Greif president/CEO becomes AF&PA board chair

The American Forest & Paper Association also announced officers at its winter board of directors meeting.

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February 8, 2019
Edited by Megan Smalley

The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA), Washington, has elected Greif Inc. President and CEO Pete Watson to serve as the new AF&PA board chair. The association also released its 2019 slate of AF&PA board officers. Paper and wood product industry leaders participated in the association’s winter board of directors meeting on Feb. 7 in Washington.

“I am eager to partner with AF&PA’s leadership to advance 2019 advocacy priorities that will support our industry’s ability to grow the economy and create American manufacturing jobs,” Watson says. “A more resilient market-based paper recycling system, improved transportation infrastructure, free and fair trade, a competitive tax system, and regulatory reforms and process improvements top our list. All will set a stronger foundation for the one of the largest manufacturing sectors in the nation to prosper as our companies apply sustainable manufacturing practices to make the products that improve everyday life.”

Watson has been president and CEO of Greif Inc. since Nov. 1, 2015, having previously served as chief operating officer for Greif, AF&PA reports in a news release. Since joining the company in 1999, Watson has held a number of executive positions, including group president for paper packaging, land management, and global sourcing and supply chain. He also served as division president of Paper Packaging, and president of CorrChoice (a Greif division), and vice president of Corrugated Operations.

AF&PA President and CEO Donna Harman says, “Our industry has a bright future and can compete anywhere in the world with the right public policies. We are committed to working together with stakeholders who share our interest in a sustainable U.S. manufacturing base. Under Pete Watson’s leadership, we’ll share the industry’s compelling story with decision makers in Washington and in state legislatures to ensure public policy clearly reflects the benefits of our products to society and reflects the needs of our members and their hard-working employees.”

Elected officers also include Mark Sutton, chairman and CEO of International Paper Co. (first vice chair), and Mike Doss, president and CEO, Graphic Packaging International Inc. (second vice chair). John Rooney, president and CEO of Evergreen Packaging LLC and 2018 AF&PA board chair, will serve as immediate past chair.

Beginning new terms as AF&PA board members in 2019 include Craig Anneberg, CEO of North Pacific Paper Company LLC; C. Anderson Bolton, president and CEO of PaperWorks Industries Inc.; John Carpenter, president of Nippon Dynawave Packaging; Mark Gardner, president and CEO of Sappi North America; William E. Johnson Jr., president of Johnson Timber Corporation; and Yves Laflamme, president and CEO of Resolute Forest Products. AF&PA reports that its AF&PA board of directors currently consists of 23 industry leaders who represent a broad spectrum of companies in the paper and wood products manufacturing sector.