Congratulations to our TAPPI Fellow New Inductees
Ambassadors—Role Models—Thought Leaders
The select few who earn the title “TAPPI Fellow” are all these things and more. For more than 50 years, TAPPI Fellows have continued to enrich the industry with their contributions. Only a small percentage of TAPPI members ever achieve this distinction. TAPPI Fellows represent every area of the industry and hail from all over the world, creating a global fellowship of men and women whose professionalism and high personal standards serve as inspiration.
Considerations for selection include longstanding TAPPI Membership, exemplary volunteer leadership, and outstanding contributions to the industry’s knowledge base. The TAPPI Fellow designation is also conferred upon recipients of the Gunnar Nicholson Gold Medal or Herman L. Joachim Distinguished Service Awards, and those who have served on TAPPI’s Board of Directors upon completion of their term. “TAPPI Fellows truly represent our best and brightest, and their service forms the foundation of TAPPI,” says TAPPI President Larry Montague.
2020 TAPPI Fellow Inductees
Technical and Investor Consulting
TAPPI Member since 1967
John F. Bergin currently serves as an adviser and investor in Winona Building Products. He earned a Bachelor of Science from Western Michigan University (WMU) with majors in paper science and chemistry and a minor in mathematics. Bergen holds an MBA from the University of Wisconsin in marketing and human resources.
During his career, Bergin held a series of positions at Consolidated Papers and Stora Enso including production engineering, technical management, production management, division manager, corporate research director, vice president and senior vice president of the Global Specialty Papers group. Throughout his career, he gained substantial experience in papermaking, safety leadership, coating, adhesives, polymers, product development, manufacturing operations, general management, and international business.
Since retiring from Stora Enso, Bergin serves as a consultant for the Paper and Allied Industry and managed the Paper Technology Foundation at WMU while also advising and marketing the capabilities of the university’s paper and board pilot plant.
A TAPPI member since 1967, Bergin served on the Research Management Committee from 1993-2000; including terms as secretary, vice president and president. He played an active role in the planning of the Foundation Industry Needs Workshop in 1996 and served on the Research Committee’s Board of Directors in 1998-99. Bergin was the TAPPI/AFPA Liaison with Forest Products Lab from 1993-95.
Bergin volunteers in his community as a Rotary International Youth Exchange Officer, facilitating youth international exchanges for the past 14 years. Bergin is a Paul Harris Fellow and has contributed to the Rotary's worldwide polio elimination project. During his tenure as a Rotarian, he has led two international projects to enhance sanitary conditions and citizen self-sufficiency for a Kampung in Jakarta, Indonesia in cooperation with Jakarta Metropolitan Rotary. Working with Incourage Community Foundation of Wisconsin, Bergin acted as a facilitator for local businesses creating a forum to exchange best practices and to create critical mass for leadership training for new and advancing supervision at Midstate Technical College.
Irving Pulp & Paper, Ltd.
TAPPI Member since 1985
Jim Brewster retired at the end of 2016 after nearly 44 years in the pulp and paper industry. He received his BS in Chemistry from Portland State University in 1971. He began his career in 1973 at the Crown Zellerbach mill in Camas Washington. He started as a cost accountant but soon entered operations as a kraft pulping and recovery shift supervisor. He held positions as kraft Pulping and recovery superintendent, operations manager for the Camas modernization project, and assistant mill manager responsible for technical, engineering, and major capital projects. He led the economic and technical evaluations to convert two direct contact evaporator recovery boilers to modern low odor design. These conversions were among the first of their type in the North American industry. He led the energy reduction efforts mill wide which decreased the fossil fuel usage by over 75%.
After twenty years at the Camas mill, he joined the Irving Kraft mill in Saint John New Brunswick Canada, as production manager. He provided technical and process direction for major investments aimed at environmental and financial improvement. Technical innovations included; the first all press brown stock washing system, moving bed bioreactor for bleach plant effluent treatment, and the application of reverse osmosis for removal of biologically harmful compounds from evaporator combined condensates. In recognition of these accomplishments the mill was awarded the Canadian Council of Ministers for the Environment (CCME) Award for pollution prevention, and in partnership with the University of New Brunswick (Saint John), the mill was awarded a National Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Synergy Award for Innovation. These innovations along with many throughout all areas of the mill resulted in a pulp production increase of 25% while fossil fuel usage decreased by 80%. In 2001 he was appointed mill manager, a position he held for the majority of the time until retirement at the end of 2016.
Throughout his career he focused on applying science and technical innovation to the manufacturing process. He worked diligently to bring technical understanding of the kraft pulping and recovery process to all levels of the organization. He developed materials and taught pulping and recovery fundamentals from 1994 to the present at the Saint John mill. This emphasis has contributed to the stability and prosperity of the mill over many years. Continuing his love of teaching, in 2006 he joined the faculty of the Kraft Recovery Operations Short course (KROS). He consistently receives top ratings from the students. He recently joined with Dr. Honghi Tran to present a similar course in Portugal to 78 students. Jim desires to give back to the industry that has been so good to him.
Przemyslaw Pruszynski, Ph.D.
Pruszynski Paper Chemistry Consulting, LLC
TAPPI Member since 1992
Dr. Przem Pruszynski received his Ph.D. from Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland, in Physical Organic Chemistry. His academic research continued at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia and the University of Toronto and focused on the isotope effect in acid-base reactions. Przem started his pulp and paper part of his career at the DOW Chemical Forest Products Research group in Sarnia. In 1992 Przem joined Nalco where he worked for 25 years as group leader R&D, Technical Director of Corporate Pulp and Paper Research and finally, Principal Consultant in Paper Group. Przem retired in October 2017. Presently in addition to enjoying his retirement with his family, Przem operates his consulting services company, Pruszynski Paper Chemistry Consulting, LLC.
Jack Tippett, Ph.D.
Emerson Automation Solutions
TAPPI Member since 1996
Jack Tippett had an early childhood goal of becoming an Engineer, but through a variety of circumstances, he was led into an academic career in Physics, culminating in 1972 with a Ph.D. in Experimental Nuclear Physics from McMaster University.
At graduation, he was hired by Bill Bialkowski as a programmer at Electronic Associates, a small Canadian company that made QCS systems for paper machines. As his career developed, Tippett took on an ever-increasing management role and, by 1990, was a senior executive. During this time, he was able to play a technical leadership role in developing a number of early systems including a real-time operating system for field configurable process control, the first distributed QCS, and cross-direction controls of hardness and basis weight (at Sentrol Systems and Valmet Automation).
In 1992, hired again by Bill Bialkowski as a process control consultant at EnTech Control Engineering, Tippett deepened his love for the scientific and methodical application of technology to solve real world problems. Since then, Tippett has enjoyed being an EnTech consultant specializing in process control training, process analysis and troubleshooting, primarily on paper machines. Thus, quite unintentionally, he has effectively achieved the goal of his early childhood.
Tippett’s goals, particularly over the past decade, include that of sharing with younger generations what he has learned about the broad fields of science, technology and life. Along with publishing a number of technical papers, he co-authored Volumes One and Two of the TAPPI Press Paper Machine Quality Control Systems (QCS). He continues to teach and to develop training materials as a senior process control consultant at Emerson Automation Solutions.
Both in the field and in his private life, he is passionate about the necessity for humility in science, the importance of being agnostic about the claims of technology, and the need to be certain about the purpose and meaning of life. Tippett enjoys choral singing, gardening and cooking (mostly the fun part of last two activities). In his family, he has been blessed by Irena, his very patient wife of 45 years, his four somewhat patient but very clever children and his six sometimes impatient but very lovable grandchildren.
Roland J. Trepanier, Ph.D.
OpTest Equipment Inc.
TAPPI Member since 1978
Dr. Roland J. Trepanier is the president of OpTest Equipment Inc. in Hawkesbury, Ontario, Canada. He has over 40 years of experience in the pulp and paper industry. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and a Ph.D. in Nuclear Spectroscopy from McGill University. He began his career with Canadian International Paper Research Ltd. in 1977 reaching the position of Senior Research Scientist. He joined Noram Quality Control and Research Ltd. in 1986 as Technical Director and later served as vice president, Technology and Manufacturing and president. He founded OpTest Equipment Inc. in 1992.
Trepanier is an expert in fiber and paper physics research with emphasis on the relationship to the manufacturing process and final product quality. He has published over 40 peer-reviewed papers including twelve in TAPPI Journal and the Journal of Pulp and Paper Science. He also holds two patents. Trepanier has shared his expertise through TAPPI by authoring and presenting papers at many TAPPI conferences. He also served as the working group chair for several test methods and technical information papers.
A TAPPI member since 1978, Trepanier is active in the Process and Product Quality Division. From 1995 to 2000, he served as the division’s secretary, vice chairman, and chairman. Trepanier co-chaired the 1999 Engineering/P&PQ Conference and the 2000 Pulping/P&PQ Conference. He also served as technical program chairman of several P&PQ conferences. In addition to his division activities, Trepanier has served on the Quality and Standards Management Committee of the TAPPI Board of Directors since 1997.
In 2005 Trepanier was presented TAPPI’s Process & Product Quality Division Technical Award and Richard Hunter Prize. He was the recipient of TAPPI’s Process & Product Quality Division Leadership and Service Award in 2017.
Trepanier is active in a number of other industry organizations including the Pulp & Paper Technical Assoc. of Canada and the Chemical Society of Canada. He is a member of the Canadian Advisory Council (SCC) to ISO/TC6 and the US Technical Advisory Group (ANSI) to ISO/TC6. In addition, he has represented Canada for over 20 years as a technical expert on ISO working groups and as a Canadian delegate at ISO plenary meetings.
Angela Wensley, Ph.D., P.E.
Angela Wensley Engineering Inc.
TAPPI Member since 1983
Angela Wensley, Ph.D., P.E., is a corrosion expert in the pulp and paper industry. She was hired by MacMillan Bloedel Research in 1977 to set up a laboratory to study the phenomenon of corrosion in pulp and paper environments and to perform failure analyses. She became an authority on corrosion and cracking in alkaline pulping liquors and fireside corrosion and cracking of recovery boilers. Her greatest joys were experienced when she was present during the discovery of new corrosion mechanisms while working in the field. Some of these were stress corrosion cracking of carbon steels in white liquors, balding of composite primary air port openings, transpassive corrosion of nickel base alloys in chlorine dioxide bleaching, corrosion and cracking of flash tanks, intergranular attack of stainless steel in continuous digesters, stress corrosion cracking of bottom scrapers in continuous digesters, and cracking of composite tubes at primary air port openings in recovery boilers.
In 1992, she left MacMillan Bloedel to start her own consulting engineering business, Angela Wensley Engineering Inc., finding there was a great demand for laboratory research into mechanisms of corrosion in alkaline pulping liquors. Her global clientele required both on-site inspections in Canada, the US, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Columbia, Scandinavia, Australia, and New Zealand as well as quality assurance inspections during the manufacture of new equipment and components. She has also served as an expert witness for clients in legal matters.
A member of TAPPI since 1979, Wensley chaired the Digester Corrosion and Cracking Task Group for 21 years (1986-2006). She has authored over 100 peer-reviewed papers for various publications. Wensely was the recipient of the 2009 TAPPI Engineering Division Technical Award and Beloit Prize. She also received the TAPPI Engineering Certificate of Recognition in 2006 and the Certificate of Merit in 1997. Wensley received the Dennis Anliker Award in 1992.
She has chaired many TAPPI task groups: Weld Overlay of Digesters (1984-2005), Thermal Spray Coating of Digester Vessels (2000-2002), and Continuous digester Inspection (1988-2005). Angela was also the chair of NACE Unit Committee T-5H on Corrosion in the Pulp and Paper Industry (1985-1987) and Task Group T-5H-1 on Recovery Boiler Fireside Corrosion (1984-1986).
Unfortunately, Wensley’s career was cut short when she was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2007, necessitating her retirement in 2011 for medical reasons.
2020 Gunnar Nicholson Gold Medal Award Recipient
Sustainable Fiber Technologies/Phoenix Pulp and Polymer
TAPPI Member since 1978
After founding Sustainable Fiber Technologies (SFT) in 2015, Lewis guided the Renton, WA-based company through development of the Phoenix Process, an environmentally friendly method for pulping nonwood biomass materials. The Phoenix Process has been licensed by a number of facilities to produce sustainable packaging, molded products, tissue and toweling, and more. Today, Lewis is CEO of both SFT and Phoenix Pulp and Polymer.
Lewis began his education in pulping nonwoods 40 years ago, pulping corn stover alongside Dr. Herb Schroeder at Colorado State University. His corporate career started at the Weyerhaeuser research department in Longview, WA. He joined TAPPI in 1978 and within a year was involved in the various testing division committees. He finished his Weyerhaeuser tenure in the Papermaking Research Group working on the Extended Nip Project and felt development and prediction models.
After a stint with Noram Testing Equipment, Lewis went back into research as a papermaking research manager for a precipitated calcium carbonate manufacturer, a job that took him to fine paper mills across North America. Lewis spent 17 years at the University of Washington teaching papermaking, fiber physics, and pulping and bleaching. There, Lewis renewed his research work in nonwood pulping, knowing as a papermaker that if he could have good fibers, he could make good paper. In 2015, Lewis left the university to start SFT and develop the Phoenix Process. Today, ten of his former students work for SFT, and the Phoenix Process is being used on a number of biomass materials in North America, with a European mill slated to start using the process in 2021.
Lewis has been an active TAPPI member, and served as TAPPI Student Chapter Faculty Advisor at the University of Washington from 1999-2014. He served as an officer with TAPPI’s Pacific Local Section and now chairs the TAPPI Nonwood Committee.
From the TAPPI Board of Directors
TAPPI Member since 2011
Fernando Bertolucci has 33 years of professional experience working in the forest products industry. Currently he is chief technology and innovation officer for Suzano, a Brazilian pulp and paper company. Bertolucci earned a Bachelor of Science in agronomic engineering (1987) and a Master of Science in genetics and plant breeding from Federal University of Lavras - UFLA (1990). He teaches specialization courses including Business Management (Fundação Dom Cabral, Brazil), Product Development (Cambridge, England), Driving Strategic Innovation (IMD, Switzerland) and Global Executive Academy (MIT, USA).
Bertolucci started his career as a research scientist at the former Mannesmann Florestal. In 1991, he joined the former Aracruz Celulose (now Suzano), where he held different positions, including tree breeding manager, corporate forest planning manager and technology general manager. His current responsibilities involve corporate leadership of research and technological innovation activities, including forest technology, pulp & paper process and product development and biorefinery R&D.
Bertolucci has been a TAPPI member since 2011.
From the TAPPI Board of Directors
Packaging Corporation of America (Retired)
TAPPI Member since 2013
Prior to retiring, Donald Haag was vice president of Manufacturing Services for Packaging Corporation of America. He has been a dedicated employee of PCA for 40 years since graduating from James Madison University in 1980. Haag is a skilled strategist who transforms strategic plans into workable solutions and benchmarks performance against key operational targets/goals. He is an operations-management executive with expertise in optimizing organizational profit, processes, measurement systems, and infrastructure to maximize business results in sales, manufacturing and customer service. Haag is a Baldrige Executive Fellow.
He began his career with PCA in direct plant operations as a plant supervisor. He valued this personal experience on the “front lines” of the box business and recognizes the impact of each and every employee on the success of the organization. He is known throughout the industry for his strong moral fiber and fair and honest approach to management.
Haag and his wife Denise raised their three children in their hometown of Ashland, Ohio during his tenure as general manager of the PCA Ashland and Akron plants and later as vice president for the Midwest area. Haag, who was once an avid water skier, enjoys spending time with his wife, children, and four grandchildren boating and skiing on Apple Valley Lake in central Ohio.
A TAPPI member since 2013, Haag served on the Board of Directors from 2018-2020.
An Eagle Scout, Haag continued to serve as a Boy Scout District Volunteer. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Ashland Chamber of Commerce, as member of the Smithers Quality Assessment Advisory Board, a member of the Ashland Community Improvement Corporation (CIC), and was a senior active member of Ashland Rotary Club.
In addition, Haag has also served as chairman of the Board for the Samaritan Regional Health System, member of the Industrial Counsel of Ashland, board member of the Ashland Family YMCA, and as a business representative on education, quality and improvement for Ashland City Schools.