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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.
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!
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.
Have you ever had that annoying time at the post office trying to find the right size box to ship your products in? You end up spending more money on a bigger box to fit your items in and then wonder if something will break/get ruined during shipment because of the extra space in the box you *didn’t* need. You’re not alone and there is an alternative solution (to boxes) to take your frustration away – shipping tubes!
There are many benefits to shipping your products in paper tubes. At Yazoo, we custom manufacture mailing and shipping tubes made to fit your specifications. Paper tubes allow you to ship products without having to pay for more than what you need (i.e. that extra space in the box), bringing your shipping cost down compared to a box. Yazoo’s mailing tubes are very durable, increasing the ability to protect what’s inside and are designed to absorb impact rather than damage the appearance and products if you were to use a box or an envelope.
Paper tubes also offer a unique way to improve the aesthetics of your brand. It’s not every day that you get a product shipped to you in a tube so it will definitely stand out from the sea of competition. Additionally, Yazoo offers cost-effecting branding options to market your company, adding a visual appeal for your consumers. And don’t be so quick to throw away the mailing tube you received your product in – be sure to reuse it as another mailing tube, storage tube or for arts and crafts.
We also stock over 65 sizes of 100% recycled mailing tubes that ship for FREE the same-day (if ordered by 4pm EST). Whatever your needs are, we have you (and your products) covered!
“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.
Congrats on your well-deserved promotion, Kevin! We’re excited to watch you grow in your new position.
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.”
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!
Now, more than ever, paper cores play an essential role to many businesses across the world. Cores are the starting point for industries such as health care/pharmaceutical, flexible packaging, tape and label, government support, textiles, printing/graphics, converters and many more. While some might not realize the value paper cores contribute, something so trivial can impact your operations – because without a core, companies wouldn’t be able to convert their material – leaving us without tape, labels, packaging, etc.
Businesses are adjusting to the ever-changing conditions in today’s world and some are even shifting their focus to help battle the extreme shortage of products, causing them to step in and step up to fill numerous voids. For example, distilleries are switching from making their beloved spirits to utilizing their tools and operations to manufacture hand sanitizer. This causes a need for labels to be mass produced as their main product has changed. Our speed-to-market has certainly helped out an abundance of companies who have shifted their regular production to manufacture essential products. Our customers have a huge advantage as Yazoo has the fastest turnaround times in the industry, allowing businesses to be able to mass produce without ever getting low on inventory, expanding their ROI exponentially.
Yazoo’s stock core program of over 3 million paper cores in-stock at all times is allowing essential businesses to maintain their production at full-capacity. Being focused on the customer experience has been a part of our fabric for decades. At Yazoo, we work for you. We are constantly engaging with our customers to help them find easier ways to ramp up their production with our innovative solutions. Our team of highly-skilled employees work hard to continue supporting your operations and deliver products that exceed your expectations.
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!
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!