Coatings have the ability to transform and even ADD functionality. Think about it – a fresh coat of paint can make a room look clean and bright, a powder coating can prevent corrosion, and an anti-reflective coating can keep your spectacles free of glare. Paper is no exception. Through the use of machine chemistry and/or coatings, paper is transformed and capable of entirely different end-use applications. Check out some of the before and after paper transformations below.

1. Silicone Coated

A silicone coating prevents sticking of one object/material to another. There are varying methods for applying this type of coating, with a roll coater and air knife coater being two of the common machines used in the industry. Ivex utilizes an air knife coater to apply a thin, even layer onto our paper for several applications where a 40-140# sheet is needed. In our carpet seaming tape, the silicone coating on the non-glue side prevents blocking – a situation where the hot melt glue sticks to the back side of the sheet when rolled up. There is also the added benefit of reduced friction properties, allowing the seam to move easily across the floor.

2. Grease Resistance

Whether it’s from the bag of your last-minute, drive-thru meal or a car part, there’s nothing more frustrating than stubborn grease leaking through onto your car seat! Our grease resistant coatings keep grease on the inside of packaging. One of the uses for this practical coating is as a closure for dog food. You’ll even find it in several colors like blue, black and white.

3. Anti-Skid

Anti-skid/Anti-slip coatings are used to create additional friction between two objects to prevent sliding. They are especially useful in creating a much larger slide angle between stacked boxes on pallets. Ivex has produced paper with an anti-skid coating for use in disposable paper footwear to prevent workers from sliding on slick floors. Although some coating is ideal for anti-skid pallet sheets, our crepe paper is being trialed and tested for use without a coating. The texture and structure of our heavyweight crepe contains a higher built-in slide angle than a kraft sheet, which may serve as a more cost-effective, environmentally-friendly option.

4. Wet Strength

A common, fun experiment to test wet strength is with paper towels. However, you can imagine this same functionality is useful in heavyweight paper applications as well. Think of lawn bags holding up to wet grass, trimmings and other yard debris, or industrial processing applications that require handling of materials despite large amounts of water present. Recently, Ivex has seen an increased need for cellulose filter paper with wet strength. Our crepe paper fits this bill and comes with two rare benefits – low lead times and impeccable customer service.

5. Anti-Wicking

While capillary action makes for a fun science experiment, it can wreak havoc on paper products, especially packaging. Paper linerboards/trays with anti-wicking properties are especially useful in frozen food storage applications. As temperatures fluctuate, a barrier is needed to protect food products from water that is produced– which is where anti-wicking paper comes in. The “after” picture above shows Ivex anti-wicking paper in action. After 7 days, there was less than 2% wicking. In our trials, our paper prevented any substantial wicking for up to 3 weeks.

At the risk of sounding too much like a weight-loss commercial, YOU TOO CAN GET THESE RESULTS! All joking aside, Ivex is capable of creating customized grades with chemistry and coatings to provide customers with the products they need. The combination of small mill size, in-house knowledge and, frankly, just plain willingness to do it, have kept us in business for 105 years and counting.

Let us know how you’d like to transform your paper it the comments below or request a sample folder customized to your needs!

Brian Ayers - Shift Supervisor

9 years in the paper industry

Brian began working at Ivex Specialty Paper in May of 2014. He is skilled at just about every job on the floor from extra hand to boiler relief operator. In his current role at Ivex, he works diligently to maintain and ensure good paper is produced for our customers. Safety is also a huge priority for Brian. He helps and guides his team to always stay safe while producing a quality product. Brian says he’s excited to continue growing and learning as he overcomes new daily challenges. He sees his Ivex team as family and strives to be the best he can for them and the company.


Contact Brian via phone at (309)-686-3830 x7124

Adam Brancato – Technical Manager

 •  B.S. in Chemical Engineering, Worcester Polytechnic Institute 

•  Ph.D. in Paper Science, Georgia Institute of Technology


Adam began working at Ivex Specialty Paper in September of 2022. His previous experience includes various production and technical roles at ND Paper, including Senior Production Engineer. In his current role at Ivex, he focuses on new product development to maintain and improve quality for existing customers. In addition, he will work on advancing new grades for future customers. Adam says he’s excited to work with Ivex’s interesting paper machine because it’s capable of such a diverse range of potential products.   

Contact Adam via phone at (309)-686-3830 x7140

Michelle Witt – Director of Marketing

Michelle spent the early part of her career in the engineering and start-up worlds at B2B technology companies ranging from energy to educational software. As our Director of Marketing, she brings this entrepreneurial, growth mindset to help us connect with our current and soon-to-be customers. She enjoys discovering creative ways to share our stories with the world and says she is constantly learning new things about paper from our long-time team members.

Thad Edmonds – CFO

Thad has spent approximately 3 decades in the financial and accounting industries with over 15 years at a senior manager level of responsibility. As the Controller, he handles all of the accounting responsibilities. He says his favorite things about working at Ivex are working with such a dedicated group of people and learning the process of making specialty papers. He is proud that even though the team part of a larger organization, we are able to remain flexible enough to be able to meet our clients’ ever changing needs. And he believes the amount of experience amongst our staff is truly remarkable. Contact Thad via phone at (309)-686-3830 x 7115

Dan Rogers – Engineering / Maintenance Manager

Dan has over 25 years of experience in Maintenance and Engineering, with over 20 years of that in senior management roles. His background includes automotive, steel manufacturing, and fermentation. As the Maintenance and Engineering Manager, it is Dan’s responsibility to schedule maintenance and equipment PM’s, procure parts, oversee project work from concept to completion, manage building maintenance and schedule and oversee contractor work. He says he has found the staff here to be very knowledgable and professional and looks forward to spending a long career learning from, as well as working with, the team at Ivex. Contact Dan via phone at (309)-686-3830 x7129

Chris Kranz – Machine Superintendent

Chris has been in the paper industry for the past 22 years, the last 12 years being with Ivex, and the last 8 of those years as a shift supervisor and machine superintendent. His main responsibilities are scheduling of the mill employees, ensuring all personnel are working safely and responsibly, maximizing machine output while upholding quality, overseeing the mill’s effluent costs and maintaining all data. Chris has completed a color school class through XRITE to expand his knowledge of our color control system at the mill as well. He says he enjoys working with the entire team at Ivex on all the daily challenges and opportunities that come our way.

Contact Chris via phone at (309)-686-3830 x 7124

Paul Gilbert – Shift Supervisor

Paul has been working at the Peoria Mill for 24 years. He started as an extra man and worked his way up to Shift Supervisor. As a crew leader, he’s responsible for employee safety, performance, and the quality of the product. He says every day can bring a new challenge and his favorite part of working here is learning from each challenge as a team. Additionally, the friendships and loyalties he’s found here make this a great place to work.

Contact Paul via phone at (309)-686-3830 x 7124

Angie Klein – Human Resource Manager

Angie is the Human Resource Manager and Safety Coordinator at Ivex Specialty Paper. She’s responsible for payroll, benefits, workers compensation, and other human resource tasks. She is also responsible for safety training and the safety programs at the Peoria Mill. Angie has been employed with the company for over 30 years and says she really enjoys the diversity of her job, along with her interactions with all of the employees. Contact Angie via phone at (309)-686-3830 x 7110

Eric Thomas – Shift Supervisor

Eric has been with the mill for 14 years. He started as an extra hand working his way up on the paper machine and into a Shift Supervisor’s position. He’s held roles such as Chief Steward with the Union and member of the safety committee. As Shift Supervisor, his responsibilities include the safety of employees, performance, and the quality of the product. Eric says the parts of his role that excite him most are the group of people he gets to work with on a daily basis and the quality product they get to produce for customers.

Contact Eric via phone at (309)-686-3830 x 7124

Amy Thompson – Process Optimization and Product Development Engineer

Amy began working at Ivex Speciality Paper in 2021, as our Process Optimization and Product Development Engineer. In addition to working on key new upgrades to our paper machine, she works directly with Ivex’s operators to run customer trials and continuously improve our processes. Before joining Ivex, Amy was a manufacturing engineer for Caterpillar and worked in R&D and manufacturing at Hu-Friedy. Amy’s excited to learn more about the process and equipment involved in paper making. She looks forward to helping evolve and improve the processes at the mill over the years to come. Contact Amy via phone at (309)-686-3830 x 7135

David Wentzel – COO

44 years in the paper industry

Dave began working at Ivex Specialty Paper in April of 2016, as Technical Manager. In his role as COO, he is involved many aspects of keeping the mill running smoothly. Dave says he has enjoyed the opportunity to work with a group of people who truly care about the product they are producing, and the customers that they are serving.

Contact Dave via phone at (570)-295-2323

Robert Pitts – Customer Service Manager

46 years in the paper industry
Bob has worked in the Peoria mill for over 46 years. His first 22 years were in the union shop and his remaining years have been spent in management. Bob says he considers the mill his home away from home and thoroughly enjoys his job and the challenges it creates day to day. He also enjoys his fellow workers and considers them a team. Contact Robert via phone at (309)-686-3830 x 7114

James Braswell

49 years in the paper industry
James has been working in the sales for the Peoria Mill for 37 years, being able to watch the Peoria plant grow and undergo many changes. He says his career has been, and still is, a very challenging and rewarding experience all at the same time. He says we have employees that take ownership, great pride, and determination in making the Peoria Mill the best it can be and that truly makes the experience working here all the better.
Contact James at
office phone: (256)-362-5159
cell phone: (256)-493-4734

Cathy Bennett – Customer Success Manager

33 years in the paper industry

Cathy has had the benefit of working in the paper industry in many functional roles. Her deep technical knowledge comes from operational experience across mills and her leadership of process and product improvement initiatives. Her time in product development gave Cathy exposure to the marketing and sales side of the business and, combined with her operational experience, gives her a well-rounded approach to her current role at Ivex. She says she loves to help customers solve problems quickly by recognizing opportunities in our technical capabilities and delivering them in a way that makes sense for their businesses and ours!

Contact Cathy via phone at (920)-216-8606

William Platt – President & CEO

43 years in the paper industry

Bill’s first job in the paper industry was in Alabama in 1977. This remarkable industry has taken him to Wisconsin, Alabama, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Ohio, and finally to Ivex Specialty Paper in Peoria, Illinois. Bill has had the opportunity to work in wood yards, pulp mills, utility operations with boilers, turbines and evaporators as well as paper machines, coaters, and converting equipment of all shapes and sizes. He says the work is exciting for certain, but the people are really what makes it all worthwhile.

Contact Bill via phone at (920)-284-1665