Dreams Do Come True

Dreams do come true...in so many ways. Our industry has been called many things during the past 2,000 years, but the term "glamorous" normally does not roll off the tongue when one speaks of the forest products industry.

Okay, I am sure there are many of you who have been invited to spend time in the presence of a king, queen, or ambassador in your career, but this is the first position that I have held where this was actually the case for my wife and me. This occurred back on Sept. 24-25, 2013. I waited until now to report it, to be certain it was not a dream. The scene was at the Grand Hotel in Stockholm, Sweden.

A dream came true for Dr. Derek Gray, holder of the NSERC/Innovations Industrial Research Chair at McGill University, when he was named the recipient of the 2013 Marcus Wallenberg Prize (MWP). The MWP was established in 1980 for one purpose—to recognize, encourage, and stimulate path breaking scientific achievements that contribute significantly to broadening knowledge and technical development within the fields of importance to forestry and forest industries. The MWP has a cash value of 2 million Swedish Krona (SEK), or the equivalent to more than $300,000.

"Dr. Gray was awarded this prize through his work showing that cellulose crystals in water suspensions align spontaneously in a specific pattern, in turn creating unique optical properties," said Kaj Roesen, executive secretary of the MWP Foundation. "This discovery has extended the boundaries of the uses of forest raw material and, in doing so, has created the potential for a series of new products in the forest industry, such as applications of films in "intelligent" packaging materials, printed electronic circuits on paper, surfacing and filler materials for paper and paperboard, inks and cosmetics, and iridescent or magnetic films."

In the photos above, Dr. Gray receives his award from H.R. Carl XVI Gustaf, The King of Sweden. On then right, he and his wife were honored the next evening at the Canadian Embassy, in Stockholm.

If you are a student, young professional, or a mature professional, do not stop dreaming. We have only cracked the surface of what this great indiustry of ours has to offer. Who knows? You may be the next MWP award winner.

In the photos above, my wife Suzanne and I were honored to be invited to share in both celebrations.

More information about the MWP is available online. Also,  more information about TAPPI is available online.

There are two types of people in our industry; TAPPI members and those who should be.

Until next time...Larry

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Travels With Larry

Travels With Larry

The Year of the Dragon - Part 1

Back in 1991, during my days with Republic Paperboard in Hutchinson, Kan., USA, a gentleman set up an appointment with me to discuss a "revolutionary idea...

To find something Special sometimes you have to look under every Rock

On June 22, 2016 I had the pleasure to visit a location of a 75 Year TAPPI Sustaining Member Company. That company is WestRock and that location was the Aurora, IL Paperboard Facility.

Familiar Names, a New location and a New Attitude

April 19 20, 2017 (right before PaperCon2017) Kristi Ledbetter, TAPPI’s Converting Division Manager, and I had the privilege to revisit a company that I had the pleasure of writing about several years ago.

If you Mess it Up, Un-Mess It!

If you have been around any time at all in our industry, you know that things will get messed up in the areas of finished goods...

There's No Place Like Home

When visiting Thompson Industrial Services, LLC, Eric Fletty and I had the pleasure to visit a town that neither of us had been before.

Is it the People or the Equipment?

Finally an answer to that age old argument—is it the people or the equipment?


Paper Shows up in the Strangest Places

I have adopted nine cities in my career in this industry, but my hometown was and remains to be Memphis, Tenn., USA.

You Never Know

John, you will be missed...

The Great Pacific Northwest! Part 1 of 3

Travels with Larry February 2017 


A Passion for TAPPI Local Sections

How many times do you get to actually meet with two of the legends of TAPPI's Local Section community...

A Small World

On June 25, 2012, Scott Springmier, Eric Fletty, and I accepted a previous invitation from long-time TAPPI member and a young, Mike Ditka look-alike, Jim Niemiec...

What a whirlwind in September & October 2016 Volume 2

Fall 2016 -- I have seen the Future


Dreams Do Come True

Dreams do come true...in so many ways. Our industry has been called many things during the past 2,000 years...


What a whirlwind in September & October 2016 Volume 1

Fall 2016 -- Keynote Speaker at Pulp and Paper Industry Reliability and Maintenance Conference. 

An Accent on Innovation

On May 13, 2014, Eric Fletty and I had the opportunity to visit with one of TAPPI’s Sustaining Member companies, Kadant Inc., at its Kadant Johnson facility in Three Rivers, Mich., USA. 


When It Rains, It Poors Or Does it?

When it rains, it pours… or does it? During TAPPI’s recent, very successful, PEERS and IBBC conferences in Tacoma, WA, we had over 400 people registered. There were representatives from 14 countries who attended these meetings. Three of

The Sometimes Unsung Leaders of TAPPI

I have to be one of the most blessed people on the face of the earth. I get to go to work each day in an industry where I always wanted to work, at an association that I have

The Year of the Dragon: Part 2

This past May 31, I had the distinct pleasure of meeting with personnel from APRIL's pulp mill in Rizhao, Shandong Province, China.


A Very Special Visit

Turning Pulp into Possibilities; Making Big Ideas Fly; All Custom Specifications; To Protect our Customer’s Products; We Design to Our Customer’s Specification; Bigger, Brighter, and Stronger Together.

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