Friday, May 30
by Carmie Lato, PAPTAC
Conference Chair, Brian Grantham, West Fraser-Hinton Pulp
I always have two objectives right around this time of year, said Brian: 1) that the Boston Bruins win the Stanley Cup, and 2) that the Montreal Canadiens don’t!
Kidding aside, the Chair’s objective for this 2014 edition of PACWEST was to deliver a good program promoting an exchange of ideas and where delegates, in keeping with the theme, would be able to explore and learn of strategies that will improve mill results thus ensuring the sustainability and competitiveness of the industry. He expressed great satisfaction at the total attendance of 234 and hopes to build on that for future editions.

Program Chair, Stew Gibson, Catalyst Paper
In this role, the first question Gibson asked himself was “what makes a program work?” He determined early on that it was a blend of things -- technical presentations, panel discussions networking, etc. – and the ability to build a program responsive to the conference theme and addressing important concerns faced by most, like the unprecedentant changes in operations and services and finding a way to manage loss of experience and knowledge transfer. He believes to have achieved his objective and hopes that everyone “learns something and takes it back.”

Incoming Co-Chair, Eric Berubé, Buckman
When asked what he would like to build on for next year’s program, Eric stated that he wanted to inspire himself by one of the things this year’s keynote speaker emphasized repeatedly –need-based goals – and plans to solicit key individuals to help him identify and build a theme and program customized to what the audience wants rather than what we think it wants. New for 2014, he feels the student sessions were a great addition and wants to build on them, along with the short courses, as both were a little lacking in attendance this year.
Furthermore, he wants to continue exploring potential programs he can bring to the event to help with the ever-increasing concern of manpower renewal and transfer of knowledge.