Mohawk's CEO Presents Story of Ingenuity and Growth at Paper Cluster Meeting
SPRINGFIELD, MA—July 1, 2015—The New England Paper Cluster's Growth Strategies Reception and Dinner on June 22, brought together 70 paper industry executives from New England to learn best practices and discuss strategies for growing the industry. Among the speakers was Thomas O’Connor Jr., chairman and CEO of Mohawk Fine Papers, who discussed his firm’s inspiring entrance into the envelope market with its new plant in South Hadley, Massachusetts.
O’Connor explained that Mohawk decided to enter the business when they realized that they could leverage their existing paper distribution channels to distribute envelopes to customers. After identifying this key opportunity but in need of a skilled labor force, O’Connor said that the firm chose to locate their new envelope plant in Western Massachusetts because the area is rich in skilled, experienced laborers, especially after Cenveo shut down an envelope facility in the area last year. Building success from what some may call a failure, Mohawk’s South Hadley plant is now up and running, and the company plans to hire up to 100 workers as the operation grows.
“We are facing a radically changing industry,” said O’Connor. “But there are always opportunities for growth. Our new envelope converting facility in South Hadley is just one example; we plan to continue to broaden our expertise and offerings, create demand for products within new market segments and develop strategic partnerships to capitalize on growth.”
New England Paper Cluster attendees also received an economic update from U.S. Congressman Richard Neal. Ben Markens, president of The Markens Group, reviewed the Paper and Packaging Board’s upcoming campaign to promote paper products nationwide and Lou Kornet, vice president of the Paperboard Packaging Council, discussed the negative impact of single-stream recycling programs on the supply of recycled fiber. In addition, Paul Bitters, product development manager at Paperlogic, gave an update on the firm’s work on nanocellulose, an innovative type of paper that is thin yet highly tear- and water-resistant.
“I’m thrilled at the event’s turn-out and the amount of valuable content shared,” said David Southworth, acting chair of the New England Paper Cluster. “Our goal was to bring members of the regional paper industry together to discuss common challenges and opportunities, and I believe the reception and dinner did just that.”
About The Markens Group
The Markens Group is a business consulting and strategic management firm that also manages industry associations such as the Paperboard Packaging Council (PPC), the leading industry association serving suppliers and converters of all forms of paperboard packaging.
Source: The Markens Group.