Pulp and Paper Canada

PAPTAC’S New Executive Councillors

February 1, 2006  By Pulp & Paper Canada

Every year, the gathering of professionals at PaperWeek International allows for technology-exchange opportunities that benefit the industry as a whole. All this is organized by PAPTAC through its adm…

Every year, the gathering of professionals at PaperWeek International allows for technology-exchange opportunities that benefit the industry as a whole. All this is organized by PAPTAC through its administrative offices in Montreal and its Executive Council which consists of representatives from across Canada.

On February 9, PAPTAC announced the appointment of three new councillors who will make up the nine-member Executive Council for the coming year. The term of office is three years and, as Robert W. Wood, executive director PAPTAC, said, “Their varied backgrounds will add a nice chemistry to our existing team, and I look forward to working with each of them.”


The new members are Andr Bernier, Don Olson and Yves L’Italien. They have joined the rest of the Executive Council in helping advise and support the membership of the Association.

Snapshot of PAPTAC

PAPTAC is a Canadian organization dedicated to improving the technical and professional capabilities of its members worldwide, and to the advancement of the pulp and paper industry. The organization was founded in 1915 as the technical section of the Canadian Pulp and Paper Association. On September 30, 1998 it was incorporated under the name of the Pulp and Paper Technical Association of Canada, as an independent, non-profit association.

PAPTAC members, numbering over 4,200 individuals from Canada, the U.S. and overseas, are primarily engineers and scientists at pulp and paper companies, consulting engineers, from supplier companies, research institutions, universities and governments. The organization’s primary objective is to provide a forum for members to communicate with one another. It offers an opportunity for them to learn from each other about new technology, results of research, mill trials, operating problems that were resolved, and the use of new equipment. It also provides forums through which members may identify present and future technical issues of importance to the industry as a whole. All of these subjects are dealt with by the committees and branches, and through regular conferences.

New executives

Don Olson is the process engineering superintendent at Cariboo Pulp and Paper in British Columbia. He holds a degree in Chemical Engineering from UBC and an MBA from Simon Fraser University. Olson’s career in the industry started in 1980 at the Crofton pulp and paper mill. He became a PAPTAC member that same year.

“The training courses that were available were of great benefit to me, and of course, getting to know people from across the country was a great plus,” he explained. Over the following 12 years, Olson worked as both a process engineer and a process control engineer throughout the kraft mill and paper mill. He also served on the PAPTAC Pacific Coast Branch executive for four years. “There are many reasons why I first turned to PAPTAC, but the network of contacts that I developed is most important, since it allows me to connect with colleagues from across the country at any time.”

Olson’s career took him to Mackenzie Kraft in 1992 and Norske Skog’s head office in 1999. Throughout this period, his ties to PAPTAC remained firm, serving for seven years on the executive of the PAPTAC Bleaching Committee, and in 2001 receiving the ‘Certificate of Appreciation for Leadership in Support of the Bleaching Committee.’

“For me, PAPTAC has always been on the leading edge, focusing on areas of concern for the industry, whether it was the environmental issues of the eighties, or the cost consciousness of the nineties.” He added, “it is through its committees, branches, conferences, and training sessions that we are helped to prepare for the future.”

In 2002, Olson left NorskeCanada (now known as Catalyst Paper) to join Cariboo Pulp and Paper. As he expressed, “I enjoy the small community, the good people and the well-run mill at Quesnel, British Columbia.” When the possibility to serve on the Executive Council of PAPTAC first arose, Don Olson simply said, “I jumped at the opportunity.”

On the other side of our nation, in St-Flicien, Qubec, we meet Andr Bernier, another newly appointed councillor to the PAPTAC Executive Council. With 25 years of experience in the pulp and paper industry, he is currently president and CEO of SFK Pulp. He holds a B.Sc. in mechanical engineering from Laval University, a M.Sc. in project management from the University of Qubec in Chicoutimi, as well as a M.Sc. in pulp and paper from the University of Qubec in Trois-Rivires. He joined PAPTAC as a young man in 1982, finding the Saguenay-Lac St-Jean branch a source of “vast knowledge and networking possibilities.” Bernier has a marvellous sense of humour and said, “You know that with all of these degrees (behind me), I probably learned more about the business at PAPTAC conferences than anywhere else. Now it is my turn to give back to PAPTAC and I look forward to the opportunity.”

Bernier has worked across the country in the provinces of Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia, in the role of mill manager at Tembec’s Smooth Rock Falls and at the Mackenzie pulp mill. “Throughout these years, I have come to regard PAPTAC as providing me with a network of contacts, people who keep each other informed,” he said. Especially in challenging times for the industry, Bernier believes in the association’s power to teach technical employees the latest skills, and “it is this that allows them to do their jobs in the best possible manner.” He added, “we work in a complex industry, just imagine the very thought of turning a tree into paper.”

Yves L’Italien graduated from Universit Laval in chemical engineering in 1986 and received his M.Sc. (chemical engineering) in 1988. He joined Kruger, Trois-Rivires, in 1988 as a process engineer. In 1996, he started to work for Bowater, in Thunder Bay; first, in the recycle plant and then joined the PM5 team. From 2000 to 2003, he was technical superintendent at St. Mary’s Paper, Sault Ste. Marie. Since December 2003, he has been with Atlantic Packaging Products, Whitby site, where he first started as technical manager. Since August 2005, he has been production manager for the tissue mill and is also responsible for the effluent treatment plant.

L’Italien joined PAPTAC in 1989 and has been a regular participant in many of the organization’s activities, such as committee meetings, conferences and branch activities. He has been a member of the Process Control committee, the Recycling committee, the Newsprint and Mechanical Printing Grades committee.

PAPTAC has always been highly regarded as changing with the times and evolving to reflect the issues and concerns of the industry. With the addition of Andr Bernier, Don Olson and Yves L’Italien, the association continues to be in good hands for 2006.

Your comments and suggestions are welcomed at zsoltp@pulpandpapercanada.com

PAPTAC 2006Executive Council

SCOTT TRAVERS (Executive Council Chairman) President/COO, Minas Basin Pulp and Power

GAVIN BAXTER Technical Manager, Tembec – Skookumchuck Operations

STEPHANE ROUSSEAU Directeur gneral, Kruger Papiers pour publications

YONGHAO NI Director, University of New Brunswick Incutech Bldg., Limerick Pulp & Paper Centre

DAVID WELSFORD Senior Operations Engineer, Scott Paper

GUY MARTIN Director – Environment, Domtar Communication Papers Division


DON OLSON Senior Process Engineer, Cariboo Pulp and Paper

YVES L’ITALIEN Technical Manager, Atlantic Packaging Products Technical Services

The objectives of PAPTAC

* To provide the means for the interchange of knowledge and expertise among its members

* To provide the skill levels and effectivene
ss of present and future employees through training and education

* To provide technical and practical information on pulp and paper manufacture and use

* To further the application of the sciences in the pulp and paper industry

* To assist in the solution of problems confronting the industry

* To encourage and assist innovation

* To promote the efficient stewardship of natural resources

The Branches Of PAPTAC

Newfoundland branch

Atlantic branch (Maritime provinces)

Saguenay-Lac St-Jean branch

Niagara branch (Niagara peninsula)

Midwest branch (Lakehead)

Western branch (Prairies and British Columbia)

District of Qubec branch (Qubec City area, from Rivire-du-Loup to Portneuf

Estrie Branch (Eastern Townships, south of Montreal)

Mauricie branch (along St-Maurice River in Qubec)

Ottawa Valley branch (Montreal to Portage-du-Fort, west of Ottawa)

Pacific Coast branch (lower B.C. mainland and Vancouver Island)

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