WestRock’s Covington mill has announced position changes that were internally announced in July.
Randel Hoke has accepted the position of engineer for E&I, assigned to the Power department.
In this position, he is responsible for the E&I team performing safe and efficient maintenance and repairs in Power.
Hoke graduated in May 2009 from West Virginia University Institute of Technology with a degree in electrical engineering. From June 2000 to June 2009, Hoke worked as a logger for R.K. Hoke Timber in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va.
In June 2009, he joined Consol Energy as an industrial engineer in East Finley, Pa., and then transferred to their mine in Blacksville, W.Va., where he accepted the position of electrical supervisor of Blacksville No. 2 Coal Mine.
Hoke joined the Covington mill in 2011 as an engineer for E&I in the Recovery department. He accepted the position of engineer for E&I in Recovery, UPM, and Woodyard in 2015.
Roy Hall has accepted the position of mechanical/security/property conservation manager.
In this position, he is responsible for the maintenance, reliability, and availability of all mechanical equipment in the paper mill as well as mill security, property conservation, and plant protection.
Hall joined the Covington mill in 1994 as an hourly production employee and was accepted as a millwright apprentice in 1999. He completed his apprenticeship in 2003 and became a power millwright the same year.
In 2007, he was promoted to tour lead millwright, and in 2013, he transferred to C1 as a salaried maintenance supervisor.
Hall accepted the position of assistant maintenance superintendent in June 2014 and was promoted to maintenance superintendent in 2015.
Pat Dunn has accepted the position of assistant superintendent — E&I.
In this position, he is responsible for electrical and instrumentation maintenance operations in the Paper Mill department.
Dunn received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering Technology from Bluefield State College in 1991. He began his career at GE in Salem as a wiring technician before being promoted to installation and commissioning engineer.
In 1998, Dunn joined Rockwell Automation in Rock Hill, S.C., as a field services engineer, and in 2002, he accepted the position of senior reliability engineer at Celanese in Narrows.
Dunn joined the Covington mill in 2016 as an electrical engineer in the Recovery department.
Matt Jones has accepted the position of engineer/ planner for E&I assigned to the Bleach Room and WTP.
In this position, he is responsible for reliability-centered E&I activities and projects, which includes planning and support duties.
Jones received his B.S. in electrical engineering from West Virginia University Institute of Technology in 2018. During the summer of 2018, he served as a process engineer co-op for WestRock in the Electrical and Instrumentation department at the Covington mill.
Jones joined the Covington mill in 2019 as a process engineer assigned to the C1 Unleash Rebuild team. He then rotated to the E&I department and was assigned to Recovery.
Tom Chambers has accepted the position of HR business partner in the Human Resources department.
In this position, he is the primary HR business partner for all hourly and salaried operations employees in the mill. Chambers will continue his responsibilities for ADA/RTW, and the co-op program mill-wide.
Chambers earned his B.A. in industrial organizational psychology from BYU-Idaho in 2015. In 2016, he earned his master’s in human resources from Utah State, where he also obtained his MBA in 2017.
Chambers worked for IP in Shelbyville, Ill., as an HR generalist from 2017 to 2019. He joined WestRock at the Covington mill in August 2019 as an HR generalist.
Emily Harless has accepted the position of process engineer in the Technical Department.
She will be focused on process improvement projects in the paper mill department to improve safety, quality, and costs.
Harless received her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from WVU Tech in 2020. In 2017, she worked as an intern with Kureha PGA, LLC in Belle, W.Va. In 2018, Harless was an intern with Coronado Coal —Buchannan Minerals in Grundy. Harless was a co-op at the Covington mill in 2019.
Jonathan Neff has accepted the position of human resources leader for the Covington mill and Low Moor.
In this position, Jonathan is responsible for all human resource functions at the Covington mill and Low Moor.
Neff earned his B.A. in psychology with an emphasis in Human Resources in 2013 from Bellarmine University. He served as an operator/laborer for Buckingham Coal Company from 2010-2013.
He accepted the position of HR generalist for Environmental Management Specialists, Inc. in 2014.
In 2017, Neff joined WestRock at Mahrt operations as an HR generalist. He accepted the position of human resources lead in 2019 at the Covington mill.
Jason Wood has accepted the position of superintendent in the Recovery department.
In this position, he is responsible for the overall safety and operations of the Recovery department as well as ensuring environmental standards are maintained.
Wood received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Louisiana Tech University in 1999. Before earning his degree, he was enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps infantry from 1988-1992. He accepted his first engineering position at Huntsman Petrochemicals in February 1999 before joining Graphic Packaging as a research engineer in February 2000.
At Graphic Packaging, he held several positions in the Power, Recovery, and Caustic department including process engineer (2000), production supervisor (2005), product engineer (2006), and senior product engineer (2008). His final position there was fiber superintendent, a position he accepted in 2011.
Wood joined WestRock in 2015 as an assistant superintendent in Recovery at the Covington mill.
John Groves has accepted the position of assistant superintendent in the Recovery department.
In this position, he is responsible for leading the effort to install reliability systems, developing operating procedures with the training coordinator, troubleshooting operational and maintenance issues, and overseeing day-to-day operations in Recovery.
Groves joined the Covington mill in 1987 as an employee on the extra board. He joined GUD as a laborer in June 1988.
Groves has spent his career in Recovery. In 1990, he accepted the position of operator in Recovery and progressed through the sequence to first assistant. He became shift supervisor in 2000.
From 2005 through 2009, he worked on special projects and training guides. In 2009, Groves accepted the salaried position of maintenance validator and became lime kiln/evaporator/NCG supervisor in 2014. Groves was promoted in 2018 to operations supervisor.
Ryan Iachini has accepted the position of operations supervisor in the Recovery department.
In this position, he will coordinate Recovery needs between maintenance and operations, track costs, assist with outages, and play an active role in addressing safety problems and concerns.
Iachini earned his B.S. degrees in chemical engineering and chemistry from Virginia Tech in May 2014. Prior to his employment at WestRock, he was the fuel nozzle repair co-op at GE Energy in Greenville, S. C., from August to December 2011 and August to December 2012.
Iachini joined WestRock in 2014 as an early career development engineer and spent his first rotation at the Covington mill in the Recovery department.
He served additional rotational assignments in Logistics and at Evadale before taking a full-time position at the Covington mill as a process engineer in the Recovery department in October 2016.
He was promoted to recausticizing engineer in January 2018 and then in September 2018, he was promoted to recausticizing, evaporator, and NCG supervisor.
Mitch Piper has accepted the position of recovery boiler/kiln/recausticizing/evaporation supervisor.
In this position, he will retain responsibility of maintaining the safety, production, maintenance, and capital improvement of the recovery boilers.
In addition, he will be responsible for the long-term coordination of the technical direction of the kiln, recausticizing, and evaporation areas including outage planning and continuous improvement work.
Piper earned his B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from Pennsylvania State University in 2013. Prior to his employment at WestRock, Piper completed an internship in 2012 at First Quality Enterprises, Inc. as a process engineer.
He joined the Covington mill in 2013 as a process engineer in the Technical department and completed a rotation in C2 before accepting the position of recausticizing process engineer in the Recovery department in 2014.
Piper was promoted to recausticizing supervisor in May 2017 and to recovery boiler supervisor in December 2017.
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