Veronica is the COO of StepChange Consulting. StepChange is an industry focused and independent management consultancy specialized on wood, pulp, paper, packaging and tissue. Furthermore, StepChange is an industry thought leader in digital strategy bringing digital transformation to the fiber value chain.
Veronica has 20+ years of industry and consulting experience. She concentrates on strategic industry topics, sourcing of strategic raw materials and managing performance change. She has experience from living and working in South America, North America, Europe and the Middle East. She has led numerous high-profile programs for pulp, paper, packaging and FMCG companies across the globe, including the design of growth strategies, digital & organizational transformation and performance improvement.
Prior to joining StepChange she has been responsible for various strategic and operational projects for Fortune 500 consumer packaged goods companies as well as many other industries.
Veronica holds a degree in MSc from the Technical University of Vienna. She also has an MBA degree and a PhD in Economics.
Pirita Huotari has over 10 years of paper industry experience in global business environment across development, sales support, project management and consulting. Prior to joining Fisher, she held various positions at a major paper industry supplier including project management, business development and systems development. At Fisher, she has been supporting users of FisherSolve platform with strategic use of market data and creating insightful analysis for Fisher’s strategic consulting team for over 6 years.
Ms. Huotari holds a Bachelor and Master of Science (Eng.) degree in Process Engineering (Major Pulp&Paper Engineering) from the University of Oulu.
Born in Parma in 1966, he graduated in Organic Chemistry at the University of Parma and in his career he has always dealt with Packaging from different points of view. In the Zambon group (Inphardial) as CQ / AQ, then as head of the Packaging Design Office for the Bormioli Luigi glassworks, and finally in Barilla since 2003, where he has taken on various roles, from design, to innovation, up to today's position of Senior Science Manager on the topics of: Food Contact Materials, Research and Sustainability Packaging at a global level for the Barilla group.
He is part of the following working groups: FREP Leadership Team (EuPC - Food Contact Regulatory Expert Panel), CEFLEX initiative, PWCoA (plastic waste coalition of action) of the Consumer Goods Forum, and some Working Groups of the Italian Packaging Institute on Environment, Sustainability and Technical topics, CONAI Prevention Group, and is in the board of directors of GSICA (Italian Scientific Group for Food Packaging).
Brought up in a family of printing and paper production and 15 years at H&M HQ marketing department working with innovation, building our supplier network, the startup of our sustainability work and wow with Point of sale material it was a complete match when I started to work with H&M group customer packaging 9 years ago. Taking our innovation and sustainability work within packaging for our stores and growing E-com sales to the next level, setting our packaging strategy and having the possibility of making sure we are leading the way to a more sustainable future is still my passion and the journey has just begun.
Peter Désilets is Managing Director and Co-founder of pacoon Sustainability Concepts GmbH, based in Munich and Hamburg, Germany. PACOON is a leading agency in Europe for sustainable packaging solutions.
PACOON has been following developments in sustainability for over 13 years and organised the 'SOLPACK - International Conference for Sustainable Packaging' four times with latest news and trends in material, technologies, strategies and concepts. PACOON organises training courses and workshops and advises companies on evaluating and developing solutions.
The agency has a broad network of internationals suppliers and institutes and is itself involved in several customer and funding projects for innovative food packaging.
As a Product Director for Alternative Barriers for Packaging Materials, part of the global Packaging Solutions department, Davide is responsible for the implementation of the company’s 2030 strategy across the Tetra Pak packaging materials portfolio. Main focus is on the introduction of new packaging material structures, where standard barriers are replaced by new ones designed to increase packaging circularity while minimising carbon footprint.
Davide and his team have been working with suppliers and customers, while facilitating partnerships to address circular economy challenges and opportunities. Focus areas in past and present roles are sourcing and implementation of plant-based polymers in the products portfolio, development of alternative packaging materials structures and minimisation of environmental impact of customer operations.
Based in Modena (Italy) and part of the company since 2009, he has been gaining experience on Quality Systems (ISO standards), environmental requirements definition and the assessment of development projects, plus ongoing portfolio performance.
Davide holds an MSC degree in Environmental Engineering from the University of Bologna.
I’m looking back to almost 25 years of experience in the Flexible, Cardboard and Paper Packaging Industry, since 2018 with the Koehler Paper Group as Sales Manager for Flexible Packaging Paper.
After all those years I’m still excited to bring sustainable packaging solutions to the customers – converters and brand owners.
Robert Pable Mirande Duhalde has 18 years of experience in the Pulp and Paper Industry. He lived, worked and studied in 5 different countries throughout his career and is a Mechanical engineer with a technical master level course in pulp and paper and experience in the same field. Roberto graduated as MBA at IEEM in 2010.
Roberto has worked in a variety of areas, including with Tissue Production, Eucalyptus pulp product development, Eucalyptus plantations and Technical Customer Service for Pulp Sales. He has been technically involved in sales of NBSK, Canadian NBSK, BCTMP, BEKP, UBK and UBE.
Dirk Kaczmarek, Technical Account Development Lead at Consumer Flexibles, joined Mondi in 2012. He is passionate about food packaging and has more than 20 years of experience in FMCG packaging and has worked globally. At Mondi he has held various roles (Application Engineer, R&D, Quality, Technical Account Manager) and also worked in Thailand for almost 3 years. Before Mondi, he gained experience at other international flexible packaging converting companies. He studied Mechanical Engineering at the University of Duisburg/Essen, Germany, and the University of Manchester, UK. He also obtained a doctorate in engineering (Dr.Ing.) from the University of Duisburg/Essen.
Dr Vinay Kumar is a Senior Scientist at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. He has been at VTT for almost four years. The main goal of his research work at VTT is to develop innovative solutions for improving the competitiveness of the forest products industry and sustainability for the world.
He has developed novel methods for large-scale processing of nanocellulose suspensions into coatings and films for various applications ranging from sustainable packaging to flexible electronics. In addition, he has expertise on various barrier and dispersion coating technologies for paper and board packaging applications.
He did is Doctoral and Master studies in Chemical Engineering from Åbo Akademi (Finland), and he holds a Bachelor of Technology degree from IIT Roorkee (India).
Christophe Jordan, a true paper lover and expert with 20 years of experience at Arjowiggins. He started his career in Supply Chain, then moved to Business Strategy, International Business Development and is now the Managing Director of the Translucent Papers division and a Board Member of the Arjowiggins Group. He graduated from the French engineering school of paper & print (Pagora), followed by a Master degree at HEC Paris. Being the 7th generation of paper makers in his family, we can reasonably say that he has got paper in his blood!
Jan Rops is Product Manager at Crown Van Gelder BV, a Dutch specialty paper mill situated near Amsterdam. He received a Master of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the Delft University of Technology, studied at QMU London and did a post-graduation project at the University of Barcelona. Jan has worked for Akzo Nobel, Saint Gobain Isover, Tetra Pak and Crown Van Gelder. In 2004 at Crown van Gelder he developed their first HSI inkjet paper. Since 2014 Jan re-joined Crown Van Gelder as product manager for Crown Letsgo High Speed Inkjet paper and he specialized in sustainable inkjet book printing. In 2019 he started his search for alternative paper fibers with low environmental foot print. In February 2021 Crown Van Gelder launched ‘Crown Native’, a strong, food safe, eco-friendly paper made with sugar beet fibers coming from the remaining at the end of the sugar production process. In 2022 more alternative paper fibers will be incorporated.
Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Michael Rentzsch is employed at the Papiertechnische Stiftung (PTS) since October 2021. As head of the department Functional Materials of the PTS research and business unit Fibres and Composites, he and his group are investigating paper technology derivable high performance materials based on lignocellulosic compounds, especially in the fields of reaction and energy techniques as light weight construction engineering. After his studies of Chemical Engineering (Dipl.-Ing. FH) at the Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft Dresden he wrote his Diploma thesis 2009 at the Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt – Institut für Technische Thermodynamik (DLR-ITT Stuttgart) about the topic „Electrochemical Characterization of metal support with plasmasprayed electrode electrolyte assemblies“. From 2010-2014 he worked as RnD-Project and Process Leading Manager of Electrolyte Filling in the field of product and process development of large scale Lithium-Ion-Cells in Automotive industry at Li-Tec Battery GmbH in Kamenz, from 2014 – 2020 he worked as Senior Project Manager in the field of Research and chemical process engineering for production of small scale Primary Lithium Ion Batteries (Health care industry) at Litronik Batterietechnologie GmbH in Pirna and one more time again from 2020 – 2021 as head of the department Stack building of microtubular solide oxide fuel cells (SOFC) at kraftwerk TUBES GmbH (SOFC) in Tharandt/Kurort Hartha.
Jenni currently holds a position as Paper Packaging Specialist at Nestlé Institution of Packaging Science where she is responsible for developing new sustainable fiber-based packaging materials and concepts. Her work combines her roots and passion for paper as well as for the circular economy.
Prior to joining Nestlé Jenni worked for over 10 years in the paper, printing and converting industry. She has a M.Sc in Forest Products Technology (Chemistry and Technology of Pulp and Paper Making) from Helsinki University of Technology, Finland
Claude holds a PhD in Polymer Science and an MBA and has been working for nearly 25 years in the Petrochemical Industry in various Functions with a strong emphasis on innovation from R&D to Business and Market Management, Project Management and Strategic Sourcing. In his current functions within Bostik, Claude is leading strategic initiatives globally to develop seal and reseal bonding solutions across the value chain with the objective to develop enabling adhesives to meet changing market needs with regard to sustainability. Finally, Claude has been employed by Arkema, Total and Bostik-Arkema in various countries over his career.
He has studied chemistry and mathematics at the universities of Tübingen and Mainz and finalized with a PhD in 1986 on photochemistry.
He has 11 years of industrial experience in the field of film and paper converting especially on wet chemical and vacuum technologies. After this he was responsible for R&D, technical support and quality safety in a lacquer producing company.
Since 2002 he works for the Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging in Freising in the department of „materials development“, which deals with packaging materials, film extrusion, film and paper converting. The main field is permeation of gases and vapors. He coordinated several industrial and public funded projects on national and EU-level.
He is giving lectures at the University of Applied Sciences of Weihenstephan in Freising on “Filling and packaging technology”.
Dr. Eng. Pierre Chevalier received his PhD in Organometallic Chemistry from the University of Montpellier (France) in 1995 under the supervision of Pr. R.J.P Corriu from the French Science Academy. He spent 26+ years in various research and managerial roles at heritage Dow Corning/Dow Chemical research centers in Great Britain and Belgium. Pierre Chevalier is currently a R&D Fellow within the European Resins, Coating and Adhesives Product Development team at Dow Silicones Belgium responsible for developing and commercializing innovative technologies in the Pressure Sensitive Industry market. He holds 31 patents and has published 23 research articles, and 4 book chapters.
Per Emilsson is born in Sweden.
Education level: Master of Science.
His career started 1976 as production engineer at the, nowadays, StoraEnso board mill in Skoghall, Sweden, with responsibility for the coating operation during four years.
Thereafter he continued 6 years as development engineer at former Stora (Billerud) R&D Center in Säffle, working with process studies, specialty papers development and implementation of PC working tools.
During the last 36 years, he has been with UMV coating Systems, former Inventing, as Coating Pilot Plant mgr, Sales mgr. and now Vice President Customer solutions.
He has made several presentations at international conferences and symposiums with coating perspective.
Dr. ir. Pieter Samyn graduated in 2001 at Ghent University (Belgium) and received Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering in 2007 from Ghent University presenting his research on polymer tribology. He followed an academic career from 2000 to 2020 at Universities of Ghent, Freiburg, Toronto and Hasselt having different positions of assistant professor and visiting professor. In 2021, he joined the collective research centre Sirris, a collective industrial research institute, as a Senior Researcher in Circular Economy and Renewable Materials. His work focusses on technical valorization of biomaterials as building blocks including binders and fillers for functional biocomposites and coatings. He led research projects on bio-inspired adhesion mechanisms, protective coatings for papers, nanocellulose production and application, biopolymer processing, advanced analytics and processing of nanocomposites. His work was awarded with several distinctions including the Robert-Bosch Juniorprofessorship, Baden-Wurttemberg Juniorprofessorenprogramm, Heinz-Maier Leibnitz Preis and FRIAS Fellowship. Currently, he assists companies in the implementation of bio-based polymer coatings and paints for industrial applications. In particular, he is involved in the development of bio-based coatings for control of barrier properties and recyclability of coated papers.
Dr. Sharon Koh-Fallet is a Lead Regulatory Review Scientist in the Division of Food Contact Substances (DFCS) in the Office of Food Additive Safety (OFAS) in the U.S. FDA. Dr. Koh-Fallet has worked on a variety of review work within DFCS ranging from premarket industry submissions to postmarket safety review projects. Dr. Koh-Fallet received her Bachelor of Science degree as a dual major in Chemistry and Physics from James Madison University in 2002. She received her doctorate in Chemistry from Northwestern University in 2007. Following the completion of her doctorate degree, Dr. Koh-Fallet worked at Milliken & Company for 6.5 years as a Research Chemist. Dr. Koh-Fallet then worked at the Naval Research Laboratory as a postdoctoral fellow, followed by a position as a staff scientist at Strategic Analysis, Inc. where she served as scientific and technical support to various government program managers. Dr. Koh-Fallet joined the FDA in January of 2017. Since 2019, Dr. Koh-Fallet serves as a team-lead in the regulatory review branch, where she continues to assist in managing premarket industry submissions, and other projects for both herself and her team.
After completing her higher technical education in chemistry, Elisa Mayrhofer studied microbiology at the University of Vienna. For here PhD she joined the Austrian Research Institute for Chemistry and Technology (OFI) in 2018 to work on the development and validation of methods for the safety assessment of unidentified substances in food packaging migrates. Her main focus was the establishment of an in-vitro bioassay-based strategy to detect DNA-reactive mutagens. In the research project “PolyCycle”, where Elisa Mayrhofer was able to take on the role of the project manager, this strategy was successfully applied to analyse recycled polymers to contribute to a safe application of recycled materials in direct food contact. For her achievements in this project she was awarded with the ACR woman award honouring the best scientist in the ACR research network.