March is Women’s History Month and we’re shining the spotlight on some of the amazing women here at Dunn Paper. Meet Cindy West, senior buyer, and Renee Bond, logistics manager.
West: I’m Cindy West. My title is Senior Buyer. I buy and schedule the raw materials (recycled paper) for the Ladysmith, WI Mill. I’m also the corporate lead for our sustainability certifications (SFI/FSC/PEFC). I’ve been working for the Ladysmith mill for 14 years and for Dunn Paper since they bought the Ladysmith mill.
Bond: I am Renee’ Bond, Logistics Manager at Dunn Paper-Wiggins, MS Mill. I have been employed at Dunn-Wiggins Mill for 37 years, as I began working under the “original” Dunn Paper administration in May of 1985. Prior to Dunn, I worked at Bank of Wiggins in the Bookkeeping Dept as part of the Cooperative Education Program during my senior year of High School. Further, completed the Business/Clerical Education Program at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College
How long have you been in the paper industry? What drew you to it?
West: I’ve been in the paper industry for almost 40 years. I got into it by chance – I answered an ad in the paper for a production clerk at a paper mill in Menasha, WI and started there. Eventually, I took a position in purchasing which led me to buying recycled fiber. When I started at the Menasha mill, I didn’t even realize there was such a thing as a recycled paper market. Luckily, I had some good bosses that were willing to take a chance on a young, female buyer in a profession that, at the time, had less than a handful of women buyers worldwide.
Bond: I have been in the paper industry for 37 years, where I hired in as a clerical receptionist. I soon moved into a salary position assuming the role of Customer Service and Scheduling Clerk, as well as Administrative Assistant to the VP of Sales (who was also located at Wiggins Mill during this time). In 2006, I was offered the position of Logistics Manager, and is the current position I hold today. In that role, I am responsible for all outbound shipments from Wiggins Mill, as well as manage finished goods inventory of both, MG and Tissue machines.
Do you have any women that you have looked up to or have been like a mentor to you in your professional career?
West: I would say my best mentors in the industry were the people I worked with when I started buying at the Menasha mill. I spent time out on the production floor and in the scrap-warehouses learning the grades of scrap paper and the basics of how the papermaking and deinking systems worked. Having that knowledge when I went out on the road buying paper was invaluable in giving me the credibility I needed with the suppliers.
Bond: My family has been my greatest support group and has always stood behind me in whatever challenges I have embarked upon.
What advice would you give women in this or other predominantly male industries?
West: Don’t be afraid to try new things. Jobs are always changing, so it’s good to keep an open mind. Know your job, but always be willing to listen to the people you work with inside and outside the company. Understanding other people’s challenges and maintaining good relationships can really help make everyone’s job easier.
Bond: Always keep a positive attitude and an open mind. Never back down from a good challenge, and always be willing to accept “change”. In the paper industry specifically, changes are always on the horizon.
What books/podcasts are you reading/listening to right now?
West: I’m reading The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles. It was recommended by Terri McDonald at the Natural Dam mill.
Bond: Currently reading Kathie Lee Gifford’s It’s Never Too Late.