Everyone at Northwest Paper Box — from the brothers who own it to the truck drivers who deliver your job — is committed to giving our customers the most creative and dependable service available from any packaging supplier in the region. We promote a team culture in which talented people treat each other as they would like to be treated. NWPB employees are involved in the decisions that affect them and our customers — creating opportunities for both our people and our business to improve and grow. Meet just a few to learn what it’s like to be a member of the NWPB team.
Jim Mack Employee of the Month for March
Here’s to Jim Mack for being this month’s recognized employee! Jim started here at Northwest Paper Box as a temp. After 6 months we knew we had to hire him on as a full time employee and he has been working for us the last 2 and a half years. Jim was recognized by his manager for always being here on time and not missing a day in over a year. Jim works on our 74” machine out in the plant and also has been training on the Eterna and strap line. He enjoys learning how to work the different machines out in the plant! When Jim isn’t at work he is raising 3 kids that are 15, 13, and 9. Their extracurricular activities such as track, wrestling and cross country keep him on the go quite a bit! And when he isn’t cheering them on he is cheering on the Seahawks, Blazers or the Ducks…unless he meant he watches ducks and seahawks that are wearing blazers? I’m not sure, I personally haven’t been to the Portland Zoo, but Jim has! He enjoys taking the kiddos there. They have a season pass as well as go to see the Zoo Lights every Christmas holiday! Fun fact: Jim went to college for Social work and actually worked in the field for a little while after he finished schooling!
Brad Van Allen Employee of the Month for February
This past month’s employee of the month is none other than Brad Van Allen! He has been working for Northwest Paper Box “longer than dirt…no really…” as he would say, but in all seriousness, Brad will be celebrating his 36th year this year!Brad is the Vice President of Accounting and Finance and one of his favorite aspects of his job is creating new spreadsheets that simplify a complicated process. He is a planner for sure, so there is no doubt that he likes to help plan the holiday party that we have every December with the whole crew. He also enjoys working with the people here, because he enjoys the camaraderie and fellowship, along with helping our customers’ be successful.Outside of the office you might find Brad playing a round of golf or walking the coast line with his family and their dogs, Ivy and Oreo. His family and his wife Carolyn’s family are all from the Northwest so they keep pretty busy with all sorts of events, birthdays, etc. When he isn’t busy with family, he is volunteers at his church on the Stewardship team and Youth team.Brad has many of fun facts, such as:-Have been on stage with Don Rickles in Las Vegas. For those who don’t know, he is a comedian you specialized in verbally harassing people.- Once he glued his brother John (JVA) to a swing. The reason, JVA was bugging him and they were trying to play a competitive game of ping pong.- He was the trail boss of groups of 60 or more on a mission trip to Mexico a few times. The goal was to get everyone back safe and sound…to my knowledge he did!-Last year he went to see the World Champion Chicago Cubs play in Wrigley! Once he has some more time he plans to visit all the MLB ballparks and have a bratwurst with a local brew!-His guess for the next potential superstar is Milwaukie Bucks 6’11” point guard Giannis Antetokounmpo…Brad believes he is going to be a good one!
Nicole Lehto Employee of the Month for January
Nicole is our customer service manager here at NWPB! She has been a part of the family for 23 years now. She started part time as a receptionist/office clerk in September in 1993, which was her senior year in high school. Once she graduated in 94’, she was hired as a full time employee. After playing receptionist for a few years, she was hired into customer service in 1997, where I have been since. Nicole has had the privilege to have seen and work at 3 of our offices (NW Guam, N Thompson, and N. Basin). Needless to say she has seen this company transform and grow. Her favorite part about working here at NWPB is to be part of a family atmosphere, where you can have open and honest conversations with the owners of the company and they actually hear what you are saying. She has enjoyed growing up with the brothers and the company. She also likes the fact that every day is a challenge. You never know what the day is going to bring, but yet the daily tasks remain the same. Nicole also enjoys building relationships with our customers and doing what she can to fulfill their needs….as long as they are paying for it :) Outside of work Nicole will go and enjoy the outdoors, when the weather is co-operative (not raining). She likes fishing on occasion such as when there is fishing to be done (she’s not a sit and be patient kind of girl). She looks forward to her annual family/friend camping trips to the beach where they will go crabbing, clamming, fishing, sit around the campfire, telling stories and being silly. Mostly enjoy just spending time with her favorite peeps and family. Nicole’s fun fact: She has just turned 40 and she has never had stitches, a broken bone, or surgery….let’s hope that didn’t just jinx her by being mentioned!
Desiree Jessie Employee of the Month for December
Des is our purchaser here at Northwest Paper Box. She handles all of our distribution items and the estimating of all of our corrugated projects. She has been here for 13 years (give or take the time when she left J) but has not been purchaser the entire time. She has worked in different areas in different departments, which makes her that more knowledgeable! Des’ favorite aspect of the job is actually being the customer and working with all of her vendors. When Des isn’t busy at work she is busy doing many other things such as spending time with her family which includes 3 boys of her own and 2 grandsons. Some hobbies of hers are bowling, fishing, traveling, sightseeing, soaking up the sun and hiking. And to top it all off, she even finds time to workout! One of her favorite vacations was doing a cruise to the Bahamas, she also enjoys a yearly road trip driving Hwy 101 in California through the Redwoods and beaches. Fun fact: Des wants to hike the Pacific Coast Trail! She plans to do the 2 states within the next few years. She may do it alone or she just might be able to convince one of her sons to go with her!
Laurie Notos November Crew Member of the Month
This month’s employee of the month has seemed to have done it all! Laurie has been here at Northwest Paper Box for 9 years and has worked all throughout the plant. She has worked in both the rigid set up and corrugated divisions of the company and has now been on the Warehouse side of things for 4 years. She enjoys the variety of work she receives in this position such as shipping and receiving, and unloading the strapper to load a truck or put back into the warehouse. Let’s just say she’s handy with a forklift! She enjoys working with the customers and most of all the people she works with!
A memorable experience for her at work was actually coming back from being out sick with the flu. We all remember how bad it was about 3 years ago….if you don’t, this is how bad. Laurie was out for 10 days and after recovering, she came back to work and all was fine and well until a few days later... her manager, Dave, got sick and was sent to the hospital with the flu and pneumonia. On top of that, a few others ended up calling in sick with the flu. Then there were only 2. She and the others in the department had to find a way to coordinate and achieve all jobs while being shorthanded. Luckily, everyone survived flu season and our customers received their boxes!
Outside of work Laurie likes to camp, hike and fish. Once a year, she and her boyfriend like to either head out East or West so they can enjoy all of these activities in one trip. When she isn’t out in nature she is working in her yard. As you can tell, she’s a hard worker and enjoys the outdoors.
On top of working hard, she also is playing hard! She has 9 grandkids and 1 great-grandkid. Total of 8 girls and 2 boys. During the fall season she has fun taking the kiddos to pumpkin patches…just imagine trying to keep 10 of those munchkins together in a corn maze!
Fun fact: Laurie was raised on a farm with her 6 brothers and sisters. They had cows, pigs and horses and even made their own bread and butter.
Ron Berry III October Crew Member of the Month
Ron has been a part of the Northwest Paper Box family for over a year and half now and we are happy to have him on our maintenance team. He has shown that he is a hard worker and loves what he does. To show that he is willing to learn, he is letting us fly him out to Philly in November to increase his knowledge on the strapper. With the new daily challenges that come with the job, Ron enjoys never knowing what to expect. For example, he had no idea he would be coming to work one day and have to try and move and fix a 2000lb part from our Apstar Printer/Die cutter machine. With clever wits, Ron and his team found a solution to get the job done!
When Ron isn’t at work he enjoys the great outdoors. He likes hunting, fishing and just being around his buddies. One of his favorite places to go hunting is in Idaho. The only way to get out to this plot of land is to take a bush plane. He has been 4 times and spends about 2 weeks of just exploring the 60 miles of vast land…quietly of course, can’t be scaring off the game.
Fun fact about Ron: he has never had a cavity!
Tom Ryan September Crew Member of the Month
Tom walked through our doors nine and a half years ago and his talents were recognized almost immediately by one of the original owners, Betty Van Allen. He has been working for our rigid set up department which includes our jewelry, candy, orthodontic and business card boxes. He became set up supervisor in 2011 and has been a tremendous asset. Tom thrives on the thrill of every day being different, never knowing what he is walking into. In previous j...obs, he manned one machine and did not enjoy staring at the same 15 feet day in and day out. With his job here at Northwest Paper Box, he is the ruler of all machines and gets to work alongside his awesome crew! He also enjoys getting the opportunity to work with our shipping department, customer service and accounting. He is a true team player!
When Tom isn’t at work he is playing on a rec softball team that doubles as a bar league, he’s even the captain! If he’s not running the bases he is trailing to his next camping spot. When camping and softball season have ended, Tom fly’s south for the winter to the tropical paradise of Hawaii. This past year he had the opportunity to go twice, once for a wedding and the other a vacation. When Tom makes it back from island hopping in Hawaii, he’s dominating local Portland trivia nights. I bet Tom knows the answer to, “What is the average life span of a major league baseball?” For us mere mortals the answer is 7 pitches. Speaking of baseball, Tom is such a huge San Francisco Giant’s fan, he went to go see them play in Boston.
FUN FACT: Tom placed a bet of $5 on the NCAA Men’s Basketball Bracket and ended up with a perfect bracket! He won $475 without watching a game!
Chris “Longhorn” Jones August Crew Member of the Month
Chris Jones is one of the most enthusiastic people at Northwest Paper Box. He’s like a kid on Christmas when it comes to boxes. He always greets you with a smile and a boisterous “How are we doing folks?!” He has worked at Northwest Paper Box for over 5 years. Chris was placed with NWPB by a temp agency and was an instant fit. Chris originally worked for a railroad company, laying tracks. When asked if he wore the classic stripped overalls and sang “I’ve been working on the railroad”, he replied “No, I didn’t work the rails during the early 19th Century”.
Chris is a machine operator for our corrugated facility. He enjoys working with everyone in the plant and office, always friendly and courteous to his coworkers. He runs a machine that sees a lot of “rush” orders. He always pushes himself to ensure the customer gets their product on time. Chris had the opportunity to fill in for our day shift manager and took the role on without question. He was effortless in his transition, learning the job with ease. His bright and cheery demeanor along with his great communication skills made him well-suited for the role.
If you can pry Chris away from work, he enjoys spending time in the outdoors. He is a Pacific Northwest native who embodies what it means to hail from this part of the country. He spends his time outside, going to local parks with his two daughters, frolicking at the river, hiking local trails or taking in coastal views. Golfing is a big hobby around NWPB and Chris is jumping on the bandwagon, or I guess, the golf cart. When asked how his golf game is coming along, he replied, “I think the ball is supposed to end up in the hole.” Sound like he’s making great strides towards the Ryder Cup. Chris has never been seen without a backwards Texas Longhorn’s baseball cap on. There is an office bet he accidentally super glued it to his head as a kid and it’s still stuck there.
Chris’s fun fact: He can build a car from scratch, if someone gives him the parts and time to work on it. A 1969 Nova was the first car Chris worked on as a kid with his Dad. He loves the mechanics of car and how everything works together to make a finished product
Northwest Paper Box is very fortunate to have Chris as a coworker, he’s a great asset! Congrats on being our August Employee of the month!
Michael Villebrun-- July Crew Member of the Month
Michael has been working for Northwest Paper Box for just under 3 years. He drives our North and East bound routes. Michael had asked one of our current employees to be his reference as they had previously worked together, but he did something even better, he hired Michael. When talking to Michael, there is such a sense of calm and tranquility to him, it’s a reassurance to all his coworkers of his outstanding work ethic.
He loves being a driver. He can experience the open road and see what nature has to offer while making deliveries. Stopping and chatting with NWPB customers is an added benefit. He says dealing with people is very enjoyable. He always makes the extra effort to be kind and courteous to everyone he meets because being nice is always the best option. Michael’s boss says he has the best attitude about everything in life, always willing go the distance to help and never complains. We are truly grateful to have Michael as our July crew member of the month.
Outside of work Michael enjoys the great outdoors and everything the Pacific Northwest has to offer. He loves going hiking in the Columbia River Gorge. He has traveled all over the United States, seen the greats of Canada, and the wonders of the rainforest and still would rather have his feet trailing the paths of the Gorge. Michael also enjoys fishing, especially steelhead and salmon. You can find him fishing the Deschutes River when the fish are running strong.
Michaels fun fact: He plays guitar with his Native American tribe in Mulino, Oregon. He came to strongly believe in his Native American heritage when he was a teenager and spends most weekends partaking in spiritual exercise and drum circles.
Mark Fransham -- June Crew Member of the Month
Mark came to Northwest Paper Box in April of 2012 as our ink technician. He worked mixing inks for the corrugated side of our business. Always wanting to challenge himself, he applied for the position of Compliance Officer in 2015. He has enjoyed digging into the job and understanding the complexity of Quality Management Systems and Safety programs here at Northwest Paper Box.
As our new Compliance Officer, he is working to establish protocol to ensure we are A.I.B., ISO and OSHA compliant and certified. He oversees and maintains quality planning, works with operations to improve standards, and communicates with every department about safety and tools we can use to improve our work flow.
His favorite part of the job; He loves working with people. His new position has allowed him to work with every individual at NWPB. Its the interactions and daily conversations with our sales team, or production, or with customer service that make the job for him.
On his off time, Mark loves music and movies. He's a fan of any "good" music, but really enjoys classic and current rock, like Coldplay and MUSE. He lives with his wife, and their dogs and cats.
Marks Fun Fact: He used to be a school bus driver! How cool!