Ron Yeske retires from NCASI service

Dr. Ron Yeske concluded his service with NCASI on January 9th, after a
long and distinguished career as President of the organization. He
had relinquished the leadership role to his successor, Dirk Krouskop, in November and, at the time of his retirement, was serving as advisor and internal consultant to help smooth the transition in leadership.

Dr. Yeske began his service as President of NCASI in December
1994, succeeding Dr. Isaiah Gellman. Shortly after joining NCASI, Yeske coordinated the relocation of NCASI’s headquarters office from mid-town Manhattan to Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, and launched an initiative to modernize NCASI’s administrative practices.


Ron Yeske

Ron Yeske at the 2011 NCASI Southern Regional Meeting 

Among other accomplishments during his tenure as President, Yeske initiated the creation of NCASI-Canada, including the recruitment of an outstanding leader for NCASI-Canada and the recruitment of “charter” Canadian Member Companies. Yeske also created a new Sustaining Membership program for companies affiliated with the forest products industry but ineligible for regular NCASI membership.

When asked to identify other notable accomplishments during his tenure as President, Yeske was quick to emphasize the pivotal role played by his leadership team when citing accomplishments that occurred on his watch. “Everything that we accomplished hinged on the contributions and effectiveness of the NCASI team. I quickly learned to respect the staff’s collective intelligence, expertise and sophistication, and to trust them to identify and do whatever was necessary without much oversight from me. They are an incredible group and they have my enduring respect and gratitude.”

Ron cited five accomplishments that will likely have lasting impact. First, he expressed pride in his recruitment of the next generation of NCASI’s leaders whose impressive knowledge and leadership skills are certain to sustain the organization in the coming decade. Next, he takes satisfaction in his effectiveness in leading the organization through challenges engendered by a severe economic recession. Despite those challenges and vast changes in the structure of forest products companies worldwide, NCASI’s membership ranks remained steadfast, consistently reflecting more than 90% of pulp and paper production in the United States. Third, he mentioned the ease with which NCASI recognized the emerging importance of sustainability reporting by the membership, and the manner in which NCASI provided just-in-time understanding and tools to support Members’ reporting practices. Fourth, he mentioned NCASI’s nimble response to the wholesale change in ownership of industrial timberlands in North America, and especially the recruitment into membership of many new timberland companies. Finally, Yeske takes particular satisfaction in NCASI’s role in helping the industry respond to a period of unprecedented regulatory activism, beginning with the Cluster Rule. He noted that “the regulations that emerged from this process were vastly improved compared to the versions first proposed, lowering costs and facilitating compliance by Member Companies, while continuing to protect our environment. The relationships that were forged with AF&PA, FPAC and many other industry trade associations were critical to the enhanced regulatory framework.

Prior to joining NCASI, Yeske had served as Dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Wisconsin – Platteville, and before that, as Vice President for Research and Academic Affairs at the Institute of Paper Science and Technology. He holds a PhD in materials science from Northwestern University and a Bachelor’s Degree in mechanical engineering, summa cum laude, from Marquette University. Ron is a TAPPI Fellow and was registered as a Professional Engineer in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. He served as a member of the Board of Directors of TAPPI (and its Executive Committee) during a period of significant restructuring by that organization.  He also chaired the Search Committee that recommended the appointment of the current President of TAPPI.

Tommy Joseph, Chairman of NCASI’s Board of Governors, expressed the sentiments of Executive Committee of the Board, stating that “we want to recognize Dr. Yeske’s long and distinguished service as NCASI’s President, and extend our best wishes to Ron in his retirement.”

Ron plans to retire to lakeside living in South Carolina with Maril, his high school sweetheart and wife of 47 years, where he will pursue his interests in woodworking and bass fishing. He also plans to devote more time to exploring the attractions of New York City with his daughter, Katherine, who resides there.