2018

Peter Bower

This year’s recipient of the Paper Industry Gold Medal Award is Peter Bower, an internationally respected paper historian, consultant and forensic paper analyst specialising in the examination and analysis of paper for the purpose of dating, authentication, attribution and usage.

Peter’s clients include museums, galleries, auction houses, dealers, lawyers and papermakers who consult him on a broad range of topics including works of art, forged bank notes and fraudulent business papers. His wide-ranging knowledge and expertise have qualified him to be recognised as an ‘expert’ in all things related to ‘paper’ and have qualified him to provide contributions to popular TV programmes as well as being an expert witness in several high profile court cases.

Peter’s voluntary contributions to the British Paper Industry, especially it’s heritage, have been equally outstanding over an extensive period.  In 1989 he was a co-founder of the British Association of Paper Historians and has been a mainstay ever since, where he currently holds the position of General Editor.  His commitment to BAPH has been extraordinary throughout its 28 years existence. During this time he made 113 contributions to BAPH’s prestigious magazine, ‘The Quarterly’, in addition to being a regular speaker at the association’s annual and seasonal conferences.  Peter freely shares his extensive and very special knowledge with BAPH members and wider international audiences.  In helping to sustain the association, Peter promotes paper and paper media to parts of society that the paper industry would not otherwise reach.

It is entirely appropriate that the 2018 award should go to such a worthy candidate and eminent historian in recognition of his lifetime achievements.

2017

Martyn Eustace

The award of the Gold Medal to Martyn Eustace recognises his longstanding contribution to the Paper Industry, most notably his work with Two Sides which, since its creation in 2008, has grown into a worldwide initiative which promotes the attractiveness and sustainability of Print and Paper.

Martyn’s leadership of the “Two Sides” campaign in the UK, then Europe, and finally at a Global level has been exceptional. Martyn’s hard work, persistence, and fluency in his subject are an inspiration to all, and the foundation on which the success of Two Sides has been built. He was the driving force to start it up and it has been extremely successful over the last 10 years. He has tirelessly confronted the greenwashers and has been a real force behind improving the industry’s environmental image. He is relentless in his enthusiasm and realistic about what can be done.

During his long career in the paper industry, Martyn has gained a wealth of experience having held a variety of senior management positions. After a period in paper manufacturing with Canadian paper group Domtar, Martyn moved to distribution as CEO of Howard Smith Paper and then later CEO of Premier Paper Group.

Martyn is Managing Director of Newvizion; an independent marketing consultancy and the founding director of the sustainability organisation Two Sides. He is also currently the Managing Director of Print Power Europe; an initiative to promote the sustainability and effectiveness of the Graphic Communications Value Chain. Amongst other positions held, he has been a member of PwC’s UK turnaround panel and been President of the UK Paper Industry Charitable Trust, President of the NAPM; (UK National Association of Paper Merchants), member of the Board of EUROPA; (the European Paper Merchants Association), and a council member of PRIMA.

The Gold Medal was formally presented at the Charter Dinner of the Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers at Stationers’ Hall in the City of London on the evening of Wednesday 3rd May 2017.

2016

Kevin Dewey

From time to time there are a few outstanding people who work to further the interests of their industry, over and above their duties to any individual company. The Paper Industry, like any other, owes its success to the commitment, effort and skill of these ambassadors and for over thirty years has sought to reward this commitment in the form of a prestigious annual award ‘The Paper Industry Gold Medal’ and, since its inception in in the late 1960s, the Medal has been awarded to the person considered to have done most to further the interests of the paper and allied industries in the UK.

For 2016, the award has been bestowed upon Mr Kevin Dewey, former CEO of Hedsor Board, in recognition of the exceptional contribution to the Paper Industry over many years.

Kevin has been described as a ‘natural leader’ and has always responded positively to new opportunities and the changing needs of those around him, he has made an outstanding contribution to the wider Paper Industry and, more recently the Training & Education needs of those starting their career in the Paper.

Kevin took over the running of his family board merchant business, Hedsor Board, and restructured the operation before integrating the operation within a larger Finnish Group; during his time as CEO of Hedsor Board, he was elected as President of the National Association of Paper Merchants (NAPM).

In recent years, Kevin’s attention has turned to the Educational needs of the industry and, as Chairman of the Stationers’ Foundation, he played a pivotal role in shaping the agenda for education; leading to his appointment as Chairman of the Board of Governors of the, then newly converted, Stationers’ Crown Woods Academy and as a main board Director of Leigh Academies Trust.

The Paper Industry Gold Medal will be formally presented to Kevin at the Charter Dinner of the Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers at Stationers’ Hall in the City of London on the evening of Wednesday 4th May 2016.

2015

Peter Duxbury

This year’s Paper Industry Gold Medal Award recipient is Peter Duxbury. Peter’s contribution to Papermaking in the UK, spanning a lifelong career cannot be overstated, but more importantly, his contributions have touched upon several key areas within the industry, combining technical and managerial skills, commercial acumen and an almost artisan passion for the science of producing high-quality paper.

In researching this citation, his contemporaries revealed numerous stories describing the antics of the young Peter Duxbury, fresh out of School, foregoing his job with a Butcher to join the Technical Department at Lower Darwen Paper Mill in Lancashire and developing his knowledge of Papermaking through day release and evening classes. Whilst many of these stories are too risqué to repeat in polite company, yet typical of the camaraderie that pervaded the Paper Industry in the early 1970’s, one former colleague waxed lyrically on Peter’s chosen form of transport as it progressed from ‘Shank’s Pony’ to the lofty heights of a Norton Commando 750, the very pinnacle of motorcycling excellence in it’s day.

In the 1980’s, Peter moved on to Kilbagie Mill in Scotland, where he was responsible for the design and construction of the first three stage deinking plant, capable of producing the highest quality fibre for the manufacture of copier papers meeting UK specifications for brightness and printability. To achieve this, Peter married together technology from several different suppliers and succeeded in, quite literally, shoehorning a ground-breaking, world-class installation into existing mill buildings on an ageing mill site. It is testimony to innovative design that a small corner of Scotland became a ‘Mecca’ for the deinking industry whilst the plant was operational.

The quality of fibre produced, combined with the skill of the Kilbagie Mill’s Papermakers, produced a sheet which demonstrated unequivocally that, what was described at the time as ‘Secondary Fibre’ could be used to produce highest quality paper products capable of competing with their Virgin Fibre based counterparts, and was instrumental in elevating the status of ‘Recovered Paper’ as a Raw Material for the production of Graphical Papers.

The innovation did not stop with the design of the plan and many years ahead of the rest of the Paper Industry, Kilbagie Mill became a central component of a vertically integrated supply chain linking, effectively closing the loop thirty years before ‘Closed Loop Thinking’ became fashionable.

Peter is an accomplished Papermaker and Mill Manager, as exemplified by his revitalisation of the charity owned, Fourstones Paper Mill. Not only did he completely reverse the fortunes of the site, changing the paper production process, the plant and the management structure within the mill, he went on to purchase and continually develop the company, leading to the re-opening of the Fettykill Mill Site (formerly Smith Anderson) in Scotland. In doing this, Peter ‘locked horns’ with Property Developers and Local Government to retain the last Paper Mill in the village of Leslie (a village which describes itself as a Papermaking Burgh), an achievement made all the more poignant by recent announcements.

Despite many obstacles, both Fourstones Mill and Sapphire Mill continue to thrive and it comes as no surprise to people who know him that Peter is currently extending papermaking operations in Leslie and reopening a second machine, at a time when larger companies are consolidating.

Peter is also a worthy ambassador for Papermaking in the UK and a forceful character, epitomising the word ‘Papermaker’ and it would be difficult to think of an individual in the UK who has done more to further the interests of the paper, Papermaking and allied industries in the UK, above and beyond what might be considered to be the normal demands of his job and therefore the Awards Committee had absolutely no hesitation in awarding Peter this year’s Paper Industry Gold Medal Award and wish him continued success in the future.

2013

Nicholas Steidl

Mr Nicholas W Steidl was Chairman and Chief Executive of H H Pegg Ltd from 1984 to 2008. H H Pegg has been a leading paper agent in the UK since before the Second World War. He entered the’ business in 1968, working for his father Robert. He recognised that the days of the agent purely collecting a commission for an order secured would have to change. He started the concept of market-management which, aided by technology, was able to offer his principals a then unique service of marketing, market statistics and technical support.

Under Mr Steidl’s leadership, H H Pegg became one of the most respected independent agents in the UK and the sales of the company increased one hundred fold at its peak. This achievement was undoubtedly due to his deep understanding of the markets he served and many other agents and mill owned offices used his business model. He was elected to the Council of the Paper Agents Association in 1983 and from 1988 to 1990 served as President. During this time, he initiated and was deeply involved in the setting up of the Pulp & Paper Information Centre (PPIC), believing that the industry had to try to take the initiative in promoting the sustainability message about paper and promoting this to the widest possible audience. He was also instrumental in improving the statistical exchange between members, serving on the Statistics Committee for many years.

In 2003 he was elected as President of the Stationers Social Society and led the transformation of this body to a registered charity, the Paper Industry Charitable Trust that has refocused this previous largely social organisation into a useful body for the benefit of disadvantaged industry members and their dependents.

In 1990 he was elected a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers where he served with distinction as a Trustee of the Stationers’ Foundation (the Company’s charities) driving forward programmes to promote improved literacy, including the recently launched Shine competition to promote excellence in school magazines. In 2008 he was elected a member of the Company’s governing body, the Court and, in 2009, was responsible for commissioning and marketing a unique report ‘The Future of Paper & Print in Western Europe to 2020′. This report, which utilised the unique position of the Company with its cross-industry membership, was very well received and valued by a substantial subscriber base that purchased it and led to greater understanding of the challenges ahead in paper and print.

Mr Steidl is the current Chairman of the Stationers’ Foundation and is actively pursuing the possibility of the Foundation and the Company being the sponsor of a new Academy, which will have vocational subjects linked to our industries. He continues to be involved in market analysis and sends out a regular digest of news to industry friends. He is one of few people in the industry who has a deep understanding of the market, is always ready to share his knowledge and opinions and who has made a great contribution to the industry as a whole by his involvement with the PAA, PICT and the Stationers’ Company. He has indeed shown ‘foresight, a real understanding for the industry and, above all, a passion’ for the business of making and marketing paper. Nick is married to Louise and they have three daughters, Holly, Alice & Tessa. When he has the time his other passion, apart from sport, travel, food & wine is photography.

2012

Dr Wolfgang Palm

Dr. Palm, Chief Executive of the family-run Papierfabrik Palm GmbH & Co KG in Germany has been awarded the medal in recognition of his contribution to UK papermaking by devoting significant resources to establishing a major new Newsprint mill at Kings Lynn, Norfolk. The machine has a working width of 10.63 Metres and a capacity of 400,000 MT/yr. It uses recycled fibre as its raw material. It produced its first paper in August 2009 having acquired the site and obtained planning permission only in 2007. The machine is the biggest and the most modern Newsprint machine in the world and has quickly established a reputation for service and quality.

Dr. Palm’s commitment and support of the industry, particularly the recycled sector, at a time when so many mills were experiencing difficulties is worthy of recognition. He has made a significant impact not just on the local economy in Norfolk, but also throughout the UK and, in doing so, has raised the profile of the whole industry. The following brief biography details some of his achievements and his continuing interest in promoting the industry in the UK. Born in Heidenheim, Southern Germany in 1953, Dr. Wolfgang Palm is owner and CEO of the family-run business Papierfabrik Palm GmbH & Co KG in Aalen, one of the leading German companies in the paper industry. He studied economics at the University of Mannheim in Germany where he received his PHD.

He was elected President of the Association of German Paper Factories (VDP) in 2008 He is married and has two daughters. Dr Palm likes to spend his spare time sailing. He competes in and has enjoyed success in regular regattas at Lake Constance and occasionally also at Lake Garda. The family paper business was founded by his Great Grandfather in 1872 and since this time the Company has continuously produced paper without using virgin fibre. After leaving University Dr.Palm worked as a trainee in Savannah, USA in a paper mill which at that time, was owned by Union Camp. (Today this mill is owned by International Paper). Following that he worked briefly as a Financial Analyst in 1981/2 before joining the family business in 1982.

In that year Papierfabrik Palm had 3 production facilities. Today, under the leadership of Dr Palm, the Group operates at 22 production sites producing, 1,010,000 MT of newsprint, 880,000 MT of paper for corrugated box production and 400,000 MT of corrugated boxes. The newest papermaking sites operate world-class paper machines. Palm commenced trading in the UK in 1995 with sales of newsprint which they sold through an independent agency business. This agency was acquired by Weyerhaeuser (UK) Ltd in 2000. In 2002 Palm began selling paper in the UK for corrugated board and box conversion and at this point, Papierfabrik Palm acquired the UK agency business from Weyerhaeuser and renamed it Palm Paper Limited.

In 2010 he was awarded the “Bundesverdienstkreuz am Bande” by the Prime Minister of Baden-Württemberg in the name of the German President. In King’s Lynn Dr.Palm has encouraged Palm Paper employees to participate in local charity fundraising events and matched total donations pledged. Palm, along with their construction partners donated to six local charities a substantial sum of money left over in a joint contingency fund when the King’s Lynn site was completed. Dr Palm is a member of the Rotary Club in Germany and on occasions attends King’s Lynn Rotary meetings where he is an Honorary Member. He has also visited a local secondary school to meet with Year 12 and 13 students to provide them with an insight into the world of employment and made presentations at events such as “Shaping Norfolk’s Future” His role as an ambassador for the Paper Industry in Norfolk and throughout the UK is surely worthy of recognition.

2011

Sir James Cropper KCVO

The Paper Industry Gold Medal Association announced the award for 2011 has gone to James Anthony Cropper; it will be presented at the Charter Dinner of the Stationers’ Company on 4th May 2011. James stood down as Chairman of the board of James Cropper plc in July 2010, by which point he had been in post almost forty years. He was the 5th generation of his family to run the company, and its survival is in no small way due to his endeavour and stewardship.

During his term in office, the company’s Burneside Mill was transformed from a small provincial mill into one of the most advanced paper-making operations of its size in the world through a £40 million reconstruction programme from 1974 to 1991 including early investment in efficient energy generation. Further developments followed with the inauguration of Technical Fibre Products to make specialist nonwovens and James Cropper Converting for picture mounting and display board – all contributing to both increased sales and exports.

The award also recognises James’s contribution to the wider industry, and society, over many years. He was a member of the BPBMA Council from 1967 to 1980 and then its successor the BPBIF from 1981 to 1991, Chairman of the Federation from 1987 to 1989, and is a Liveryman of The Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers. Outside of industry, he is still Lord Lieutenant of Cumbria, a post he has held since 1994; he was also made a Knight Commander of the Victorian Order in the New Year’s Honours List.

In common with this attitude of service, he encouraged staff and directors to contribute where possible by participating in Federation (now CPI) matters and becoming a member of PITA, attending functions and exhibitions.

In making the award the committee noted, “The farsighted approach of James Cropper and his team has established the mill’s viability and improved the employment opportunities for many local people. This is a notable achievement over the last forty years”.

2010

Michael Clark

Michael retired from full-time employment with M-Real in 2008 but remained active in retirement as Chairman of PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes) until December 2009.

The award recognises Michael’s contribution to the wider industry over many years. Although primarily concerned with the cartonboard market, Michael recognised that the industry needed to present a united front when faced with wider issues such as the introduction of Packaging Waste Regulations, the poor perception of the industry by NGOs and the wider public, or the need to embrace environmental issues such as forest certification proactively and whole-heartedly.

His contributions to PIMO (Paper Industry Materials Organisation), the CPI (Confederation of Paper Industries), ProCarton, and PEFC have been positive and constructive. At the same time, he was active within the PAA (Paper Agents Association) where he served on Council for a number of years and completed a two-year term as President. He continued to support the Association’s Environmental Committee after his retirement from M-Real.

In nominating him, the PAA said: “The Paper Agents Association believes that Michael’s commitment to the establishment of meaningful industry bodies and fair representation for all branches of the industry in its relationships with Government, the EU and NGOs uniquely qualify him for consideration as a recipient of the Gold Medal.”

2008

John Clewley

The 2008 Paper Industry Gold Medal, the paper industry’s highest honour has been awarded to John Clewley for his comprehensive dedication and commitment to the UK paper industry.

During the industry’s record retrenchment, consolidation and inward investment he has worked selflessly to maintain a significant UK base for paper technology, fundamental research and recognition of the industry’s heritage – all vitally important for a potential upsurge in UK paper production in response to society’s increased demand for recycled papers and a smaller ‘carbon footprint’. His tangible legacy is an independent and functioning Paper Industry Technical Association (PITA) poised to take advantage of new opportunities.

John has spent the whole of his working life in the paper industry starting as a graduate of UMIST. His career focus was on technical issues where he became an authority on recycling and de-inking, in particular with regard to the manufacture of newsprint.

Later he became full-time director of PITA, helping to demerge it from PIRA International and build an independent association of technical professionals.

Commenting on the award Peter Ingram, Chairman of the Paper Industry Gold Medal Association noted “Where John really stands out among his contemporaries, is his steadfast commitment to the British paper industry at a time when employment in the industry has been in sharp decline and ownership (together with technical expertise) has increasingly been transferred abroad.

2007

Stephen Mason

Both of Stephen Mason’s main employers, Robert Horne Group and trade body, The National Association of Paper Merchants (NAPM), gained from his skill and experience.

In his 35 years with Robert Horne he climbed the career ladder from Salesman to Chairman via Branch Manager, Group Sales Director, Group Sales & Marketing Director and Managing Director. He finally became Regional President and Chairman of Buhrmann Group’s merchant division, overseeing sales of over one million tonnes a year.

It was whilst Managing Director of Robert Horne Group that Stephen Mason took personal charge of introducing a comprehensive Management Development Programme. This programme attracted excellent young talent, both graduates and internal trainees, and developed them into outstanding and highly capable people. It is his strongly held belief that this is the way forward for the whole trade in order to meet with the up and coming complexities of the business.

Subsequently, Stephen Mason co-founded Development Matters, a specialist training and management development company, which includes a large number of paper merchant companies as well as multi-nationals, government departments and even professional football clubs in its client list.

Throughout his time in the industry, Stephen Mason played a full and active role in industry affairs by serving on many trade bodies and committees. Most significantly he was elected to the NAPM’s Policy Group in 1992 and was President from 1999 to 2001. As President he was instrumental in instigating and pushing through much needed changes to the way in which the NAPM was run. The association now meets the requirements of the 21st century, placing the recruitment and development of talented people into the industry to the fore.