By Cindy Macdonald
Don Forst, director – global sourcing for International Paper, accepted the ASPI 2016 Excellence in Leadership Award at the association’s spring meeting held in February in Miami, Florida. In his presentation to ASPI members, Forst shared the leadership influences and philosophies that have helped him achieve success.
One such influence was his father, a veteran papermaker. “I had an opportunity right out of college to work at the mill where my father had worked for 40 years,” Forst told ASPI meeting attendees, “and I learned that a lot of my dad’s friends were people he’d worked with from the supplier community.”
Regarding the relationship between mills and suppliers, Forst remarked, “In this industry, you need a trusted partner. I believe that’s true in any industry, but it’s particularly true for our industry.”
Forst earned his MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, and a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He joined International Paper in 1997 at the company’s Texarkana, Texas, coated paperboard mill. He moved into his current position in early 2013. Prior to coming to IP, Forst held numerous positions during a 12-year career with the former James River Corporation.
The ASPI Excellence in Leadership Award recognizes outstanding leaders within the paper industry. The award honors unique and creative leadership of employees, company and key suppliers through major projects or ongoing relationships.
Nominations are now open for ASPI’s 2017 Awards. Visit www.aspinet.org for nomination forms and a list of past recipients. ASPI is an association of companies that supply products and services to the pulp, paper, and board industry.