Meet Our Team

William Platt – President & CEO

43 years in the paper industry

  • B.S. in Chemistry and Biology, Valparaiso University
  • M.S., Ph.D. in Paper Science and Engineering from Lawrence University, The Institute of Paper Chemistry

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

Cathy Bennett – Customer Success Manager

33 years in the paper industry

  • B.S. Nutrition & Food Science, Chemistry & Biology minors from Florida State University

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

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James Braswell

49 years in the paper industry

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Business with a Minor in Marketing from Jacksonville State University

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

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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


David Wentzel – Technical Manager

44 years in the paper industry

  • Bachelor’s degree in Pulp & Paper Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

Dave began working at Ivex Specialty Paper in April of 2016, as Technical Manager. In his role, he focuses on process and product improvement, as well as product development. Within the first six months of working at Ivex, he was involved in all aspects of the plant. 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 (309)-686-3830 x 7140

Amy Thompson – Process Optimization and Product Development Engineer

  • Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from Bradley University

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

Angie Spann – Human Resource Manager

31 years in the paper industry

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


Paul Gilbert – Assistant Plant Superintendent/Lean Coordinator

28 years in the paper industry

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 and Assistant Plant Superintendent. 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

Eric Thomas – Supervisor

14 years in the paper industry

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 Supervisor’s position. He’s held roles such as Chief Steward with the Union and member of the safety committee. As 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

Chris Kranz – Shift Supervisor

27 years in the paper industry

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.  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

Dan Rogers – Engineering / Maintenance Manager

27 years in the paper industry

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

Thad Edmonds – CFO

29 years of experience

  • Bachelor of Science in Finance from Miami University
  • Master of Business Administration with a focus in Operations Management and International Business from the University of Cincinnati.

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

Michelle Witt – Director of Marketing

15 years of experience

  • Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering & Master of Science in Engineering Management from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
  • MBA with a concentration in Marketing from the University of Tulsa.

Michelle spent the early part of her career in the engineering and start-up worlds at B2B technology companies ranging from energy efficiency to educational software. As our Marketing Manager, 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.

Want to join our team? Keep checking our Employment page for current employment opportunities!