POTSDAM – Potsdam Specialty Paper Inc. has been selected as the St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce’s Business of the Year and will receive the award at the chamber’s annual dinner Oct. 10 at SUNY Potsdam.
The paper company received numerous nominations based upon its “manufacturing excellence, steady corporate growth, exemplary environmental stewardship, and enthusiastic community support,” according to Chamber Director Pat McKeown.
“Potsdam Paper is simultaneously a global marketplace player and a valued hometown company,” McKeown said. “They prove that there are no limits to what a North Country business can do.”
Potsdam Specialty Paper General Manager Ron Charette said, “there are many fine businesses in St. Lawrence County, and we are honored and humbled to be singled out for this award.”
Business of the Year, as well as Community Service and Volunteer of the Year awards will be presented at the chamber’s annual dinner. Reservations for the Oct. 10 event may be made by calling the chamber at 386-4000 or emailing Jo Ann Roberts at firstname.lastname@example.org. The cost is $45 per person or $430 for a table of 10 people.
The event begins with cocktails at 6 p.m. and dinner at 7 p.m. in the Student Union Multi-Purpose Room at SUNY Potsdam. Live and silent auctions will also be featured during the evening.
Today’s Potsdam paper mill, just north of the village of Potsdam, can trace its origins to the paper mill built in 1892 by the Racquette River Paper Company under president and owner George W. Sisson. Over the decades, mill and paper production operations have changed ownership several times, but modernization and expansion regardless of the company name kept the site and its operations moving forward.
The Mead Corporation purchased the mill in 1998 and invested heavily in upgrading production capabilities, and modernizing infrastructure, delivery systems, and process controls. As part of the Specialty Paper Division, the mill focused its efforts and resources toward new business development.
In 2008, a group of investors with global sales and marketing experience in specialty papers was formed and purchased the Potsdam mill, establishing Potsdam Specialty Paper Inc. (PSPI). It is now part of a portfolio of global businesses that focus on niche products and markets in the value-added paper and coatings distribution business.
PSPI has set a commitment to environmental safeguards. Several projects in recent years have significantly helped reduce waste while also saving on costs. As a result, PSPI was awarded the Advancement in Cleaner Production Award from the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute of Rochester just this past August.