Rosy Covarrubias
Professional Member
Memphis, TN

A self-professed shoe fanatic, Rosy Covarrubias says she has so many in her closet “they would rival Imelda Marcos.”

But as much as those high heels, loafers and pumps bring a smile to her face, it’s the boxes they come in that really make her day. That’s because Rosy is the Technology Director for Packaging and Product Line Management at Buckman International. As such she is responsible for scouting and identifying opportunities for new packaging technologies, promoting development, and managing their introduction into a global marketplace.

She has been with Buckman since 1997, joining the company as a Senior Development Specialist. This was after graduating from the Instituto Technologico de Chihuahua with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering. She later went on to earn her Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix, and then a Project Management Certification from Western Carolina University.

Rosy’s initial introduction to the P&P industry was an intern for a paper company in Mexico, but at the time it just didn’t feel like the proper fit. It wasn’t until after she moved to the United States and accepted a position with Buckman that she found her career niche. Within a year she had joined TAPPI, having been encouraged to do so, like countless others in the industry, by a colleague who strongly recommended its networking and growth opportunities.

Over the last 17 years, she hasn’t been disappointed. “I’ve built a strong network and made many friends through my involvement on TAPPI committees and divisions,” she said. She is particularly enthusiastic about the role she played in the last two PaperCon’s, serving as the technical chair for the papermakers program. “Getting actively involved benefits all members, but I especially encourage young engineers and scientists. It is the best way to get to know the industry, its challenges, and many new technology developments.”

And while she takes her hat off to, and buys her shoes in boxes, Rosy hesitantly admits she still has a strong bias for book and magazine grade paper. But, no worries, Rosy. Your secret’s safe with us. After all, sometimes it’s good to think outside the box.

Q. Why did you decide to join TAPPI?
A.It was recommended by a co-worker as a good opportunity to meet people in the industry and build a working network.

Q. Please describe your involvement with TAPPI over the years.
A. . I served a six-year rotation in the Additives committee and I am currently serving in the Paper and Board Division rotation. I am the current chair for the Division. I have volunteered as a track manager for PaperCon and was the technical chair for the papermakers program during PaperCon 2013 and 2014.

Q. How has TAPPI helped you in your career pursuits?
A.TAPPI has provided me with many professional and personal relationships of all the industry associations. I have had many opportunities to get to know individuals and how their companies have served and changed our industry over the years. One of the most rewarding experiences throughout my professional career was having the opportunity to play a role putting together two very successful TAPPI conferences: PaperCon 2013 and 2014. In addition, TAPPI has offered me valuable opportunities to give back to the industry by presenting papers, writing technical articles, and assisting in short courses.

Q. Tell us about some of your interests outside of TAPPI and your professional life.
A.I am an avid scuba diver, I love hiking (that’s Rosy pictured at right hiking Copper Canyon in Chihuahua, Mexico), I play soccer, I love photography, and I enjoy reading.

Q. Can you share a unique or fun fact about yourself?
A.I am a shoe fanatic … I have almost as many shoes in my closet as Imelda Marcos.

Q. TAPPI’s 100-year anniversary is in 2015. Would you provide a few thoughts on what you believe have been the most significant contributions/breakthroughs in areas of our industry? Also, what is your favorite paper or packaging product?
A. From Buckman’s perspective, they changed the industry by being pioneers in the use of microbicides in the paper industry. That was a big breakthrough that came many years ago. In the last decade, the most significant contributions by many companies have been focused on sustainability. The industry’s move into sustainability has had a big impact on how we think about chemistries and fiber utilization. Buckman has twice been awarded the U.S. EPA Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award, in 2004 and again in 2012, both for groundbreaking innovations in the application of enzymes. Enzymes are having a significant impact on the industry, and we continue to invest significant resources to develop new applications of this greener approach to papermaking. As to my favorite paper product that is a challenge. I am still old fashioned. I love reading anything on paper, so I will have to go with book and magazine grades, even though my focus in on packaging.

Q. Closing sentiments?
A.I started in this industry in Chihuahua, Mexico as an intern for Papelera de Chihuahua and I never thought I would stay in the industry, but I guess faith happened and I move to the USA and started working for Buckman. From there I was encouraged to join TAPPI. As I mentioned earlier, the networking has been most valuable both professionally and personally for me, and that has been enhanced by committee participation and getting involved with the organization. I would highly recommend TAPPI to all professionals in the paper industry, but especially to young engineers and scientists as TAPPI provides a forum to learn about industry changes, challenges, new technology development, and more. It truly benefits those that participate.

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