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Wanke to Serve as Keynote Speaker for Paper Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

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The Paper Industry International Hall of Fame Board of Directors, Appleton, Wis., USA, this week announced that Russ Wanke, president and CEO of Expera Specialty Solutions LLC, will be keynote speaker at the 20th annual Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on October 9, 2014. The event will be held at the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel in Appleton.

With 30 years of paper industry experience, Wanke became CEO at the formation of Expera. Previously, he was VP and GM of Thilmany Papers since November 2008. Prior to joining Thilmany, he headed the publication division for NewPage as VP – Publication Paper Operations. In that role, Wanke was responsible for operations of seven publication paper mills, with more than 4,000 employees annually producing 2.8 million tons of paper and 2.0 million tons of pulp. Earlier, he led Stora Enso North America’s fine paper business, a $1 billion sales business with 1,580 employees that produced 1 million tons. He also had responsibility for the North American research, central maintenance, and engineering units.

Wanke received his start in Wisconsin with a paper science and engineering degree from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. He serves on the board of the American Forest and Paper Association, Washington, D.C., and is former chairman of the Wisconsin Paper Council Board of Directors and continues to serve on the Executive Committee. He also serves on the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point College of Natural Resources Advisory Board and the board of the Paper Science Foundation.

In 2014, Wanke was named PIMA Executive of the Year, a distinguished honor given by the Paper Industry Management Association, a division of TAPPI. Additionally in 2014, he received the 2013-14 Paper Science Industry Leadership Award from UW Stevens Point College of Natural Resources.

The 2014 Paper Industry International Hall of Fame inductees were selected in May and announced this month (see article above in this newsletter). The PIIHF recognizes individuals who pioneered and/or helped the world’s paper and allied industries flourish. The Hall of Fame currently has 117 members from 15 countries. It is located within the Paper Discovery Center, an interactive science and technology museum in Appleton, with a mission to Celebrate All Things Paper - the Wonder and the Legacy. 


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