Evergreen Packaging® Announces Winners of Employee Sustainability Leadership Awards

MEMPHIS, Tenn., December 2, 2015 – Evergreen Packaging, a global leader in beverage paperboard carton manufacturing, today announced the winners of its Evergreen Packaging Employee Sustainability Leadership Awards. The contest was open to U.S.-based Evergreen Packaging employees who demonstrate sustainability leadership in their community. Evergreen selected six winning employees; presenting winners with special gifts and a $500 donation to the organization with which the employee is involved.

“We’re excited to announce the winners of our Evergreen Packaging Employee Sustainability Leadership Award. This contest grew out of Evergreen Packaging’s focus on encouraging our workforce to promote a positive future for our communities,” said Tobi Merschat, vice president of Human Resources for Evergreen Packaging. “Whether they are building school gardens or volunteering with the homeless – each of these outstanding employees is stepping up to make a difference in their communities. Evergreen is proud to stand with these employees to help support some really incredible local non-profit organizations.”

The six winning employees from across the country were selected for their outstanding dedication and community leadership. The national winners of the contest are:

  • Sheri Albrecht (Sales Services Manager – Cedar Rapids, Iowa) – Albrecht has been a Teacher-Naturalist at the Indian Creek Nature Center for 15 years. Her leadership has allowed the organization to enhance programs and include more youth at each event. Working primarily with Girl and Boy Scout workshops, she is an excellent role model for youth. Sharing her love and deep respect for nature, Albrecht loves to see the wonder and imagination blossom in children’s minds when they are exposed to it. Organization of choice: Indian Creek Nature Center.
  • Rob Elliot (Fiber Procurement Manager – Canton, North Carolina) – Elliot is the chair of the PTA Garden Committee at Fairview Elementary School, where his children are students. He has worked diligently to enhance the learning experience of the garden by building a three-bin composting system, improving raised beds for winter time growing with cold frames, and increasing garden access for students in wheelchairs. Elliot coordinates parent garden workdays once per quarter and also raises funds in the community to offset the cost of building materials, mulch, and topsoil. In order to promote locally grown, healthy produce and provide educational and fund raising opportunities, he has advocated a non-profit monthly Farmer’s Market held in the school parking lot. Through these efforts, Elliot has learned that in order for communities to be sustainable, there needs to be broader interaction between groups that work toward similar sustainability goals. Organization of choice: Fairview Elementary PTA’s School Garden.
  • Andy Elmes (Manager, Project Engineering & Process Improvement) – Elmes has volunteered with the Congregations Around Richmond Involved to Assure Shelter (CARITAS) Ministry in Central Virginia for 12 years. CARITAS is comprised of 185 congregations which provide shelter, food and necessities on a weekly basis to homeless individuals and families in need of immediate assistance. As the Coordinator for his church, Good Shepherd United Methodist Church, Elmes leads preparation for his congregation’s week of service to shelter 40 homeless individuals. Taking a week’s vacation, he volunteers 60-70 hours to oversee the shelter week. Elmes works diligently to allow his guests to have a sense of purpose and to feel loved, respected and independent while under his care. Organization of choice: CARITAS.
  • Catherine Guidry (Documentation & Training Specialist, Memphis, Tennessee) – Guidry volunteers at Memphis Athletic Ministries (MAM), which is a Christian-based organization focused on providing year-round, mentoring programs to at-risk youth. Serving as a mentor and role model for the elementary-aged girls in the program, she plans fun and educational experiences that would otherwise be unavailable. She also helped renovate a special room “Ladies Lounge” where the girls can read, play and interact with each other. Catherine loves getting to know the children and giving them the support they need to learn, grow, and succeed in life. Organization of choice: Memphis Athletic Ministries.
  • Ed Lamar (Material Handler, Plant City, Florida) – Lamar is the co-founder, vice president, and a coach at Bay Area Hoops Elite, which focuses on “getting youth to the next level” in the areas of sports, school, and daily life. Besides offering basketball training and exposure, the organization teaches teamwork and leadership with the objective of helping youth obtain college scholarships. By providing set guidelines, rules to follow, and steady encouragement, he has found that kids will flourish and can achieve anything. In the last 2 years, the twelve students in the first senior class all received college scholarships. Lamar loves being able to give kids that opportunity. Organization of choice: Bay Area Hoops Elite.
  • Robert Tallman (Service Operator, Pine Bluff, Arkansas) – As president of the Arkansas chapter of Challenged Outdoorsmen of America, Tallman is passionate about providing outdoor opportunities for challenged outdoorsmen and disadvantaged youth. Events like camping, hunting, fishing, fun days and educational trips create experiences for these disadvantaged individuals to develop honesty, fellowship, self-discipline and team play. Through his work with the Challenged Outdoorsmen of America, Tallman has led disadvantaged youth on hunting trips and taught disabled veterans to fish. As an advocate for the challenged outdoorsmen, Tallman doesn’t see what the disabled can’t do, but what they can do with a little help. Organization of choice: Challenged Outdoorsmen of America.

The Employee Sustainability Leadership Awards were developed as part of Evergreen Packaging’s commitment to building a workforce focused on sustainable business and dedicated to sustainable communities. Evergreen’s focus on sustainability includes promoting community engagement that involves environmental, economic, and social considerations.

The company tapped community engagement and sustainability experts to participate in the program judging committee. These judges included:

  • Steve Brown, of Waynesville, North Carolina, is an experienced leader of non-profit organizations including the local county school and hospital foundations. He has been involved with many local professional organizations including the Boy Scouts, Rotary Club and Salvation Army. Brown is currently the Executive Director for The Arc of Haywood County, which is an organization that provides residential services to individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.
  • Jon Campbell is Director of Fellows at New Memphis Institute. Prior to joining the New Memphis team, Campbell worked with leadership education in the college environment, including advising a student group that raised over $1 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. He continues to volunteer extensively for higher education. Campbell lives in Memphis, TN with his wife and two young daughters.
  • Lauren Young, of Memphis, Tennessee, has been the Executive Director of the Kemmons Wilson Family Foundation for over 11 years, managing all of the activities of the family’s philanthropy. Lauren also serves as the Board Chair to the Juvenile Intervention and Faith-Based Follow Up and the chair of the Memphis Grantmakers Forum, while serving on the boards of Hope Christian Community Foundation and Baptist Memorial HealthCare Foundation.

For more information on the program, and to see other ways Evergreen Packaging is promoting a focus on sustainability, visit www.evergreenpackaging.com/sustainability.

About Evergreen Packaging®

Evergreen Packaging is a global leader in creating fiber-based packaging solutions customized to deliver product freshness and brand distinction. Evergreen Packaging is a vertically integrated packaging company, delivering total solutions of barrier paperboard, technical expertise, equipment and service.

Evergreen Packaging cartons have the eco-friendly attributes consumers want: more than 70 percent of the carton is made from paper derived from a renewable resource: trees. Cartons are also recyclable for an increasing number of households. In addition, our cartons are made with renewable energy – over 50% of the energy used to make the paper in our carton comes from biomass.