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Fortress Promotes Pelletier to President, CEO of Fortress Paper

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Fortress Paper Ltd., Vancouver, B.C., USA, this week announced the promotion of Yvon Pelletier from president of the company's wholly-owned subsidiary Fortress Specialty Cellulose Inc. (FSC) to president and CEO of Fortress Paper, effective October 1. Chadwick Wasilenkoff, the company's current president and CEO, will assume the newly created role of executive chairman of the board of directors . In this role, Wasilenkoff will work with Pelletier to facilitate the transition of leadership over the short to medium-term and to further create value for shareholders over the long-term. 

The promotion of Pelletier to president and CEO follows a robust, nearly year-long succession planning process. During the course of this process, Wasilenkoff and the board recognized Pelletier's contributions to operational improvements at Fortress Paper and concluded that the company and its shareholders would benefit by expanding his role at the company, which will free Wasilenkoff to focus on strategic initiatives to unlock value for shareholders and to improve the balance sheet.

Wasilenkoff said that "I have had the opportunity to work closely with Yvon over the past two years. During that time, he has demonstrated his dedication, perseverance, and operational skills as we faced a challenging market. As not only president and CEO, but also the largest shareholder of Fortress Paper, I am very pleased that someone with Yvon's knowledge and leadership will succeed me going forward. I am confident that the benefits of his efforts over the past two years will become increasingly clear in the next few quarters, and I believe that, now that the company has turned the corner and has an improved outlook, the time is right to make this transition."

Joe Nemeth, the company's lead director, added that "Fortress Paper is fortunate to have two very talented executives, with Yvon's operational and leadership skills complementing the analytical, strategic and entrepreneurial capabilities of Chad. In his new role, Yvon will continue his focus on the dissolving pulp business, while also assuming greater responsibility to grow revenues and to improve margins across the company. As executive chairman, Chad will be able to further concentrate his efforts on maximizing the value of the company's assets, as he did with the sales of the Dresden mill and Fortress Optical Features, and on enhancing our balance sheet, similar to the restructuring of the Investment Quebec loan." 

Pelletier said that "I am excited about and humbled by this opportunity before me. Despite the challenges we have faced, the entire team at Fortress Paper has remained committed and focused on generating value for its stakeholders. I look forward to continuing to work with this team to realize the full operational and financial potential at Fortress Paper, and I appreciate the trust that Chad and the rest of the board have in our management group to achieve this goal."

Pelletier, who joined Fortress Paper as president of FSC in February 2013, has more than 30 years of experience in the pulp and paper industry and has held leadership roles in technical, operational, and commercial areas. Prior to joining Fortress Paper, he was the EVP of Tembec Inc., an international manufacturer of forest products, and president of its Specialty Cellulose and Chemical Group. As a senior executive at Tembec, Pelletier acted as GM of various dissolving pulp and kraft pulp operations and served as SVP of the company's Kraft Pulp Division, overseeing three mills in Canada and two in France.

As part of its succession planning process, the board has defined clear mandates for the roles of executive chairman and of president and CEO of the company. As executive chairman,  Wasilenkoff will be charged with pursuing strategic initiatives to increase shareholder value and to strengthen the company's balance sheet, and, as president and CEO, he will have overall operational oversight for the company.

Fortress Paper operates internationally in two distinct business segments: dissolving pulp and security paper products. The company operates its dissolving pulp business at the Fortress Specialty Cellulose Mill located in Canada, which has expanded into the renewable energy generation sector with the construction of a cogeneration facility and the production of northern bleached hardwood kraft pulp. The company operates its security paper products business at the Landqart Mill located in Switzerland, where it produces banknote, passport, visa, and other brand protection and security papers.
 

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