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.

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.

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!

   

“Success travels in the company of very hard work. There is no trick, no easy way.” – John Wooden

Meet Kevin Bachota | A hard working Yazoo employee who has been with our company for 11 years and strives each day to make an impact not only on his team but also the company and our 15,000+ customers. Kevin works vigorously at any given task and completes it with maximum efficiency; always going above and beyond what is needed. He’s passionate about learning new skillsets and helping take the company to the next level which has landed him the promotion to Winding Supervisor.

In his new role, he is responsible for scheduling the work orders between machines in Winding to meet customers’ deadlines, maintaining high quality standards while ensuring that his operators are also focused on quality and communicating with various department supervisors to ensure efficiency across the board. He also focuses on driving company policy & discipline, ensuring all safety procedures are acknowledged & followed and leads, teaches and coaches his team to be successful as well as have the tools and knowledge to continue operating as the supplier of choice for paper tubes and cores.

Kevin contributes his 11-year tenure at Yazoo to many different things. He says “Yazoo Mills is a family-owned company and the people that work here have become a part of my family, literally. The pay and benefits are second-to-none in the area, career advancement opportunities and safety is a priority that is taken very seriously.”

In his spare time, you can find Kevin spinnin’ the DJ table at weddings and events, spending time with his family, coaching his son’s travel baseball team or grilling and relaxing by the fire.

Fun facts:

Congrats on your well-deserved promotion, Kevin! We’re excited to watch you grow in your new position.

   

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!

     

Take a second to think about where you are in your current profession.  Next, take a few minutes to think about all of the previous jobs and experience that have led you to your current role.  What was the longest period of time that you stayed at a job?  The average person changes jobs an average of 12 times during his or her career.  In today’s society, people no longer work for one company for their whole career, retiring after 50+ years.  Many workers spend five years or less in every job they hold.  Is there loyalty any more when it comes to working for a company?  The answer is yes and that company is Yazoo Mills.

Meet Steve McMaster – a long-tenured Yazoo employee that has been working for the company for over 36 years.  He dove in head first into the manufacturing industry at the ripe age of 18-years-old as a Winding Operator in our Winding Department.  Over the years, Steve proved that he wanted to work his way up by learning everything and anything he could.  He proceeded to move into the role of Winding Lead to Recut Set-Up to Production Supervisor and then into his current role of over 20 years as Plant Manager.

As the Plant Manager, Steve’s days are packed with a lot of responsibilities.  He oversees production and collaborates with department supervisors to obtain practices throughout the plant from start to finish and ensures that Yazoo is producing high-quality paper tubes and cores with exceptional level of service.  In addition, he also works with suppliers to ensure we are receiving quality raw materials for efficient operation for our manufacturing team.  When he’s not out on the plant floor, you can find Steve collaborating with Sales/Customer Service to meet our customers’ special requirements for their business such as core size, branding, packaging, etc.

Stability and projects that have challenged him are the secret to Steve’s longevity with the company.  He likes that Yazoo continues to invest in its employees and the business and in turn, continues to grow by offering stability, challenges and opportunities for employees to excel into their next role with our team.  What does he like best about working at Yazoo?  That’s easy — a family-owned company that treats everyone like one large family and takes care of their employees.  He says “The people are great to work with and stay once they are here; creating the family atmosphere.  The competitive pay and great employee benefits as well as a very clean manufacturing environment definitely attract the right team members, who stay for the long-haul.”

In his spare time, you can find Steve with his family and grandkids.  He is a handyman and loves working on all types of projects his kids send his way.  Occasionally, you can find him at a NASCAR race during the season and recently, playing in corn-hole tournaments have become his new favorite thing to do to “relax.”

Congratulations, Steve, on your 36 years with the company.  We are grateful for your knowledge, loyalty and expertise you have provided our team with.  We look forward to having you on our team for the next 36+ years!