Thomas Simons

Thomas A. Simons was born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1932. In 1944, his parents moved to Vancouver, British Columbia, where his father started H. A. Simons Ltd. He enrolled at Washington State College and earned a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering in 1954. He then joined General Electric as an engineer in training and, in 1956, returned to Canada to work at H.A. Simons Ltd. as a project engineer. In late 1956, he entered the U.S. Army and, after basic training, was assigned to Redstone Arsenal to work on the Redstone missile system.

In 1958, Mr. Simons returned to H.A. Simons. After many project engineering assignments, he was named president and chief executive officer of the company in 1968. Following the acquisition of Simons by Agra Inc. in July 1999, Mr. Simons became a member of the board of directors of Agra Inc.

Mr. Simons, as leader of H.A. Simons Ltd., continued an engineering practice initiated in 1914 by his grandfather in Chicago and expanded the company domestically and internationally through new offices, acquisitions, and the formation of international partnerships and alliances. Under his leadership, the firm has led the export of modern North American pulp and paper mill plant design concepts and equipment to a long list of global forestry industry firms in Latin America, Europe and Eastern Europe, Africa, New Zealand, Australia, and Southeast Asia. During his tenure, H.A. Simons became one of the two largest global consultants in the forestry industry and placed Vancouver, Canada, in the ranks of Helsinki, Finland, as a center of excellence for international pulp and paper design. When Mr. Simons was appointed head of the company in 1968, it had sales of $25 million and 700 employees. In 1998, the last full year before the sale, the company had sales of $370 million and 2,500 employees.

Mr. Simons has been dedicated to investing in new technologies and developing new areas of expertise in order to keep Simons at the forefront in its field. An intelligent Systems Group provides turnkey (computerized) custom services for advanced information and control solutions. This is used by companies, including a number of Fortune 500 companies, for process control design, project and construction management, and engineering and training to solve manufacturing problems. Considerable emphasis was placed on the development and implementation of project and construction management processes and procedures.

Simons was a founding member of SIMTECH, a one-of-a-kind networked technology and demonstration training center for industrial operations. The firm partnered with the British Columbia Institute of Technology and eight major technological suppliers, including ABB, Rockwell Automation, Hewlett Packard, and Oracle. The center is located in Vancouver at the Institute’s downtown campus and functions like a flight simulator for plant operations. The facility features the latest equipment and software systems for pulp and paper industry and for mining and manufacturing industries. It provides both students and industry the opportunity to test the very latest technology in virtual display and receive training in a simulated operating environment.

Mr. Simons served on the board of governors of the British Columbia Institute of Technology. He is a past director of the Vancouver Board of Trade and the British Columbia Trade Development Corporation. He also served on the British Columbia High Technology Strategy Group. He has received honorary doctor of law degrees from British Columbia Institute of Technology and Simon Fraser University. Mr. Simons received the Benefactor of the Year Award from Council for Resource Development, a North American organization dedicated to increasing the effectiveness of college educations. Philanthropists are recognized in the U.S. and Canada.

Mr. Simons is married to Dr. Jennifer Allen Simons who, in 1985, established the Simons Foundation, with funding from the engineering company, to actively promote education in peace, disarmament, global cooperation, human rights, social justice, and environmental issues. The Foundation is now funded by the Simons family.

Oscar Boldt

Oscar C. Boldt was born and raised in Appleton, Wisconsin. In 1948, he earned his bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and joined the Oscar J. Boldt Construction Company. In 1950, he became its chief operating officer and, in 1963, its president, director, and chairman of the board. Later, he was named president of the holding company, The Boldt Group, Inc., and, in 1984, became its chairman and chief executive officer.

During more than 50 years with the company, Boldt developed a small family corporation founded in 1889 into the leading contractors in the pulp and paper industry with projects ranging from small rebuilds to $495 million, and with revenues more than doubled the second place firm. In 1999, the Engineering News-Record named Boldt Construction Company number 81 among the largest US construction management and general construction firms.

The Boldt Group worked through the United States, with occasional projects in Canada and Mexico. His firm played a key role in the April 1995 rescue operations after the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City and received national recognition. In managing the company, Boldt drew on skills acquired as a navigator on the 15th Air Force bombers on missions out of Italy in World War II. Boldt was also lectured frequently in the University of Wisconsin’s engineering and construction management program.

Virtually all sectors of the paper industry have benefited from these skills. Boldt has assisted owners in deploying capital in fiber supply end of the business from woodyards to pulping operations of all kinds, including deinking of waste paper. The company has erected and rebuilt paper machines in virtually every sector of the industry, including tissue and towel, groundwood coated and uncoated, uncoated freesheet, coated freesheet, specialties, and bleached and unbleached board. In addition, Boldt has served the finishing sector with experiences in the construction of complex coaters, calenders, winders, sheeting, and converting and packaging operations.

Boldt was a director of M&I Bank and Midwest Express Airline. For many years he served on the boards of Pierce Manufacturing, Integrated Paper Services, Lawrence University, health related industries, Community Foundation of Fox Valley, Appleton Rotary Club, and Appleton Family YMCA.

Boldt received the Silver Beaver Award, the Master Entrepreneur of the Year Award, and the 1988 Walter L. Rugland Community Service Award (with his with Patricia). He also received the Distinguished Service Citation from the University of Wisconsin College of Engineering and was inducted into the Chi Epsilon National Civil Engineering Society in 1996.

Edwin Cowles

Edwin Cowles was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and educated in the Cleveland school system. He earned a degree in marine architecture at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.

Cowles founded Cowles Chemical Company in 1925 in Cleveland, Ohio, and Cowles Engineering Corporation in Sewaren, New Jersey, in 1930. He was a consultant and inventor for the Downingtown Paper Company in Downington, Pennsylvania from 1930 to 1938, and for Dilts Machine Works in Fulton, New York, from 1939 until his death in 1968.

Cowles invented a method of pressure screening and of defibering paper fibers, known as the “Classifiner”, prior to 1939. All modern screening via pressure screening, now combined with completely automated reject control, derives from his work. Cowles also invented and developed the Cowles Pulper, which was patented in 1944. This later became known as the “Hydrapulper (TM)”, a product of Dilts Machine Works, Fulton, NY. The Dilts company became a division of the Black Clawson Company in 1940 and later a division of Thermo Fibertek, Inc. In the 1930s and ’40s, the U.S. paper industry was considerably ahead of Europe and Asia because of Cowles’ inventions. After World War II, Black Clawson exported this technology worldwide. Today, all modern defibering of virgin and secondary fibers is done in an hydrapulper, or copy equivalent, totally controlled by advanced instrumentation. In his varied career, Cowles also invented laundry processes and equipment, and laundry chemicals, particularly silicates and stearates.

Cowles’ inventions greatly improved the quality and uniformity of fibers leading to improved paper machine efficiencies. Other additional advantages were decreased energy consumption and increased efficiency in the use of broke, waste papers and other grades of secondary paper. Thus, the door was open for the use of municipal solid waste as a source of fiber.

Cowles received 40 patents on his inventions. He was a member of the Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry (TAPPI) from 1940 until his death in 1968 in New York City. His is buried in Cleveland, Ohio.

D.C. Everest

David C. Everest was born in Pine Grove, Michigan, and attended Gables High School. At age 16, a double tragedy struck. His father’s factory burned to the ground with a total financial loss and, soon after, his father died. Everest was forced to work to support his mother and sister. He started as an office boy but advanced fast. He worked first as a bookkeeper, then as assistant manager of paper companies. By 1909, he was sales manager of a machine company. While working on the jobs, he completed his high school education in 1899.

In 1909, at the age of 27, he was approached by the financial backers of a newly incorporated firm, Marathon Paper Mills Company, to build and manage the company. There were no employees, no equipment, no manufacturing plant, no definite plans, but lots of enthusiasm. The initial incorporation was for $750,000. Everest left a good job and joined them. The backers originally planned to produce newsprint, but he convinced them to enter the paper specialty field, which proved to be a wise choice; the business provided a stable demand.

Mr. Everest’s first big challenge came in July 1911 when flood waters brought thousands of logs smashing down the Wisconsin River from lumber mills upstream. Considerable damage was done to the mill, and the west end of the dam was dynamited to relieve pressure. The company was in danger of folding because of the costly damage, but it persevered.

Through the early years, Marathon sold much of its paper to Menasha Printing and Carton Company, which manufactured bread wrapper and paper pails for food containers in Menasha, Wausau and Ashland. Mr. Everest, a man of colorful quotes, stated frequently that “people will quit the eatin’ habit last.”

In 1927, Everest purchased the Mensasha Printing and Carton Company. Later, he added printing capabilities and its own ink plant, making the then Marathon company the largest printer in the world. Marathon’s extensive operations were spread over five states. During more than 46 years of Everest’s management at Marathon, there was never a work stoppage or strike. He often emphasized that the “interests of employees and stockholders are identical.”

Everest received honorary doctorate degrees from the University of Wisconsin, Lawrence University, and Northland College. He was one of the original founders of the Institute of Paper Chemistry in Appleton (now Institute of Paper Science and Technology, Atlanta). He received the Gold Medal from the TAPPI, an award never before given to someone who had not received a technical education. Everest was also made a Fellow of Great Britain’s Newcomen Society, an honor in the field of engineering.

Charles Holmes Herty

Charles Holmes Herty was born in Milledgeville, Georgia, where his father, Bernard Herty, was the leading pharmacist. Young Charles was orphaned before he was 11 years old and was raised by an aunt, Miss Holmes, in Athens, Georgia.

Dr. Herty received a bachelor of philosophy degree from the University of Georgia in 1886, and his doctorate from Johns Hopkins University in 1890.

After working in many positions with various universities, associations, and industries, Herty, in 1928, opened a consulting office in New York to develop natural resources of the South. He focused on naval stores from pine trees and promoted production materials from cellulose that remained after oil had been removed from trees. This was ideal because by this time, while at Chattanooga Pottery Company, he had already perfected and manufactured his patent invention, the Naval Cup, a device for generating naval stores from pine trees. This was a major step in improving the extraction of turpentine from pine trees.

Parallel to his work in New York, he served as director of research for pulp and paper at the Georgia State Department of Forestry. In 1932, he established a pulp and paper laboratory in Savannah, Georgia, now the Herty Foundation, to prove that cheap, fast growing Southern pine could profitably replace Canadian spruce in the manufacture of newsprint. Dr. Herty was head of this laboratory until his death in 1938.

Dr. Herty’s technological contributions opened the door to the use of Southern pine as a fiber source, creating the Southern pulpwood industry. His work provided the pulp and paper industry in the Western hemisphere with a vast source of fiber, and significantly increased the manufacturing base of the Southern states. He led research on pulp by-products, including rayon. He also promoted the synthetic camphor industry and promoted industrial research in cottonseed oils, kaolin clays, and agricultural by-products. During his career, Dr. Herty authored 75 papers.

Dr. Herty was a member of the American Chemical Society and served as president from 1915 to 1916. He was on the board of governors and chair of the cellulose committee of the National Farm Chemurgic Council. He was a member of the American Forestry Association and TAPPI from 1915 to 1918, respectively, until his death. The Herty medal, now administered by the Georgia Section Society, remains the South’s most distinguished award for its chemists.

Dr. Herty received various medals from the above organizations, plus honorary doctorates from Colgate University, Oglethorpe University, University of Pittsburgh, University of Georgia, University of North Carolina, University of Florida, and Duke University. In 1940, the Charles Holmes Herty Memorial Highway was dedicated. In 1943, the Liberty Ship S. S. Charles H. Herty was launched.

Brian Attwood

Brian Attwood was born in Bristol, United Kingdom. He graduated from Merchant Ventures/Bristol College of Technology, now the University of West England. He earned his degree primarily through night school. In 1942, Attwood started work at St. Anne’s Paper and Board Mill Co. Ltd. as a production and technical trainee. After an absence of two years to serve in the Royal Air Force, Attwood rejoined St. Anne’s and quickly worked his way to become process and technical director. In 1981, he formed his own independent consulting company, St. Anne’s Paper and Paperboard Developments Ltd.

At St. Anne’s Board Mill, Attwood developed the twin-wire process which was commercialized by Walmesley-Beloit in the “Inverform” machine, which, in turn, influenced the design of the “Bel Bond” former at A.P.M. in Australia. This work led to the development of St. Anne’s subsidiary headbox, capable of supporting the twin-wire forming at consistencies of up to 2 percent. St. Anne’s received the Queen’s Award to Industry for the invention and development of the twin-wire process.

Attwood worked on dry forming with Karl Kroyer of Denmark. But the major part of his activities was associated with cylinder under felt forming that led to the development of the BRDA / St. Anne’s Former. There are over 400 such units in operation worldwide. Attwood also pioneered pressure forming and invented the Hydra Nip Press process. His other contributions include the study of formation using beta radiography techniques, elucidating the mechanism of suction box dewatering, and the mechanism of multi-cylinder drying.

Attwood is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, a Fellow of the City and Guilds Institute, U.K., and a Fellow of the TAPPI. He also received many prestigious awards such as the Silver Jubilee and Gold medals from the U.K. Paper Industry Technical Association (PITA); the Gold medal of British Paper Industry; the EUCEPA Gold Emblem; and TAPPI’s 2000 Gunnar Nicholson Gold Medallion. He was a trustee of the British Paper Museum and an active and involved member of many professional associations in the U.K., Germany, Finland, Canada, and the USA.

Attwood has 30 patents to his credit and is the author of over 50 technical papers. He also jointly authored a textbook covering multi-ply forming technology.