On September 1st, New Indy Containerboard, Ivex’s owners, started a new event for the Health and Wellness Committee. Ivex is always trying to stress the fact that health and safety is our main focus, so this challenge that New Indy Containerboard (NICB) proposed sounded like the perfect event for us to get involved with!

The contest/event is called the World Tour! The World Tour is a combined effort between all New Indy Containerboard locations, which are the Ontario Mill, Hartford City Mill, Oxnard Mill, and of course, our Ivex Specialty Papers Mill. The idea of this event is to “walk around the world!” Along the way, there are six milestones until we reach the final destination of Disneyland in Anaheim, CA. The World Tour starts in Boston Massachusetts and then together, NICB will walk 3,842 miles to Machu Piccu, Peru. Then we will walk all the way to Cape of Good Hope South Africa which is 6,459 miles away. We will then walk 4,431 miles to the Giza Pyramids in Egypt. Next, we will walk 3,275 miles to Northern Light Iceland. The second to last stop is 4,650 miles away from Iceland and that is Mt. Fuji, Japan. The last and final stop, Disneyland, is 5,473 miles away. NICB will be walking a total, if not more, than 61,886,000 steps!

Steps will need to be recorded on a weekly/monthly basis and each person will need to provide proof! Any employee can get involved if they choose to do so. Since the challenge has started in September, Ivex’s very own Customer Service Manager, Bob Pitts, has “out walked” every single person involved in the NICB World Tour challenge every month! In the month of January alone, Bob walked over 800,000 steps! He sets a great example for all NICB workers to stay active and healthy

The results for January were just reported and we are almost there! NICB has walked a total of 50,828,057 steps! We have almost reached our overall goal of 61,886,000 steps and it has been a fun challenge while doing so. We are excited to continue our healthy paths and maybe get involved in more challenges like this.

World Tour 2

 

Bo – Chief Morale Officer

Meet Bo, our Chief Morale Officer and youngest member of our team. Bo joined our team in February of 2022 at the age of 10 weeks. Bo enjoys meeting and greeting employees and visitors throughout the day and of course getting his treats from his humans. Bo enjoys being part of our team as much as our team enjoys Bo.

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