Directors - Michell, Richard, Steve, and Chris

Effective leaders are essential to any organization. Not only do they help build strong teams, they also ensure projects are performed successfully and customers’ expectations for quality and reliability are always met. They create confidence among employees and encourage a professional and positive environment. All are reflective to the leadership team here at Yazoo Mills!

As we enter our 120th year of business, we’re excited to announce four leadership team members who were promoted to Directors of their respective departments. Proven leaders with decades of experience, the leadership changes reflect a formal alignment of the team’s individual strengths to support the company’s long-term strategic plan.

Introducing our newest Directors

Michell Trish is promoted to Director of Accounting & Administration. Michell, who has been with the company for 35 years and previously served as the company’s Controller, will oversee human resources, accounting, and information technology functions of the business.

Richard Smarsh is promoted to Director of Facilities, Maintenance, & Safety. Richard, who joined our company in 2013 and previously served as Project and Facilities Manager, will direct all facility maintenance, improvement projects, new construction, and occupational health & safety programs. He will also develop key people for future growth and incorporate continuous improvement within these areas of the business.

Steve McMaster is promoted to Director of Manufacturing. Steve, a 39-year veteran who previously served as Plant Manager, will oversee all manufacturing operations for both the New Oxford and Hanover production facilities that total 300,000 square feet. He will supervise production and collaborate with department supervisors to strategize techniques in maximizing productivity and efficiency, and monitor the adequacy of supply inventories.

Chris Evans is promoted to North American Sales Director. Chris, who joined our company in 2017 and previously served as Sales Manager, oversees the sales and customer service teams to ensure customer’s goals are met and exceeded through our products and services. He will continue his responsibilities for driving and expanding business by directing the sales team as well as implementing sales strategies to maximize the use of existing data in our systems and develop new territories & markets.

Each member has played an essential role in the company’s success and growth. They are among our top-level leadership group that worked together as a team and advanced through progressively more responsible positions during their tenure. Sharing our organization’s mission and values, they look to continue with the organization’s forward-thinking vision to provide our customers with the best of the best, create an experience that builds long-lasting relationships, and direction among our nearly 200 employees.

Congratulations to Michell, Richard, Steve and Chris on your well-deserved promotions. We are grateful and proud to have you part of the Yazoo team, our 120-year journey, and we look forward to your continued leadership and drive in maintaining Yazoo Mills as the supplier of choice for years to come!

Aaron Long, Marketing Coordinator at Yazoo

We are pleased to announce and welcome back Aaron Long as Marketing Coordinator at Yazoo Mills.

Prior to attending college in 2002, Aaron had worked as a summer helper in the recut department at Yazoo’s New Oxford facility. In 2006, his passion for creativity and problem solving began. He attended Bradley Academy for the Visual Arts where he earned a degree in specialized technology.

Aaron brings to his role more than fourteen years’ experience in design and marketing. He’s held several key roles with the most recent as director of marketing for a local professional services firm. During his tenure there, he organized all marketing activities including the development and delivery of a fully integrated marketing strategy. This helped to align and support sales goals across the company’s supporting divisions.

As a key member of Yazoo’s growing team, Aaron looks to apply his years of marketing expertise to continue to grow the organization as the industry leader and supplier of choice for paper tubes & cores!

What led Aaron ‘back’ to Yazoo Mills?

“Joining Yazoo Mills was a great opportunity to continue my professional career as a marketer, work closer to my family, and to be part of a family-owned company with a strong 120-year history that operates with honesty and integrity. It felt like the perfect fit to join a team of dedicated employees. Employees who are always willing to help, are aligned with the same goal to always strive for excellence, and the company’s consistent appreciation for their employees and customers. I’m thrilled to be part of the excitement here at Yazoo and look forward to continued success and growth!”

Outside of work, his greatest joy is time spent with family, especially his wife of 10 years, Ashlee, two children (7-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter), and Yorkshire Terrier. He always looks forward to watching his son compete in sports, daughter’s dance recitals, family adventures and game nights. Aside from family time, Aaron also enjoys staying active with running, coaching, golfing, fishing, and tackling at-home projects.

A few fun facts about Aaron:

Welcome back to the team, Aaron. We are happy to have you and excited to watch you excel in your new role!

     

Yazoo Mills continues to see growth and is expanding its Maintenance department with the hiring of Don Parks as Maintenance Supervisor.

Parks joins Yazoo Mills following a Maintenance Planner/Lead role at a local Agribusiness. His background in hydraulics, robotics, programming, planning and electrical troubleshooting provides him the skillsets needed to further expand the servicing of production machines to minimize down-time. Parks will collaborate with his team and other departments related to equipment/facility maintenance and focus on implementing improvements to position Yazoo as the industry leader in manufacturing paper tubes and cores.

When asked why he applied to Yazoo, he replied with “I applied to Yazoo because I knew the company would open up opportunities to me that I did not think would be open any time soon at my former employer. Yazoo is always striving for more in every aspect – with their employees, customers and facilities. They truly are a great company to work for!”

In his spare time, you can find Don spending time with his wife and four kids, watching his kids play baseball and softball, listening to audio books, learning to play new instruments, fishing, hiking and playing video games with his kids.

A few fun facts about Parks:
• Can play guitar, piano, bass and is learning to play the drums
• Attended college as a music major but dropped out because he couldn’t get over stage fright
• Makes his own arrows and shoots a recurve bow without sights

Welcome to the team, Don! We are excited to watch you hit the ground running and bring new, innovative ideas to our Maintenance department.

   

Yazoo’s Sales Department provides top-notch service to all customers, big or small. Our team focuses on your pain points and delivers innovative solutions to help make operations more efficient.

We are happy to announce that Wanda Bankert has been promoted to Lead Sales Representative. Wanda has been with Yazoo for 22 years and has been helping our sales department flourish ever since she started with the company. In her new role, she will be assisting the Sales department with any customer, Epicor and operational questions as well as communicating with new and existing customers to discuss their needs and find solutions fit for them, provide quote pricing and lead times and assist customers with the appropriate product selection that is beneficial for their company and customer’s needs.

The family-owned and friendly atmosphere is what she enjoys most about Yazoo. The secret to her 22-year tenure? She says “I enjoy helping customers with their tube and core requirements as well as the generous pay and benefits Yazoo has to offer!”

In her spare time, you can find her spending time with her grandson and family and going antique shopping. A hidden talent of hers? Well, I guess you can say finding new wineries that have great wine — we will call her an amateur wine connoisseur.

Congrats on your promotion, Wanda! We know you are going to help take our Sales Department to the next level!

     

Yazoo is proud to announce Kevin Boyer’s advancement to Electrical Controls and Automation Technician.

Boyer joined Yazoo’s Maintenance Department in 2018 as a Maintenance Mechanic. Within a year, he was quickly promoted to Maintenance Lead. Although Kevin has only been with Yazoo for three short years, his technical ability and innovative mindset has led him to this current promotion.

In his new position, his main focus will be the automation and electrical side of Maintenance. He will be working on various automation projects, updating and backing up current systems, helping maintenance with electrical needs and collaborating with his department to maintain equipment efficiency throughout the plant that leads to reducing machine down time and maintenance costs.

Why Yazoo? Boyer says “I like Yazoo’s willingness to invest in innovation which allows me to create new ways of doing things with the use of technology.”

In his spare time, you can find him spending time with his family, finding new trails to hike and reading. Fun fact – in 2020, Kevin read 64 (mostly nonfiction) books!

Congrats on your promotion, Kevin! We are excited to watch you grow and take Yazoo’s Maintenance Department to the next level!

   

We are proud to announce that Jesse Smith has been promoted to Winding Manager at Yazoo Mills, Inc.

Smith joined Yazoo Mills in 2012 and initially started as a nightshift winding operator. Over the years, he transitioned into new roles that gave him opportunities to grow as a person as well as bring new ideas to help Yazoo continue to evolve as the industry leader. During his tenure at Yazoo, Smith has shown a tremendous amount of leadership, dedication and integrity, all of which have led to his current promotion.

In his new position, he oversees the entire Winding Department of two shifts and 15 winding lines. In addition, Jesse manages the stock label core program, works with customers on custom printed labels and liners, oversees management of winding inventory, orders raw material and ensures that his team is working efficiently while maintaining a high-level of quality assurance.

Smith looks forward to collaborating with his department as well as the management team on implementing more technology to allow Yazoo to continue bringing innovative solutions to help solve problems for our customers, allowing them to improve their processes.

     

Think about how your relationship is with your current supplier – are they meeting your needs and providing exactly what you are looking for? Do they communicate transparently from the beginning of your interaction and throughout? A great supplier relationship is a human relationship, not a digital one. Yazoo’s people-centric atmosphere focuses on our relationships and interactions with our employees and customers, allowing us to be the best we can be.

At Yazoo Mills, we give our customers more. We have been defining industry standards for over 118 years with top-notch quality and service that is second to none. Our team of 150+ highly-skilled employees are constantly evolving and improving our process to provide the best products for our customers. We work with you and for you; finding your pain points and providing custom solutions fit to your needs. As a powerhouse company, we collaborate together to offer innovative solutions to help increase your productivity; keeping you ahead of the competition.

Our family-owned business has your goals at our core. We believe in treating our partners and customers exactly how we would like to be treated in regards to honesty, responsiveness, follow-through and going the extra mile to ensure that their needs and desires are met. When you choose Yazoo, you get more the just paper tubes and cores – you get a partnership you can trust and a company that helps you see beyond today to tomorrow and the future.

Over 15,000 customers collaborate with us – are you ready to make the switch? Let the supplier of choice power your business.

   

Layke Ensor is a driven individual who is passionate about helping out his teammates and leading them to achieve daily success within their roles. An energetic employee who leads by example, Layke embodies Yazoo’s mission, vision and values and strives each day to continue helping Yazoo be the leader in the paper tube and core industry.

Manufacturing has always been in Layke’s blood – he previously worked for a local manufacturer as a forklift driver, material handler and production operator. Eight years ago, Layke set out on his journey here at Yazoo Mills on 2nd shift as a Winding Operator. He then transferred to a 1st shift Winding Operator position then floater and was recently promoted to his most current role as a Lead in the Winding department.

As a Lead, Layke is focused on learning the supervisory role as he manages six employees and their respective machines, helps maintain efficiency, collaborates with his teammates on innovative solutions and maintains integrity day in and day out.

Layke contributes his tenure to enjoying his job and the family atmosphere here at Yazoo; a home away from home, where everyone has each other’s backs. The ability to be able to teach the younger employees and keeping the company’s goals at the forefront are what motivates him.

In his spare time, you will find Layke pulling his camper to a new site to enjoy the outdoors with his wife and five kids as well as locating a cool, new hiking trail that allows them to explore and create memories.

Congrats on your job promotion, Layke! We know that you will shine in your new role!

   

We are proud to announce that Norma Myers has been promoted to Supervisor in the Recut Department.  During her 29-year tenure at Yazoo Mills, she has held numerous positions in the Recut Department starting out as a packer and working her way into her most current role as a Supervisor. Myers came to Yazoo with a manufacturing background, which is an industry she has always enjoyed working in.

In her new role, she manages 13 employees in the automatic recutter area.  She ensures that her team is continuously checking quality, maintaining productivity and moving work around for her department to remain as efficient as possible.

She says “I would not be where I am today if it weren’t for my team members and keeping the ‘never stop learning’ mentality. Yazoo has given me opportunities to learn and train which in return allows me to contribute to helping our customers receive the best quality products in the industry.”

The advice she would give to our younger workers? She says “Be open-minded and grow with the company. If you are willing to apply yourself, future opportunities will present themselves.  Be prepared to adapt and look for ways to continue helping the company evolve. Never be afraid to share an idea.”

Fun fact:

Question: If you could travel anywhere, where would it be?
Norma: I would definitely fly back to Vegas with my sister to explore the city and try my luck at a few games to hopefully win big!

We are proud to have Norma on our team and look forward to watching her lead continue to lead the Recut department to success. Congrats, Norma!

     

We are pleased to announce the promotion of Chris Evans to Sales Manager at Yazoo Mills.  Chris joined our company in 2017 as an Outside Sales Representative, responsible for creating new business within the East Coast. He assumes his new role from Sharon Smith, who has spent more than 40 years at Yazoo Mills and will continue working as a Key Account Manager.

With his BA from Rowan University and over 20 years of experience in the tube and core industry, Chris’ knowledge and innovative ideas will help our customers be able to continue to dominate their market.  In his new role, he is responsible for driving and expanding business by directing the sales team as well as implementing sales strategies to maximize the use of existing data in our systems and develop new territories and markets.

When asked what he’s looking forward to in his new role, he said “Making a difference to my team, increasing the company’s revenues, impacting Yazoo with my industry knowledge and experience and helping our customers continue operating successfully in their industries.” He continues to say “I like the way Yazoo runs its family-owned business and the way they appreciate their customers and employees. I’m glad to have found my home here.”

Congrats on the promotion, Chris. We’re excited to watch you excel in your new role!