Jesse Smith Promoted to Plant Manager in New Oxford

Yazoo Mills is thrilled to announce the promotion of Jesse Smith to Plant Manager at our New Oxford facility! Jesse’s journey began in 2012 as a nightshift winding operator, but his dedication, leadership, and innovative spirit quickly propelled him through the ranks. He tackled diverse roles, honing his skills and injecting fresh perspectives that helped solidify Yazoo’s position as an industry leader. His unwavering commitment and integrity have earned him this exciting new chapter.

As Plant Manager, Jesse takes the reins of the entire New Oxford operation. He’ll be the driving force behind optimizing production workflows, implementing rigorous quality control measures, and streamlining shipping and maintenance practices. Cultivating a skilled and engaged workforce is his top priority, so he’ll focus on building strong teams, fostering talent development, and creating a positive and productive work environment where safety remains paramount. Jesse will work closely with our safety and health manager to ensure the well-being of everyone at the plant.

But Jesse’s vision extends beyond the production floor. He’s passionate about leveraging technology to drive innovation at Yazoo, and he looks forward to collaborating with his team and management to implement solutions that enhance customer experiences and effectively solve their problems.

For Jesse, Yazoo represents more than just a job. He values the sense of security, the generous benefits, and most importantly, the opportunities to excel. “Yazoo empowers me to push my limits, hone my skills, and make a real impact,” he says. “It’s an honor to work with a company that invests in its employees and prioritizes their growth alongside its own.”

Outside of work, Jesse finds joy in spending time with his wife, son, Cash, and daughter, Marley. When he’s not cheering at the racetrack or enjoying the outdoors with hunting and fishing, he’s likely whipping up culinary creations in his smoker.

With his innovative spirit and deep understanding of operations, Jesse is poised to steer the New Oxford plant to new heights as America’s leading family-owned paper tube and core manufacturer.

Congratulations, Jesse! Your dedication and collaborative leadership will be instrumental in driving efficiency, fostering talent, and propelling the plant toward a future of even greater success.

Image of Don Mullinex

Yazoo Mills is pleased to introduce Don Mullinex, Jr. as Project Coordinator! Don’s impressive 18-year career in the paper packaging industry has equipped him with a wealth of knowledge and expertise, perfectly suited for his new role. In his previous position, Don successfully managed all day-to-day operations for a green field start-up in Palmyra, PA, demonstrating his exceptional leadership and organizational skills.

Don’s dedication to professional development is evident in his educational background. He holds an associate degree in Business Leadership and has acquired certifications such as the Six Sigma Green Belt from NC State and the Supervisor Certification from UNCC. These achievements further solidify his commitment to continuous improvement and excellence.

Since joining Yazoo Mills earlier in 2023, Don has hit the ground running by already completing a remarkable 39 projects with 16 more in progress. His innovative spirit led to a revamped project tracking system and reporting structure, boosting transparency for upper management. Every day starts with prioritizing projects from the “hopper,” starting with smaller tasks for quick wins. Based in Hanover, he tackles computer work early and then heads to New Oxford to ensure both facilities receive his attention. The day’s specifics are a dynamic mix of visitor meetings, data collection, and physical tasks, all adapted to the diverse nature of Yazoo’s projects. From installing cabinets to redesigning machinery, Don’s versatility keeps the flow going.

When asked what are some of the most rewarding aspects of your daily tasks at Yazoo Mills, Don shared “I have the opportunity to put my organizational skills to the test. Since July, I have re-designed the way we track projects for the company and the reporting structure for upper management. I am fully invested in our new Improvement Development Team and playing a key role in the success of the program. I am working with Mark Robinson, our Plant manager in Hanover, to develop a younger group of volunteers in our new program to hear all the voices of Yazoo. We are much stronger than I, so the push to create a unified team is very rewarding for me.”

Beyond work, Don fuels his passion for community by actively supporting initiatives that foster children’s growth and learning through play. In his time, he loves strumming his guitar, occasionally throwing down a BMX stunt, and spending quality time with his wife of 16 years, Ashlee, two boys Liem 11, and Emerson 9, and a Golden Doodle named Graham. His family is his haven, from cozy evenings by the fire to rowdy Monopoly nights and teaching Poker to his sons. Running a self-owned business with his wife, focused on helping kids learn through play, adds another layer of fulfillment to his life.

Don’s commitment to excellence, proven track record of success, and genuine passion for his work make him an invaluable asset to the Yazoo Mills team. We are confident that his contributions will drive the company’s continued growth and success as the supplier of choice for premier-quality paper tubes and cores.

We are excited to have Don on our Yazoo team and look forward to seeing what he accomplishes in the years to come!

Tim Colehouse, Recut Supervisor at Yazoo Mills

Yazoo Mills is pleased to announce the promotion of Tim Colehouse to Recut Supervisor in New Oxford, PA. In this role, he is responsible for the management of the recutting team at the New Oxford plant, scheduling workloads, and ordering essential parts for the department. 

“Tim’s passion for learning, quality assurance, and problem-solving has been clear since day one,” said Jesse Smith, Plant Manager. “His eagerness to learn newly adopted technology and apply modern improvement methods have been instrumental in our continued success as the leader in manufacturing paper tubes and cores.” 

Colehouse started his career at Yazoo Mills in May 1997 as a 3″ automatic machine setup person. Through on-the-job training, he began to advance into key roles by learning to set up all machines within the recut department. As he continued to expand his knowledge on the production floor, Colehouse also boosted his management skills by attending a Dale Carnegie class, an elevated leadership course, and safety courses with CPR training. All this has helped pave the way toward promotions to positions of Floater, Lead, and into his Supervisor role.

We reached out to Colehouse to ask him a few fun questions for our followers to get to know him a little bit better. Here’s what he had to say!

What do you enjoy most about working at Yazoo Mills?
“Yazoo is like a family atmosphere here and generally everyone gets along well.” 

What’s something about you that not many people know?
“I’m an avid dart player. I’ve played in many tournaments.”

Do you have any creative outlets or interests?
“I enjoy learning how to play guitar.”

What’s something that you’ve always wanted to try or learn?
“I would really like to learn how to ride a motorcycle.”

If you could visit any place in the world, where would it be?
“I’d like to go to Jamaica sometime or Bermuda for a vacation.”

Congrats on your promotion, Tim! You continue to play a key role in our success and we are fortunate to have you on our team.

Fire Safety & Extinguisher Training at Yazoo Mills

Take a moment and think about your earliest memories of learning about fire safety. The fire drills, field trips to the local station, school assemblies, fun interactive games & contest posters during fire safety week, or perhaps those “Be Cool” videos. Whatever it may be, fire education begins at an early age because it’s so important to be aware of the risks and dangers. 

For Yazoo, educating our employees about fire safety has become essential to our evolving safety culture. More so that we recently looked to our friends at United Hook & Ladder Co. 33 and Hanover Area Volunteer Fire and Rescue to educate over 200 team members on Fire Awareness & Extinguisher Training. This training familiarized our employees with the risks of lithium-ion batteries used in workplace equipment and at-home devices; identifying the different extinguisher classes; how to use a fire extinguisher; and the extreme importance of daily inspections.

We are beyond grateful for all our first responders that proudly serve our communities and are willing to go above and beyond the call of duty. Thank you to United Hook & Ladder Company 33 & Hanover Area Volunteer Fire and Rescue for visiting us and providing impactful training for our staff. 

Safety first, safety always! We believe in offering diverse training opportunities for our team members that enhance safety awareness and provide a safer work and home environment.

Andrew Reynolds, Shipping Supervisor at Yazoo

Yazoo Mills is excited to announce the promotion of Andrew Reynolds to Shipping Supervisor. Reynolds began his career at Yazoo twelve years ago as a winding operator and has held several key roles which include Winding Floater and Shipping Lead.

In his new role, Reynolds oversees the shipping department across all three shifts at our New Oxford, PA plant. He ensures the day-to-day operations run smoothly and efficiently which helps Yazoo maintain the fastest turnaround times in the industry. When asked what he likes most about working at Yazoo, he replied, “I like the small town, family atmosphere at Yazoo. It is nice that the company shows appreciation for the workers through lunches and holiday parties.”

Reynolds attended East Stroudsburg University and graduated in 2008 with his bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. He gained several years of classroom experience as a substitute teacher in a very competitive job market but stepped away from that career path to find a more permanent income. He was referred to Yazoo by a friend of his, which has provided him with a steady income job, great benefits, and the opportunity to grow within the company.

In his free time, Reynolds likes to work in his garden. It brings him the greatest joy to teach his children how to plant and grow their own food. We also thought it would be fun to ask him some fun questions to get to know him a little bit better. See what he had to say!

What’s something you’ve always wanted to try or learn?
“I’ve always wanted to learn how to play the guitar.”

If you could visit any place in the world, where would it be?
“I would like to go to Alaska.”

If you could pick any superpower, what would it be and why?
“I would choose to be able to stop/slow down time so my children don’t grow up too fast.”

Congratulations on your promotion, Andrew! We’re excited to have you as part of our talented team and look forward to watching you continue to lead our shipping team to success.

Safety in the workplace should always be top of mind and an ever-evolving practice. As companies continue to invest in the latest technology with more safety advancements, employee-focused training programs are essential. At Yazoo, we reinvest in our equipment and offer diverse programs that continue to be invaluable for the safety of our people. 

Recently, we invited Kelly Miller from Safety ACE LLC to conduct two Saturday morning sessions at our New Oxford facility for 29 enthusiastic team members. Each employee followed Ms. Miller as she demonstrated the proper techniques and industry-specific situations to earn their certifications in First Aid, CPR, AED & Bloodborne Pathogen. This class was a fun, engaging, and highly-educational experience for everyone which you will see in the photos below.

Yazoo remains committed to building a more robust safety culture. Which begins on an employee’s first day, we instill the importance of safety in every aspect of the job through awareness programs, monthly safety talks, on-site training, and more. Our mission is to ensure a safer work environment for all team members and maintain greater efficiency in manufacturing high-quality paper tubes and cores.

Enjoy a few highlight photos taken from our training sessions, below!

Photo: Kim Weaver, HR Manager

Yazoo Mills is delighted to announce the hiring of Kim Weaver as Human Resource Manager! Kim brings to the team more than 25 years of progressive HR experience, primarily within the manufacturing industry.

She earned a BSBA in Human Resource Management as a scholar-athlete at Shippensburg University and an MBA in business at Mt. Saint Mary’s in Emmitsburg, MD. Kim also obtained her SHRM certification as an SPHR and continues building her education through local HR training, SHRM online, and in-person training.

What led Kim to Yazoo came through a professional contact who had reached out to her upon learning about this opportunity. Although Kim was not actively searching for a career change, she mentioned that the timing was undeniably perfect.

When asked what she likes most about working at Yazoo, Kim said, “smaller employer, family-owned, and they give back.” She continues, “Yazoo has a caring culture, great people, and good benefits at reasonable costs! I feel appreciated and my work is valued. I also enjoy the people I work with. It’s fun most days! Trust me when I say you can notice a bad culture.”

Outside of work, Kim lives a busy lifestyle. She spends much of her time with her boyfriend, 3 children, and 2 bonus daughters. They fill their days at sporting events, working on outside projects, camping, beach trips, and tending to their farmette. They have 2 goats, 2 ducks, 2 dogs, 3 cats, 1 bunny, and a fish!

We are super excited to have you as part of our growing team, and we look forward to watching you thrive in your role!

Dan O'Brien Steps Into 3rd Shift Supervisor Role

Yazoo Mills is pleased to direct the spotlight to the promotion of Dan O’Brien as 3rd Shift Supervisor! In his role, Dan leads our 3rd shift team in our New Oxford, PA facility by enforcing expectations and procedures aligned with Yazoo’s stringent standards for quality, reliability, and work safety. Among his responsibilities are performing daily quality tests and organizing his team for a successful shift.

Dan began his career as a machine operator more than four years ago. He was responsible for operating spiral winders, cut-off saws, and other miscellaneous equipment that produces high-quality paper tubes and cores for our customers. His strong ability to learn and commitment to our core values, hard work, and dedication has led to this advancement.

“Dan has a good sense of responsibility with the ability to communicate and ,” said Jesse Smith, Winding Manager. “He is dependable with a strong desire to learn and grow, and we look forward to his continued leadership with the company.”

When asked what he likes best about working at Yazoo, he said, “my favorite thing about working at Yazoo is the four 10-hour shifts and a three-day weekend!” When he is not working, you can find Dan spending time with his four boys. They are active in many activities and he’s their #1 fan.

Congrats on your promotion, Dan! We are excited to watch you continue excelling and leading our Yazoo team as the industry-leading manufacturer of premier-quality paper tubes and cores.

Great people make companies great, and we have one here at Yazoo Mills. We are a team of over 200 highly-skilled workers dedicated to providing our customers with the best quality, reliability, and customer service in the industry. We recognize that we would be nowhere without our great employees which is why we treat everyone like family.

At the close of our 120th year in business, we had the pleasure of recognizing all the contributions made by our hardworking team at our annual Christmas luncheon held at The Ballroom on Broadway in Hanover, PA. Over 185 employees gathered for a delicious luncheon catered by Hughes Meats, LLC. Additionally, each employee received a $100 gift card, a Christmas bonus, and a certificate or plaque for employees’ service tenure ranging from 5-35 years!

Thank you to our wonderful employees for making our year a success, and we look forward to a memorable 2023! 👏🏼

Yazoo Mills is excited to shine light on Tony Hammond, our Senior Network Engineer and the dedicated team member behind our IT programs!

A graduate from YTI and Elizabethtown College, Tony began his journey at Yazoo Mills in 2021 as Senior Network Engineer where he is responsible for empowering the business through technology. In his role, he manages, maintains, updates, patches, and troubleshoots our entire IT infrastructure. He provides elevated technical support across the organization by troubleshooting IT-related issues, provides technical solutions to solve problems, and streamline processes. Tony ensures we’re securely protected through proactive security measures by analyzing and responding to security threats. In addition, he establishes strategic direction for the integrity and reliability of our Information Technology practices.

Tony has been working in the Information Technology field since graduating with an associate degree in Computer Systems at YTI in 2012. With a strong passion to learn, he continued his education in 2015 by attending the adult learning program at Elizabethtown College to earn a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, just two years later. It is through his continued education and experience that he has gained a deep knowledge in areas that include: Virtual Servers, Networking & Routing, IT Security, Backup Infrastructure & Disaster Recovery, Wireless, technical infrastructure design, industry best practices, telephony systems, database administration, as well as organizational strategy and execution of IT operations.

Prior to joining Yazoo Mills, Tony managed the technology infrastructure of a large construction company with over 500 employees, 50 satellite offices, and 4 warehouses across 10 states. He also has experience in the Nonprofit, Architecture & Engineering, and Construction industries having previously held roles as an IT Technician, Network Administrator, Technology Consultant, Business Development Consultant and Systems Administrator. Through his years of knowledge and experience, Tony has been a huge asset to our team here at Yazoo Mills.

WHY YAZOO MILLS?

When we asked Tony why he chose Yazoo Mills, he replied “I was attracted to the opportunity for career growth, to have a seat at the decision table, and to be the driving force behind the advancement of here at Yazoo. I came for the opportunity to earn the IT Director role here.”

What Tony enjoys most about working at our company is the positive work/life balance his role provides. “I like that it’s a private company with limited ownership that understands that its people are its most important asset,” he added. “It feels good to contribute where your work is meaningful, and you matter. We have excellent leadership here.”

OUTSIDE OF WORK

Outside of work, Tony lives a very active lifestyle. He’s played both Ice and Roller Hockey since the age of 7 years old. He is an avid weightlifter, having hit his 10-year anniversary. Tony loves hiking with average 15-20 miles a week, as well as board sports as he is avid skateboarder, surfer, snowboarder and more recently wakeboarder. Music and art are also a passion of his. He enjoys listening to just about every genre of music and has played guitar since the age of 13 years old. Acoustic guitar, electric guitar, piano and singing are his areas of expertise. In addition to music, Tony also enjoys street art and has dabbled in the stencil graffiti style (think Banksy).

Other interesting facts you should know about Tony, is that he grew up on a horse farm in Spring Grove, PA. He knows how to ride horses, bail hay, run heavy equipment, and to be a true a farm boy. He is a distant relative of the Brothers Grimm through his father’s mother. The Brothers Grimm are German authors who published a book of folk tales in 1812 popularizing such stories as Cinderella, Hansel & Gretel, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, Rumpelstiltskin and more.

Our Yazoo Mills family is proud of the work Tony has continues to do for our company and we are lucky to have him! We are excited to watch Tony continue to grow professionally and help in our efforts to be the industry leader and supplier of choice for paper tubes & cores.