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Pulp and paper’s future leaders: Meet Nici Darychuk

August 23, 2022  BySukanya Ray Ghosh



The future of the pulp and paper industry is in good hands!

Armed with a strong work ethic, initiative, curiosity, and a commitment to training and safety, the 2022 winners of our Top 10 Under 40 program are positioned to take the industry forward.

Whether they work in leadership, operations, maintenance, support or human resources, these pulp and paper employees are highly regarded by their colleagues and peers.

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To highlight the achievements of each individual selected for the Top 10 Under 40 list, Pulp & Paper Canada will feature one of 2022’s winners every week for the next 10 weeks. Nominations for the 2023 contest open at the end of the year.

This week, we introduce Nici Darychuk, CTMP manager at Catalyst Port Alberni in B.C.

In the course of her career, Nici Darychuk has demonstrated the drive, commitment, attention to detail and focus that the industry expects to see in future leaders. She has held leadership positions within Catalyst Paper Tiskwat’s bleaching and TMP operations prior to joining the company’s Port Alberni team as the manager of CTMP. And now, she has added shipping and kraft repulping to her responsibilities, shares her supervisor Walter Tarnowsky.

During her nine-year tenure with Paper Excellence, Nici has been able to apply the results of scientific research to the company’s mills. This has resulted in significant process improvements and has advanced Paper Excellence’s technology base. Specifically, Nici was able to apply her research, which she had completed in a previous role in UBC’s Pulp and Paper Centre, to Tiskwat resulting in significant improvements to the peroxide bleaching process.

In addition, in 2017 while also at Tiskwat, Nici led an experimental development project, in collaboration with UBC and BCIT, focused on the chemical pre-treatment of chips, prior to refining. This study provided insights into mechanical pulping energy reduction and its impacts on pulp quality.

Not one to shy away from challenges, in October 2021, Nici took on the additional responsibility of dealing with a shipping warehouse that was completely full with almost no functional space for the products to be shipped out. She also inherited this problem with virtually no warehouse or shipping experience. Her target was to get inventory down from 10,000 tonnes to approximately 5,000 tonnes by February of 2022. Under Nici’s leadership, her team managed to beat that timeline by two months.

“Her ability to rally people around a cause is matched only by her persistence and work ethic. She takes on issues without hesitation and tackles problems to completion. With excellent technical and interpersonal abilities, Nici truly defines leadership,” adds Walter.


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