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International Paper’s Don Forst Accepts Excellence in Leadership Award at ASPI Spring Meeting

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Press release from the issuing company

Don Forst, Director-Global Sourcing, International Paper, accepted the ASPI 2016 Excellence in Leadership Award at the association’s Spring meeting held February 24-26 in Miami, Florida. In his presentation before a high turnout of ASPI members, Forst shared the leadership influences and philosophies that have helped him achieve success.

One such influence was his father, a veteran papermaker. “I had an opportunity right out of college to work at the mill where my father had worked for 40 years,” Forst told ASPI meeting attendees, “and I learned that a lot of my dad’s friends were people he’d worked with from the supplier community.”

Regarding the relationship between mills and suppliers, Forst remarked, “In this industry, you need a trusted partner. I believe that’s true in any industry, but it’s particularly true for our industry.”

Forst earned his MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, and a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He joined International Paper in 1997 at the company’s Texarkana, Texas, coated paperboard mill. Forst became mill manager at the Prattville, AL containerboard mill in 2007 and moved into his current position in early 2013. Prior to coming to IP, Don held numerous positions during a more than 12-year career with the former James River Corporation. Forst is active in his community and has served organizations including the Autauga County United Way, Prattville Chamber of Commerce, Manufacture Alabama, and the Alabama Pulp and Paper Council. 

Established in 2010, the ASPI Excellence in Leadership Award recognizes outstanding leaders within the paper industry. The award honors unique and creative leadership of employees, company and key suppliers through major projects or ongoing relationships.

Nominations are now open for ASPI’s 2017 Awards. Nominations are accepted from ASPI member companies, and the ASPI Board of Directors votes on submitted nominations. Visit the ASPI website at www.aspinet.org for nomination forms and a list of past recipients.


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