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Cascades Tissue Group

Gold Stevie Award Winner 2013, Click to Enter The 2014 Steve Awards for Women in Business

Company: Cascades Tissue Group, Candiac, QC, Canada
Company Description: Cascades Tissue Group, a division of Cascades, ULC, is the fourth largest manufacturer of tissue paper in North America. Founded in 1964, Cascades produces, converts and markets packaging and tissue products that are composed mainly of recycled fiber.
Nomination Category: Individual Awards Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Female Executive of the Year in Canada

Nomination Title: Suzanne Blanchet, CEO

Describe for the judges the activities and accomplishments of the nominated executive since the beginning of July last year (up to 525 words):

Suzanne Blanchet has been the President and Chief Executive Officer of Cascades Tissue Group, a division of Cascades – founded in Québec, Canada – since 1997. Her impressive career path is a testimony in itself of her tenacity, dedication to her employees and industry, and of her will to constantly push boundaries and innovate. Since July 1 of 2012, Suzanne has been at the head of key projects with major impacts on Cascades Tissue Group: launch of two major innovations, Cascades Antibacterial paper towel and Cascades Moka product line, expansion of our manufacture activities on the West Coast.

INNOVATION AS A DRIVING FORCE

Many of Suzanne’s career accomplishments offer an answer to important needs in the industry, especially in the green innovation field. With a good dose of patience, Cascades Tissue Group developed the Cascades Antibacterial paper towel that provides a simple and effective way to further reduce bacterial contamination and transmission, which was launched in October of 2012 on the US market. Suzanne, the product champion, is very excited that it breaks new ground in terms of innovation, while having a positive social impact on human health. Unlike ordinary paper towels, it almost instantly kills over 99.99 percent of harmful bacteria. As recognition of its innovative nature, Cascades Antibacterial paper towel won prestigious Edison Awards Gold Medal in 2013.

PIONEERING GREEN PAPER PRODUCTS

Suzanne also has an inventive and original vision of management. She decided to keep Cascades Tissue Group’s priorities on environmentally friendly products and stick with doing things differently, for a greener tomorrow.

Suzanne is the brain child behind the greenest tissue paper products on the market; our beige-colored Cascades Moka line, including bathroom tissue and facial tissue products made from 100% recycled unbleached fibers, from which 20% are from recovered corrugated boxes. Cascades Moka bathroom tissue won Bronze Stevie Award in 2013 International Business Awards.

Suzanne’s interest regarding corporate social responsibility goes beyond our products offering. In March of 2013, Cascades Tissue Group became the first Canadian paper manufacturing facility to receive LEED Gold certification. Since January of 2013, we have the largest offering of Green Seal certified tissue products as well as one of the largest offering of EcoLogo certified tissue products. Those are proofs that we comprehensively address environmental life-cycle issues spanning raw materials, manufacturing, packaging and product use and performance.

Thanks to years of efforts and to Suzanne’s vision, we are now recognized on the market for our green DNA. Cascades Tissue Group might be the fourth largest producer of tissue paper in North America, but it is the leader in the "green" paper segment.

STRATEGIC EXPANSION IN THE UNITED STATES

On September 19, 2013, we announced our plans to install a second paper machine at our plant in St. Helens, Oregon. For Suzanne, this investment represents a key strategic move for her company, since she has targeted the West Coast as an area of growth for Cascades Tissue Group. This acquisition incarnates Suzanne’s boldness: her choices for the Tissue Group, the numerous acquisitions, combined with evolution towards advanced technologies are flagrant proofs of her audacity, at the core of her success.

Provide a brief biography of the nominated executive (up to 125 words):

Suzanne Blanchet was the first woman to chair a paper company in North America. She came to this position of power thanks to her boundless energy and unique qualities as a visionary and calculated risk taker. In 1978, Mrs. Blanchet made her début with Cascades as an Accounting Clerk. She climbed the corporate ladder level by level until she was promoted President of Cascades’ tissue activities in 1997.

Over the years, influenced by her ambitious and hardworking personality, Cascades Tissue Group acquired many other units, even buying some competitors’ plants. The company’s earnings went from 10 million in 1978 to almost a billion dollars in 2012. Thanks to Suzanne’s tenacity, the company is still able today to remain at the forefront of the industry.