience in sales, marketing, and product development, working for specialty paper companies, converters, and manufacturers. A self-described highly motivated connector and collaborator, she has extensive experience in business development, driving innovation and growth while working with customers such as ConAgra, Nestlé, Kohler, Mondi, Johnson and Johnson, Becton Dickinson and Zeiss.

    Passionate about product innovation and problem-solving, Kelly serves as Board President for the Paper Discover Center and the Paper International Hall of Fame. She is also on the advisory committee for Smithers Pira’s Sustain Pack Conference and Specialty Papers Europe.

    When she isn’t on the hunt for new product discovery, Kelly can be found with her husband and three children, in Appleton, Wisconsin. Kelly Helein is currently Director of Business Innovation for Footprint.

  • Ken Kumaki

    Head of Research & Technical Service, POVAL Resin Kuraray Europe GmbH

    Ken Kumaki obtained a Masters Degree of Polymer Chemistry from Waseda University in Tokyo Japan. He has experience in product development and technical service of polyvinyl alcohol following 18 years in the field. Ken moved to Kuraray Europe GmbH in 2016 as a Head of Research & Technical Service. 

  • Mark Kjorlie, P.E.

    Facility Development and Capital Mgr Expera Specialty Solutions

    Mark manages Facility Development and Capital for Expera Specialty Solutions, LLC.  As such he is responsible for managing Expera’s capital investments and long range asset planning for all Expera pulp and paper locations, including IT.

    Expera engineers every level of fiber-based performance, from natural paper products to extreme solutions that withstand the most rigorous processing and conversion, and produces the most tailored specialty paper products for the most technical applications. 

    • Food processing papers.
    • Precision release platforms. 
    • Industrial interleave.
    • Fluorochemical-free grease resistance.

    Since coming out of the construction industry over 38 years ago, Mark has moved through progressive engineering, maintenance, operations and project management roles within the pulp and paper industry. 

    Following his bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from UW Madison in 1980, he undertook post-graduate studies in pulping and bleaching technology at the Institute of Paper Chemistry in Appleton and also received his MBA from UW Oshkosh.  He is a champion of continuous improvement processes and is certified as a Lean-Six Sigma Green Belt. He is also registered as a Professional Engineer in the State of Wisconsin.

    In 2009, Mark assisted the Thilmany Mill in becoming one of the first pulp and paper mills in the nation to make the “Save Energy Now” commitment to reduce their energy footprint by 25% within 10 years.  Thilmany achieved that milestone in slightly less than four years.  Today, investments in energy saving technologies are continuing to drive business results across all Expera locations.

    Mark is an entrepreneur.  Outside of Expera, he shares that talent as a Board member and Investment Committee Chair for a local credit union and also volunteers as the Chairman for the Salvation Army of the Fox Cities Advisory Board.  He is a long standing member of TAPPI and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. 

    When describing to continuous improvement, especially as it relates to saving energy, Mark’s motto is: “The farther you travel on the path to excellence, the more you realize that you have a long way to go to get there.”

  • Tom Larson

    Technology Implementation Manager FiberLean Technologies Ltd.

    Since the start of the FiberLean Technologies Ltd. joint venture between Omya and Imerys over two years ago, Tom has worked as the Technology Implementation Manager within FiberLean, based in the UK. His primary responsibilities are to coordinate FiberLean MFC-related technical activities in support of both shareholders commercial portfolios, principally supporting existing accounts, or securing of new ones. Prior to the joint venture, Tom worked for six years within Imerys as a Laboratory Scientist, with four of those years specialising in the application of micro-fibrillated cellulose and fillers in paper and packaging applications. Tom holds a BSc in Natural Sciences, majoring in Chemistry, which was completed with the Open University alongside his occupational work during a sponsorship program with Imerys and latterly, FiberLean. Tom is passionate about innovation and technology, sustainability, renewable energies, and more recently, the role that paper-based products could play as alternatives to plastic.

  • Markku Hämäläinen

    CEO Kotkamills Oy, Finland

    Markku Hämäläinen is the CEO of Kotkamills Oy, a Finnish paper industry company located in south east Finland. Prior to this current position he has been working as the Managing Director of Papierfabrik Scheufelen GmbH in Germany. Earlier has been employed for example by Storaenso in various production and R&D positions in Finland between 1986 and 2006. He has also been running his private consulting firm since 2008. Markku Hämäläinen is 56 years of age and he has a Dr. Degree in Paper Technology from the University of Lappeenranta in Finland.

  • Presley Neuman

    Research and Development Chemist Encapsys, LLC

    Presley Neuman is a Research and Development Chemist working for Encapsys, LLC., a world-class manufacturing organization and supply partner providing microencapsulation solutions for phase change materials, fragrances, and more. In her role, responsibilities include working towards innovative and novel microencapsulation solutions and supporting the transition of such solutions from lab to pilot to full production scale.  Presley received her Bachelor of Science in Chemistry degree in 2015, from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh with an emphasis in Biochemistry. Prior to starting her current role at Encapsys in 2016, Presley spent a year studying topics in Biomedical Sciences at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee where she also completed lab research focused on the fields of cancer biology, genetics, bacteriology, and virology.  

  • John Neun

    Subject Matter Expert-Mill Water System Focus on Energy

    John Neun is an engineering consultant who spent a substantial part of his career with Albany International. He received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and is a licensed Professional Engineer in New York State. He has surveyed and analyzed many paper and tissue machines and determining means of improving their efficiency. In addition to overall system analysis, John has demonstrated particular expertise in vacuum systems, fabric cleaning systems, forming systems, and presses. He performs pulsation analyses and solves vibration problems in all sections of paper machines. He has worked in the paper industry since 1979, first as a Research Engineer with Albany Felt Company, studying and developing wet felt performance and felt dewatering devices.  He spent several years as a Service Engineer for Albany Felt, performing vibration analyses on most of the high-speed machines in the United States and many more throughout the world.  John also had a long tenure at Kadant - AES, where he was Cleaning and Conditioning Product Manager and Design and Development Manager. Before AES, John spent five years working for Mechanical Technology Incorporated, an engineering consulting firm, where he gained a wide range of vibration analysis experience in rotating machinery, structures, and acoustics, instructed in a course on FFT spectrum analysis, and led a number of multi-million dollar projects.

    John holds six U.S. patents and has published many technical papers (for TAPPI, ASME, SME, and the U.S. National Bureau of Standards). John is a Tappi Fellow and is past Chairman of the Papermaker's Committee and Water Removal Committee as well as the Paper and Board Division. He has received the Leadership and Service Awards from both the Tappi Engineering Division and Paper and Board Division, and the Tappi Engineering Division Technical Award.

    John has been married to Paula Vielkind for most of their lives, and they have two grown sons and two grand-daughters, of whom they are immensely proud. John is an avid bicyclist and enjoys refining his metalworking skills. He is past chairman of Capital Region Robotics, a founding US FIRST team, and is a long-time judge at the VEX Robotics world championship and FIRST Robotics events.

  • Alan Piwowar, Ph.D.

    Associate Research Scientist, Coatings R&D The Dow Chemical Company, USA

    Alan Piwowar is an Associate Research Scientist in Dow Coating Materials at Dow Chemical in Midland, Michigan.  He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from the State University of New York at Geneseo and his Ph. D. in Analytical Chemistry from the State University of New York at Buffalo.  After completing his Ph.D., Alan enjoyed post-doctoral positions at the University of Manchester, England and Penn State University where he studied biological systems using advanced surface imaging techniques.  Currently, Alan’s research involves study of thin film coating properties and new coating product development for water barrier applications.      

  • Dick Reese

    Subject Matter Expert-Papermachine Focus on Energy

    Key Expertise: Paper Manufacture, Paper Machine Energy Evaluations, Papermaking Technology on All Major Grades of Paper

    Dick has a degree in paper technology from Miami University and has worked on paper machines for 55 years in various technical, manufacturing, engineering, and consulting positions. He has worked for paper companies, suppliers to the paper industry, engineering companies and as an independent consultant. He is an active member of TAPPI and is a TAPPI fellow, has been awarded the Manufacturing and Engineering division technical awards, and the Gunnar Nicholson Gold Medal Award that is the top technical award in the paper industry. He has authored over 40 technical papers and made over 70 technical presentations at paper industry conferences and seminars.     He has specialized in paper machine energy conservation for the last ten years and was a key developer of TAPPI technical information paper 0404-63, paper machine energy conservation. He developed paper machine energy scorecards that benchmark energy performance and identify opportunities for reducing energy use. The scorecards are used around the world and have been translated into Spanish, French, and Chinese. He has completed paper machine energy evaluations on over 200 paper machines producing all major grades of paper. Several paper mills have reduced annual energy expenditures by over $1 million by implementing energy reduction recommendations identified during energy audits. One paper company with seven paper mills reduced energy consumption by over 25 percent by implementing recommendations developed in energy evaluations. He currently works part time with the Wisconsin Focus on Energy program in Wisconsin paper mills to evaluate energy performance and identify proven and emerging technologies that will reduce consumption of electricity and natural gas.

  • Dustin Schadt

    Director, Key Accounts Stora Enso

    For the past 3 years, Dustin Schadt has worked with Stora Enso as the Director of Business Development and Key Account Manager for Specialty Papers and Carton Board in North America.  His key objective is to build partnerships with Retailers, Brand Owners, and Converters who have specific Objectives to increase the effectiveness of their Paper and Packaging.  Though Quality, Service, and Logisitcs, Dustin focuses on clients who are looking for Sustainable Solutions.  Bringing 18 years of experience from the Folding Carton Industry, he ties in many different components of the supply chain in order to find innovative solutions and bring value to the changing market.  When he’s not talking about micor fibers, blank paper, or empty boxes, Dustin likes to travel with his wife and five kids, creating many adventures along the way.  Between his love for family and love for paper, there’s never a moment to rest.

  • Dale Schott

    President Flexlink LLC

    Dale is the founder and President of Flexlink LLC, which imports, converts and distributes specialty papers, films, and laminations throughout the Americas. Flexlink serves several niche’ markets requiring ultra-pure fibers and chemical control as well as papers with special additives to provide hold-out, heat/flame resistance and filtering properties.  He has spent the last 23 years working in the specialty paper sector and has expertise in operations, converting, distribution, channel management and marketing. 

    After receiving his Executive MBA from Case Western Reserve University in 2004, Dale started Flexlink LLC. He recognized a need among medium-sized manufacturers for papers that were tailored to their exact needs. Flexlink is now a global company with domestic and international suppliers.  It maintains distribution centers in Cleveland, OH and Philadelphia, PA and markets products nationwide and on three continents including numerous countries in Latin America. 

    Dale is passionate about new product development, utilizing alternative fibers, solving complex distribution problems and often advises start-ups on ways to leverage their unique selling proposition add growth and scale up. He serves on the Board of Advisors for Folia Water which is a start-up company that aims to manufacture and market paper filters to purify drinking water for consumers in developing nations.

    Dale grew in the paper industry in Green Bay, Wisconsin. He holds a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He and his wife, Silvia, are raising 10-year-old triplets and reside in Shaker Heights, OH.

  • Annika Terrana

    Senior Program Officer WWF

    Annika Terrana has more than 10 years of experience in community development and responsible forestry and trade.  In her current role as Senior Program Officer with the Forest Team at World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Annika engages with U.S. companies committed to sourcing wood and paper products responsibly from important forest regions, including the SE US, Amazon, SE Asia, and the boreal forests of Canada and Russian Far East, working to ensure tools for safeguarding forests within supply chains sustain long-term forest health. Prior to working with WWF, Annika managed membership engagement with the Forest Stewardship Council-US and served as Co-Director of Operations for Organic Health Response, a non-profit organization that supports community and environmental health on Kenya’s shores of Lake Victoria. Annika has a B.A. in History and Environmental Studies from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

  • Jarkko Tuominen

    Business Development Director Metsä Board, Finland

    Jarkko Tuominen has over 25 years of management experience in the paper and packaging industry, and is currently Business Development Director for Metsӓ Board.  Prior to his career with Metsӓ, Jarkko served as Vice President of Corporate Strategy at the Walki Group. Based in Espoo, Finland, Jarkko has a great deal of experience with international B2B customers. His strong technical knowledge  and passion for growing new business makes him an excellent asset to the Metsӓ Board managerial team.


  • Dr. Daniel F. Varnell

    Research Fellow Solenis

    Dr. Daniel Varnell, is a Research Fellow and Polymer Scientist at Solenis, with a doctorate degree in Polymer Science from Penn. State University. Many know him for his work on paper additives for ink-jet printing, but he also has experience and patents in many areas of research from graphite fibers to photoresists to adhesives. He is a sought after speaker and teacher.  He has a wife and 3 children, is very active in pastoral and missions work to the needy and in prisons, and he dabbles with golf,  gardening, and home repairs.

  • Jan Philipp Weihs

    Innovation & Technical Marketing Manager Packaging Omya International AG

    Innovation & Technical Marketing Manager Packaging, Omya International AG

    Since Mai 2016

    Market Manager Fiber Based Packaging, Omya International AG

    July 2011 – Mai 2013

    Coating Expert, Innovation Pool, Omya International AG

    July 2011 – Mai 2013

    Project- and Development Engineer, Sappi Schweiz AG

    January 2010 – June 2011

    Project- and Development Engineer, M-Real Biberist   

    January 2008 – December 2011