Sam Clark, Occupational Health & Safety Manager

Yazoo Mills is pleased to announce that Sam Clark, CSP, has joined the company as Occupational Safety & Health Manager.

Sam brings more than 30 years of industrial experience to the team, including global experience with safety cultures throughout different countries. In his role at Yazoo, he will be responsible for assisting our company in the development of a world-class safety culture to improve the health and well-being of our employees and to help the business be even more sustainable in our future growth.

Sam brings a passion and commitment to finding safer ways of working, which he established through his previous role and continued education. He began with self-education to enhance his skills by completing over 364-hours of training programs and earning over 30 certifications through OSHAcademy. Sam attended Columbia Southern University (CSU) to pursue a bachelor of science degree in Occupational Safety and Health and earned his Graduate Safety Practitioner (GSP) designation. Later, he earned the highest certification as a safety professional by becoming a Certified Safety Professional (CSP)—a six-month process, ending with a 5 ½ hour exam that tests your knowledge on standards, regulations, management principles and many other categories within the safety profession.

When asked why he chose Yazoo, he replied with “after working with global organizations, I’ve had the privilege to travel around the world and learn about different safety cultures. When I made the decision to start looking for another adventure, two things pulled me closer into taking this step toward Yazoo. First, it’s a family-business atmosphere, that after working for big corporations for most of my career, was the change I was looking for. Second, after touring the facility, I saw the people and the work that I immediately knew this was the place for me and the people I wanted to work with to help improve their already growing process. There are many great things happening here at Yazoo Mills and I wanted to be a part of the team to help build a safety culture, which could help them take the next step in being the best in the business.”

Sam added, “the short time I have been at Yazoo Mills has encouraged me as a safety professional, I have seen other team members come together and get involved. “Change is never an easy thing, but the progress made by many of the team members is encouraging and I look forward to the future as we continue to improve.”

Outside of Work

What does Sam do when he’s not at work, he replied with “as many of us in the tri-state area, I like spending time in the outdoors. Sitting out in the woods and enjoying the quietness with nature is my favorite past time. I like kayaking during the summer months as this can also be a peaceful time surrounded by nature. The latest adventure and passion are wines, it has become a dream of mine to have my own little winery as a retirement project. After spending time traveling up and down the East coast and to other countries overseas, trying many varieties of different wines. I have recently started making my own and also have planted my own little vineyard which is two years old.”

Fun fact about Sam, he used to bowl on 10 pin leagues over the years. He has bowled three perfect 300 games, which he has rings and awards from the bowling association.

Welcome to the team, Sam! We are excited to watch as you hit the ground running and bring new, innovative ideas to improve our workplace safety.

Yazoo Mills in Hanover, PA  Yazoo Mills 120th Commemorative Horizontal Logo

Strength, Reliability, and Future Growth

Yazoo Mills, Inc., America’s largest family-owned and operated manufacturers of paper tubes and cores, is proud to reach its historical mark of 120 years in business and continued growth.

What began as a yarn and textile mill in Yazoo City, Mississippi in 1902, the company has grown to become the largest privately owned paper tube and core manufacturer in the country. In its early years, Yazoo produced its own cores to wind rope and twine. After a move to New York in 1928, Hanover in 1936, and a change to ownership in 1961, Yazoo dedicated all manufacturing to the paper tube and core industry. To this day, Yazoo continues to manufacture 100% recycled products and is the supplier of choice for a wide range of industries, ranging from tapes, labels and flexible packaging, to plastics, papers, films, foams, wires, reels, and more.

In our 120th year, the company continues to grow with the latest expansion of its 2nd plant in Hanover, PA. Completed in spring of 2022, the 60,000 SF of additional manufacturing and warehouse space in response to the growing demand for the company’s products and services. Yazoo Mills now operates two state-of-the-art facilities totaling 300,000 square feet. In addition, we have begun to expand its production capacity with the installation of several automated machines and increased its workforce to more than 200 employees.

Yazoo Mills is exceptionally proud to have reached this momentous milestone, and they’ve dedicated this success to their customers, partners, and all employees—past and present. Over the course of the year, we are paying homage to this unyielding support and years in business through a company hardback history book, commemorative logos, updated facility signage, events and tradeshows, and employee appreciation activities throughout the year. Yazoo Mills looks forward to continued success and many more years of offering a quality product made in the USA.

Photo of Chad Cameron

We are pleased to announce and welcome Chad Cameron to Yazoo Mills as Data Analyst. Chad brings to the team more than 20 years of analytical experience.

Prior to joining Yazoo, Chad was a Statistical Analyst for the Baltimore County Police Department where he had been since 2001. In this position, Chad worked in a team that handled all data-related requests for the department. These requests could range from statistical reports for upper management, to data/information-related assistance in actual criminal investigations.

In his new role, Chad will maintain and update machine data to ensure the accuracy and completion of all data that is collected. This is part of the quality team who use analytical techniques in order to lower waste and reduce downtime. In addition, Chad works on developing and designing tools to assist processes at Yazoo. When asked what made him apply at Yazoo, he replied “two answers; quality and stability.”

Yazoo’s atmosphere and culture are what he likes best about working at Yazoo. He says “The people have been great to work with and the work has been challenging.” Outside of work, Chad invests his time in his family, his church and his community. He leads a weekly children’s program during the school year, coaches youth sports, and likes to read books during lunch breaks. The books he prefers most are non-fiction, theory-based that make you think. In addition, Chad works a second job on nights and weekends in the area of sports statistics.

A fun fact about Chad, is he enjoys visiting National Parks. Death Valley is his favorite so far!

Welcome to the team, Chad! We are excited to see you put your knowledge and experience to work to help Yazoo continue to be the industry leader and supplier of choice for paper tubes & cores.

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!

   

We would like to extend a warm welcome to Jen Warner who joins our front office staff as Yazoo’s Receptionist.

Warner has a long history of working in customer service and making sure that customers are taken care of. Her background includes working for United Airlines handling calls for travel agents and as well as their international desk. And more recently, she worked for the corporate travel industry for 25 years. During her tenure in the travel industry, she learned how to become a pro multi-tasker as it is very fast paced and lots of changes and moving parts happening.

In need of a change, Warner decided to apply at Yazoo not only because of her background in customer service but because she has always heard great things about family-owned business. She knew instantly, it would be a great fit for her. In her current role as Receptionist, she handles answering the phones and transferring them to the correct party, pricing orders accordingly by order size, price piece, etc. and handles the online stock mailing tube orders that come in through our website and various other channels.

What does she like best about working at Yazoo? “Everyone is wonderful to work with. The family atmosphere is great – you’re not treated like a number, rather a person that they get to know and appreciate. Yazoo is very gracious to their employees and I’m fortunate to work here.”

In her spare time, you can find her spending time with her husband and kids (ages 22 and 17), chasing her two English Springer Spaniel’s around, whipping up new recipes and cheering on the Denver Broncos and New York Rangers.

A few fun facts about Jen:
• Her very first flight was an economy seat from Newark, NJ to London on Virgin Atlantic
• She loves all things crime and murder mysteries
• Lived for playing softball and basketball as a kid

Welcome to the team, Jen! We are happy to have you and your cheerful personality on our team!

     

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 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.

   

With our company continuing to grow, we are finding our sales department doing the same.  Our continuous growth has allowed us to expand our footprint and grow our outside sales team to be able to continue providing a high-level of service and exceptional product offerings to over 15,000+ customers nationwide.

We are pleased to announce the hiring of Ray LaBonte, to our Outside Sales team as the Director of Sales – Eastern U.S.  Ray’s extensive background, personality and goals align with our vision and values here at Yazoo. A 45-year veteran in the paper tube and core industry with several companies, Ray brings extensive knowledge, development and success to our team.

In his new position, Ray is responsible for growing business in small to medium sized companies in the Eastern U.S. territory.  Through new and existing relationships, Ray develops strategic innovation to help customers grow their business and focuses on finding solutions with Yazoo’s products that will allow companies profitable and sustainable growth.

What led Ray to Yazoo?  He says “I’ve always heard good things about Yazoo’s family-owned culture, integrity within the marketplace, quality and customer service.  What also drew me to Yazoo was how customer-focused they are – they have a strong commitment and dedication to their customers.  Yazoo is truly passionate about finding innovative solutions that work for the customer.  The culture, values and how focused they are on their employees showed a solid, devoted-team that is continuing to grow and I’m proud to say that I’m part of the team!”

Fun facts about Ray:

Welcome to the Yazoo team, Ray! We’re excited to watch you grow with our company!