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Menasha Corporation

 


Address:
P.O. Box 367
Neenah, Wisconsin 54957-0367
U.S.A.

Telephone: (920) 751-1000
Fax: (920) 751-1236
http://www.menasha.com

Statistics:
Private Company
Incorporated: 1872 as Menasha Wooden Ware Company
Employees: 5,360
Sales: $1.03 billion (2002)
NAIC: 322130 Paperboard Mills; 322211 Corrugated and Solid Fiber Box Manufacturing; 322212 Folding Paperboard Box Manufacturing; 322299 All Other Converted Paper Product Manufacturing; 323119 Other Commercial Printing; 325211 Plastics Material and Resin Manufacturing; 326199 All Other Plastics Product Manufacturing


Company Perspectives:
Menasha Corporate Vision: We are a courageous organization. We are the leader in all our markets. We are obsessed with meeting our commitments. We respect and challenge each other and confront issues with a sense of urgency. Our 150-year heritage, values, creative passion and respect for our world are the heart of our organization. We create compelling value for customers, employees and shareholders.


Key Dates:
1849: A wooden pail factory is started in Menasha, Wisconsin.
1852: Elisha D. Smith buys the factory for $1,200.
1872: The venture is thrown into receivership; Smith's father-in-law provides an infusion of cash and reorganizes the venture as Menasha Wooden Ware Company.
1875: Company is incorporated.
1894: Merger with a broom handle and barrel factory formed by the founder's son makes Menasha the world's largest manufacturer of turned woodenware.
1903: Acquisition of timberlands in the Pacific Northwest begins.
1926: Company is reorganized into two separate but affiliated companies, Menasha Wooden Ware Company, which owns a portfolio of stocks, and Menasha Wooden Ware Corporation, which continues the manufacturing and marketing operations.
1927: With the woodenware business in decline, Menasha begins manufacturing corrugated containers.
1939: A majority interest in Otsego Falls Paper Company, maker of corrugating medium, is acquired.
1955: Menasha diversifies into plastics with the purchase of a 51 percent interest in G.B. Lewis Company, maker of plastic material handling containers.
1962: Company changes its name to Menasha Corporation.
1967: Corporate headquarters are relocated to Neenah, Wisconsin.
1971: Menasha acquires an interest in Poly Hi Inc., a leading manufacturer of ultra-high-density polyethylene.
1975: Menasha takes full control of G.B. Lewis, which is divided into two divisions: LEWISystems and Molded Products.
1977: Full ownership of Poly Hi is obtained.
1981: A paper mill, a box plant, and other facilities on West Coast are sold to Weyerhaeuser Company.
1985: Menasha acquires Mid America Tag & Label Co., which becomes the core of the company's promotional graphics business.
1993: Menasha takes over the U.S. operations of Solidur Deutschland GmbH, which are merged into Poly Hi to form Poly Hi Solidur.
1996: Several plastic returnable and reusable packaging product operations, including LEWISystems, are merged to form ORBIS; America Tag & Label and other promotional materials businesses are merged to form Promo Edge.
2000: The Material Handling Group, which includes ORBIS, is reorganized as a wholly owned Menasha Corporation subsidiary called Menasha Material Handling Corporation.
2001: Forest products business of Menasha is spun off into a separate company, Menasha Forest Products Corporation; Menasha Material Handling is renamed ORBIS Corporation; Menasha Corporation restructures into a holding company with four main subsidiaries: Menasha Packaging Company, ORBIS, Poly Hi Solidur, Inc., and Promo Edge Company.


Company History:

The third oldest privately held manufacturing company in the United States, Menasha Corporation is a holding company with four main subsidiaries: Menasha Packaging Company LLC, ORBIS Corporation, Poly Hi Solidur, Inc., and Promo Edge Company. Neenah, Wisconsin-based Menasha Packaging, the largest (more than half of sales) and oldest of the company's businesses, produces corrugated packaging, corrugated pallets, protective interior packaging, and folding cartons. It operates 25 plants in the Midwest, East, mid-South, and Southwest. Headquartered in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, ORBIS is a producer of plastic returnable and reusable packaging that is used by a variety of customers to move products and materials through the supply chain. Poly Hi Solidur, based in Fort Wayne, Indiana, is a converter of plastic resins into engineered plastics with a wide range of uses; the company is the world's largest producer of semifinished ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene. Promo Edge, which operates out of Neenah and also Elk Grove Village, Illinois, is a major national designer and manufacturer of in-store promotional materials for consumer product firms. In addition to these four businesses, Menasha also owns New Jersey Packaging Company, a Fairfield, New Jersey-based maker of pharmaceutical labels for both prescription and over-the-counter medications; and Hopkins, Minnesota-based Thermotech, which specializes in custom injection molding of precision plastic components.

From its 19th-century origins in woodenware production, Menasha shifted to paper-based packaging and material handling products in the 1920s and 1930s, earning its reputation as a "box maker." From the 1970s onward, active acquisitions resulted in rapid growth and diversification, carrying Menasha well beyond its original scope of interests in packaging and woodenware. By the early 2000s, the company employed close to 5,400 workers in 65 operations in the United States and nine other countries. Menasha remains majority owned by descendants of its founder, Elisha D. Smith, after more than 150 years of operation.

Early History: From Pails to Forest Products

Menasha's origins date back to entrepreneurial efforts of woodenware manufacturers in the mid-19th century Midwest. In 1849 a pail factory was founded in Menasha, Wisconsin. The undercapitalized venture--simply called the Pail Factory--was then sold to Elisha D. Smith for $1,200 in 1852. Under Smith's leadership, the venture survived the Panic of 1857, an economic crisis that bankrupted thousands of U.S. businesses, and expanded smartly during the Civil War, supplying pails and other wooden storage and shipping containers to the Union forces. By 1871 the Pail Factory had become the largest woodenware maker in the Midwest, with 250 employees manufacturing products ranging from pails to tubs, churns, measures, butter tubs, fish kits, kannikins, keelers, and clothespins.

Just one year later, however, post-Civil War inflation sent costs soaring faster than the factory's revenues, forcing the Pail Factory into receivership, $250,000 in debt. Smith's father-in-law, Spencer Mowry, provided the venture with an infusion of cash and reorganized it as Menasha Wooden Ware Company. It was incorporated under that same name on May 24, 1875. The original pail factory was destroyed by fire in 1878. Twelve years later, in 1890, the entire company was devastated by yet another fire, with only the Cooperage Shop escaping destruction. But quick reconstruction was followed by further expansion. In 1894 the founder's son, Charles R. Smith, merged the broom handle and barrel factory that he had founded with the Menasha Wooden Ware Company, creating the world's largest manufacturer of turned woodenware. By 1899, when the company founder died at age 72, Menasha Wooden Ware had annual revenues of $1 million and 1,000 people on the company payroll. Charles R. Smith was named to succeed his father, although he had in fact already been running the company for nearly a decade.

To provide vital raw materials as the company grew over time, Menasha began purchasing timberlands and related operations, first in Wisconsin, in 1900, and then--more importantly--in the Pacific Northwest, in 1903. By 1915, Menasha supplied 27 million feet of timber annually and was the United States' foremost producer of wooden food packaging in bulk. In 1929, with its plant in Tacoma, Washington, the company began production of wood flour, a powder made from spruce shavings that was used in explosives, plastic wood, and other products. In 1969 lumber products were further expanded as Menasha merged with the John Strange Paper Company, creating the Appleton Manufacturing Division and a majority interest in the Wisconsin Container Corporation, later to become Menasha's Solid Fibre Division. By 1980, wood fiber production--used primarily as industrial fillers and extenders in products such as plywood and molded plastics--had increased enough to warrant an additional wood fiber plant in Centralia, Washington, and the 1987 purchase of yet another plant in Marysville, Washington. Over time, Menasha would form its Forest Products Group specifically to develop its timber interests. By the early 1990s, its Land & Timber Division managed the corporation's 100,000 acres of timberlands in the Pacific Northwest alone, meeting worldwide timber needs. In addition, the Wood Fibre Division produced organic based wood flours.

Shifting to Corrugated Containers, 1920s

While timber development provided raw materials for woodenware and wood packaging, its uses changed toward paper production as Menasha moved into production of corrugated containers. In 1926 Menasha Wooden Ware was split into two separate but affiliated companies, the Menasha Wooden Ware Company, which owned a portfolio of stocks, and the Menasha Wooden Ware Corporation, which continued the manufacturing and marketing operations. (This arrangement lasted until 1981, when the investment company and the operating company were merged back together.) Accommodating changes in packaging technology, the latter organization produced Menasha's first corrugated containers in 1927. By 1935, corrugated containers had supplanted their wooden predecessors, and Menasha discontinued its line of barrels, converting woodworking plants to the manufacture of toys and juvenile furniture, a product line that would continue only until 1952. To supply its growing corrugated business with necessary raw materials, the corporation in 1939 acquired a 60 percent interest in the Otsego Falls Paper Company in Michigan; full ownership was gained 16 years later. The Otsego Falls mill formed the basis for Menasha's Paperboard Division. Its paper machines produced corrugating medium for several markets: the production of corrugated containers at Menasha's own container plants, outside sales, and trading in exchange for additional types of paperboard used but not manufactured by Menasha.

From the postwar era into the early 1960s, Menasha focused on expansion of its core business in corrugated containers and timber, acquiring and developing new facilities for corrugated medium, containers, plywood, wood fiber, and lumber. Major investments in the G.B. Lewis Company of Watertown, Wisconsin, led to Menasha's funding of that company's reorganization and Menasha's subsequent entry into plastic handling containers and other plastic products. With diminishing emphasis on woodenware products and increased diversity in the field of plastics, Menasha Wooden Ware Corporation changed its name to Menasha Corporation in 1962.

Corporate growth occasioned new emphasis on community services. In 1953 the Charles R. Smith Foundation--later renamed Menasha Corporation Foundation--was formed as an independent philanthropic organization funded by 1 percent of Menasha's pretax earnings. By the 1990s, the foundation provided substantial support for charitable, educational, health and welfare, cultural, and environmental projects and programs. In education, the foundation contributed to a wide variety of colleges and universities, in addition to sponsoring scholarship programs for its employees and other qualified students. At the University of Wisconsin-Stout and Oregon State University, the foundation also sponsored fellowships for select students studying packaging or forestry. Beneficiaries of health and welfare allocations included the United Way campaigns in communities where Menasha had plants, and various chapters of Special Olympics, hospitals, workshops for children with developmental disabilities, mental health centers, medical research appeals, and other concerns. The foundation also contributed to various cultural organizations, including the New Dramatists in New York City, Wisconsin Public Broadcasting, the Bergstrom-Mahler Museum in Neenah, Wisconsin, and the Oregon Coast Music Festival in Coos Bay, Oregon. Starting in the 1980s, the foundation increased contributions to environmental groups, including the Nature Conservancy, the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute, the Ruffed Grouse Society, and the International Crane Foundation.

In the 1960s Menasha began a move toward packaging innovation and diversification that would position it as a main industry player by the 1990s. As part of a strategy to increase its share of the Midwest's corrugated market, the company in 1966 purchased a plant in Coloma, Michigan, from Twin Cities Container Corporation. In addition to expansion of existing container plants and paperboard operations, Menasha began production of multicolor corrugated containers, foreshadowing future advances in graphics that would figure strongly a decade later. In 1967 new corporate offices were established in the town of Neenah, Wisconsin, replacing the former headquarters that had been destroyed by fire in 1964. Then, in 1968, the company purchased Vanant Packaging Corporation and developed its Sus-Rap Packaging operation, custom engineering and manufacturing interior protective packaging items to meet specific end-use requirements. Primary products of that line included Sus-Rap, Menasha Pads, and SuperFlute protective packaging. In 1969 a new wood flour plant was opened in Grants Pass, Oregon, and in 1972 the Hartford Container Company, of Hartford, Wisconsin, operator of a corrugated box plant, was acquired. Further expansion in packaging brought the 1977 purchase of a plant in Mt. Pleasant, Tennessee, and then the 1989 purchase of Colonial Container Company of Green Lake, Wisconsin, another producer of corrugated boxes.

Diversification into Plastics: 1950s

Just as changing packaging technologies had introduced corrugated containers to the woodenware arena in the 1930s, so the rise of plastics in the 1950s pushed Menasha to innovate and diversify in various areas of plastic manufacturing. In 1955 Menasha purchased a 51 percent interest in G.B. Lewis Company of Watertown, Wisconsin, which like Menasha had gotten its start in the 19th century as a woodenware maker and was in the midst of a shift in focus. Menasha's investment in the Lewis Company helped fund the latter's reorganization into a plastics company and introduced Menasha to the field of plastic material handling containers for the first time. The Lewis Company and plastics in general would become keys to long-term growth and diversification. In 1973 Menasha Corporation assisted in the construction of two new G.B. Lewis company plants in Monticello and Manchester, Iowa. By 1975, G. B Lewis had been fully acquired, and Menasha formed the LEWISystems and Molded Products Divisions of its Plastics Group. Success of LEWISystems prompted the 1980 purchase of Dare Pafco Products Company of Urbana, Ohio, to increase that division's capacity.

In 1971, meantime, Menasha strengthened its profile in plastics by acquiring a one-third interest in Poly Hi Inc. of Fort Wayne, Indiana, a leading manufacturer of ultra-high-density polyethylene extruded products. Menasha gradually increased its investment in Poly Hi, taking full ownership of the company in 1977. As was the case with G.B. Lewis, the growth pattern at Poly Hi called for increased manufacturing capabilities, prompting the 1981 acquisition of Scranton Plastics Laminating Corporation of Scranton, Pennsylvania. Menasha's plastics operations expanded into reusable plastic and metal products with the 1984 acquisition of Traex Corporation of Dane, Wisconsin, specializing in such items as serving trays, dispensers for straws and condiments, tumblers, bus boxes, and ware-washing racks used in the foodservice industry worldwide.

Menasha's Plastics Group went international in 1985, when the corporation launched its first foreign joint venture with the Japanese firm of Tsutsunaka Plastic Industry Co. Ltd. for the production of ultra-high-density polyethylene products. The joint venture's capital was set at ¥15 million, with projected sales of ¥1 billion for 1988. In 1987 Poly-Hi operations extended operations to Europe, with construction of a plant in Scunsthorpe, England. The following year, a precision injection molder of thermoplastics and engineered resins, Thermotech, was added to the Plastics Group. That division produced high performance plastic components for various applications including automotive, electrical/electronic appliances, and medical equipment.

Development of Promotional Graphics Operations: 1970s and 1980s

Menasha's developments in packaging and plastics were paralleled, and often supplemented, by innovations in graphics and promotional labeling. In 1977 the corporation acquired a graphics container plant in Roselle, New Jersey, which it then moved to South Brunswick, New Jersey. In 1982 Vinland Web-Print, a producer of web-printed paper and plastic film products, was also acquired. Construction of an additional graphics container plant was completed two years later, in Olive Branch, Mississippi. Expanding into identification and merchandising tags and labels, the corporation acquired Mid America Tag & Label Co. in 1985, followed by its 1986 acquisition of Murfin, Inc., a Columbus, Ohio, web-fed screen printer of label and identity products. With the 1987 acquisition of Neenah Printing, the corporation extended its graphics operations to a full range of printing services in commercial, business forms, and packaging applications, ranging from sample booklets to high image lithographic brochures. In 1989 the corporation added Labelcraft Corporation of Farmingdale, New Jersey, to its Mid America division, specializing in custom designed tags and pressure-sensitive labels. Production capacity for those items was further augmented by the 1990 purchase of Denney-Reyburn Co. of West Chester, Pennsylvania, and Tempe, Arizona. These investments quickly paid off, winning valuable accounts in the early 1990s. In 1991 a division of Mid America that served industrial customers was combined with the Denney-Reyburn plant in Arizona to form the Printed Systems Division.

Over the course of its business expansion, Menasha also developed a Material Handling Division to manufacture reusable plastic container systems including recycling containers, food handling products, small parts bins, work-in-process containers, Stack-N-Nest containers, distribution containers, and transport trays, among other products. In 1986 the corporation's Molded Products Division introduced plastic pallets designed to maximize warehouse inventory stacking and reduce work-in-progress inventories by virtue of their uniform weight. Their wooden predecessors had not only been costly to maintain, but could vary by several pounds in weight, resulting in inventory error of up to thousands of parts in lightweight merchandise. In 1991 similar plastic pallets, marketed as Convoy Opte-packs, were combined with reusable corrugated sidewalls to maximize carrying volume and strength.

Meanwhile, Menasha struggled throughout the 1970s to find a way to unlock some of the value of the company for its shareholders. The company paid very little in the way of a regular dividend, and because its stock was not publicly traded, shareholders could not easily sell their stock. One solution was to take the company public, an idea proposed several times in the early 1970s but not acted upon. Menasha also pursued a number of mergers with other companies in the mid-1970s, including with Fibreboard Corporation, a leading West Coast paperboard producer, but the deals all fell apart for one reason or another. At this point, revenues were growing steadily, advancing for instance from $138 million in 1975 to $240 million in 1979, but earnings had stagnated at about $11 million. The company therefore found itself at the crossroads, and in the late 1970s considered a number of strategic courses. The one it settled upon called for the company to remain privately held and to adopt a more aggressive growth strategy for its existing businesses. In part to provide the shareholders with some liquidity, Menasha engineered the sale of its North Bend, Oregon, paper mill; its Anaheim, California, box plant; and secondary fiber facilities in Portland and Eugene, Oregon, to Weyerhaeuser Company for $68 million in stock. Menasha shareholders now held stock in Weyerhaeuser, a public company, which they could sell to raise cash if they so desired.

In response to heightened environmental concerns of the 1980s, Menasha took initiatives to literally clean up its act, along with its surroundings. In its "Environmental Mission Statement," the corporation noted that "environmental and industrial hygiene goals can and should be consistent with economic health." In 1989 negotiations were made with several discounters, including Wal-Mart, to provide products such as unbleached cellulose packing material that could replace bubble wrap; other products included recyclable shipping boxes, video cases, and other ecological alternatives.

1990s and Beyond, Transition to Holding Company Structure

In 1991 Menasha Corporation consolidated its developed industries into six primary business groups: Forest Products, Packaging, Promotional Graphics, Information Graphics, Plastics, and Material Handling. The Forest Products Group consisted of the Land and Timber division, Menasha Development, and Wood Fibre; Promotional Information Graphics Group consisted of Mid America, Murfin, Neenah Printing, and Printed Systems; the Packaging Group was made up of Menasha Packaging, Paperboard, and Color divisions; the Material Handling Group included Convoy, LEWISystems, and Special Products; and the Plastics Group combined Appleton Manufacturing, Molded Products, Thermotech, Traex, and Poly Hi. Such an operating structure divided the various divisions into working groups while permitting them to interrelate as working parts of an ever more diverse organization.

Menasha continued to grow in the early to mid-1990s. In 1991 Menasha Packaging was bolstered through the acquisition of North Star Container, Inc. which operated a box plant in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. The following year a point-of-sale business was formed to sell promotional products produced by the Mid America, Neenah Printing, and Color Divisions (the latter division changed its name to DisplayOne in 1994 to reflect an increasing focus on point-of-purchase displays). Robert D. Bero, who had been vice-president of the plastics group, was named president and CEO in 1993. Also that year, Menasha acquired New Jersey Packaging Company, a producer of pressure-sensitive and heat-seal labels for the pharmaceutical and health-care industries. In another 1993 acquisition, Menasha took over the U.S. operations of Solidur Deutschland GmbH, the leading European producer of ultra-high molecular weight (UHMW) polyethylene; these operations were merged into Poly Hi to form Poly Hi Solidur. Four years later Solidur Deutschland itself was purchased and amalgamated with Poly Hi Solidur, which became the world's leading producer of UHMW.

The Material Handling Group was a particular focus for expansion in the mid-1990s. In 1993 DuraPAK was established as a supplier of reusable protective interior packaging, particularly for the automotive and electronics industries. LEWISystems expanded the following year through the opening of a new plant in Urbana, Ohio. Next, in 1995, Menasha acquired Donray Company of Mentor, Ohio, a producer of foam-cushioned packaging, including corrugated boxes with cushion inserts. Then in 1996, the company acquired Madison Heights, Michigan-based WolPac, Inc., which specialized in designing and engineering material handling systems for the automotive industry. This growth spurt was consolidated that same year with the creation of ORBIS, which combined the operations of LEWISystems, Convoy Plastic Pallets, DuraPAK, Donray, and WolPac, thereby providing customers with a one-stop source for plastic returnable and reusable packaging products and services. ORBIS further expanded its product portfolio via the 1997 introduction of the BulkPak line of plastic bulk containers for a wide variety of applications. A consolidation similar to the one that formed ORBIS occurred within Menasha's promotional materials operations. In 1996 America Tag & Label, DisplayOne, and the point-of-purchase business were merged to form Promo Edge.

In the meantime, Menasha Packaging continued its decades-long expansion. In 1995 Mid South Packaging of Cullman, Alabama, and Southwest Container Corporation of Phoenix, Arizona--both operators of corrugated container businesses--were acquired. During 1996 operations began at a corrugated sheet plant in Erie, Pennsylvania, and Middlefield Container Corporation of Middlefield, Ohio, was acquired. There was also one divestment of a noncore business by Menasha Corporation during this period. The Molded Products Division, which made such custom-molded products as plastic shells for lawnmowers and parts for buses, was sold to a private investment group.

In 1999 Menasha's board of directors made a strategic decision to further decentralize the company's structure. Differences over how this fundamental shift should be implemented led to Bero's departure from the company. Thomas J. Prosser, the board chairman, was named CEO on an interim basis, until the October 2000 appointment of Harold R. Smethills, Jr., to the position of president and CEO. Smethills, who had a background as a lawyer, banker, and corporate turnaround specialist, was brought onboard to implement the restructuring.

One of the first steps in the multiyear restructuring was the reorganization of the Material Handling Group into a wholly owned subsidiary called Menasha Material Handling Corporation. This subsidiary, created in 2000, was comprised of ORBIS, a division called Menasha Services that offered complete returnable packaging solutions to companies who elected to outsource this function, and subsidiary operations in Canada, Mexico, and Brazil. Menasha Packaging enlarged itself in 2000 through two acquisitions: Pittsburgh-based Package Products, Inc. and Pennsylvania Container Corporation, based in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. The former firm produced packaging and folding cartons used in supermarket in-store delis and bakeries, while the latter manufactured corrugated boards, sheets, and containers.

A major change in the company's portfolio of businesses occurred in 2001 when the forest products business of Menasha was spun off into a separate company, Menasha Forest Products Corporation. The descendants of Menasha Corporation's founder maintained majority control of both companies. Also in 2001, Menasha Material Handling was renamed ORBIS Corporation. Completing the restructuring, Menasha Corporation began operating in 2001 as a holding company with four main subsidiaries--Menasha Packaging Company, ORBIS, Poly Hi Solidur, Inc., and Promo Edge Company--and several investment companies either wholly or majority owned by Menasha: New Jersey Packaging, Menasha Printed Systems, Stratecom Graphics, Thermotech, and Traex. Menasha had thus shifted from a very centralized organizational structure to a decentralized one, with the holding company consisting of just a small staff focusing on overall strategic issues, and each subsidiary operating independently, better able to respond quickly to the needs of its particular market. Smethills hired a director for mergers and acquisitions to take the lead in seeking further growth opportunities for the subsidiaries. In addition, the company set up Menasha University to address its shortage of leaders, a heritage of the former centralized structure; this initiative offered a range of leadership and management training programs and courses to selective Menasha employees.

In the immediate aftermath of the restructuring, Menasha tightened its focus by divesting three of the businesses that had been placed into the "investment" category: Traex was sold to Libbey Inc. in December 2002, Menasha Printed Systems was sold to Kay Toledo Tag in August 2003, and Stratecom Graphics was sold to Cypress Multigraphics, Inc. in September 2003. Menasha also strengthened the remaining core through strategic, "bolt-on" acquisitions. ORBIS gained a plastic pallet manufacturer, Cookson Plastic Molding of Latham, New York, in October 2001, and then the following year, Nucon Corporation, which specialized in plastic pallets for the beverage industry, serving the U.S., European, and Mexican markets. Menasha Packaging bolstered its position in consumer packaging and point-of-purchase displays through two acquisitions: Philadelphia-based Triangle Container Corporation in December 2002 and United Packaging of Schaumburg, Illinois, in March 2003.

By the early 2000s, after more than 150 years as a privately held manufacturer, Menasha Corporation was a $1 billion company with a handful of strong subsidiary businesses. The company was still majority owned by descendants of Elisha D. Smith, but the top executives had all been nonfamily members since the early 1960s. Half of the members of the board of directors were descendants of Smith, however, and William A. Shepard, a great-great-grandson of Smith, served as president and CEO of Menasha Packaging, perhaps setting the stage for the future return of Smith family leadership at the 11th oldest private company in the United States.

Principal Subsidiaries: Menasha Packaging Company LLC; ORBIS Corporation; Poly Hi Solidur, Inc.; Promo Edge Company; New Jersey Packaging Company; Thermotech.

Principal Competitors: Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation; International Paper Company; Shorewood Packaging Corporation; Sonoco Products Company; Rock-Tenn Company; Longview Fibre Company.





Further Reading:


  • Blodgett, Richard, Menasha Corporation: An Odyssey of Five Generations, Lyme, Conn.: Greenwich Publishing Group, 1999.

  • Cox, Jackie, "Automated Core Prep Systems Are Expanding into North American Mills," American Papermaker, October 1991, p. 22.

  • Dresang, Joel, "Menasha Chief Quits over Split with Board on Strategy," Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, July 13, 1999.

  • ------, "New Leader Is on a Mission at Menasha Corp.," Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, July 29, 2001, p. 1D.

  • Dunn, Richard L., "Custom-Designed Plastic Pallets Reduce Costs, Errors," Plant Engineering, April 10, 1986, p. 58.

  • Geist, Al, "Logging Has Potential in Interior," Alaska Journal of Commerce, November 16, 1990, sec. 1, p. 7.

  • "Reputation, Not Ads, Woos Customers," Discount Store News, December 18, 1989, p. 213.

  • "Tsutsunaka to Sell Menasha Products," Japan Economic Journal, November 16, 1985, p. 21.

  • Whitehead, Sandra, "On the Prowl for Growth Opportunities," Corporate Report Wisconsin, January 1991, sec. 1, p. 10.

Source: International Directory of Company Histories, Vol.59. St. James Press, 2004.




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