July 25, 2021

Graphic Packaging announces leadership award recipients

Brian Coffin, Jeff Iske and Christopher Miller were recently awarded the 2019 Leadership Award by Graphic Packaging International. All three are part of the maintenance team in Newton and were nominated by plant leadership for their efforts following a fire at the Newton facility last summer.

Each year GPI’s leadership team recognizes outstanding employee achievement with the Leadership Awards. These exclusive awards acknowledge employees across the global organization who have demonstrated exceptional performance in one of seven achievement categories (Growth Behaviors, Engagement, Sustainability, Community Service, Continuous Improvement, Safety and Core Values).

Coffin, Iske, and Miller were awarded for demonstrating the Company’s Core Values. The full nomination follows:

During the early morning hours of July 1, 2019, a fire started at the Newton facility. The overnight crew responded quickly and evacuated the building, and the team was sent home prior to the end of their shift. Fortunately, there were no injuries and no structural damage, but the smell of smoke was heavy throughout the building and soot covered most surfaces. When the next shift came in at 7 a.m., all employees were given the option to stay and work or go home. Several employees chose to leave due to the smell of smoke throughout the building, while others chose to stay and work at least part of the shift to help clean and keep production running. While we appreciate the efforts of everyone who stayed, our Maintenance team demonstrated the Core Values that we expect from everyone.

Coffin, Iske and Miller all worked more than 11 hours in less than ideal conditions to clean up the mess from the fire and get the equipment back into working order. The work was challenging, but they worked together and made significant progress over those 11 hours.

More importantly, this was not out of character for any of them. All three come to work with a positive attitude, work as a team to achieve results, and treat everyone with respect. They have set an example for others to follow.

Graphic Packaging International is one of the largest manufacturers of paper board and paper-based packaging for some of the world’s most recognized brands of food and beverages. Our Newton location provides food and beverage packaging for companies across the country, and employs more than 150 full-time employees.