September 26, 2016, represented a significant milestone in Mike “Frito” Hunter’s life. It was exactly 50 years ago that he began working at our Catawba pulp and paper mill in South Carolina.
Mike joined the company in 1966 at the age of 23 as a utility power worker and saw his responsibilities gradually evolve with the modernization of the Catawba operation. Over the years, he has continuously adapted to change and kept up with the latest technology. He is currently an electrical and instrument master craftsman on a rotating shift schedule.
Mike has always been safety-focused and has never missed a day of work due to injury. “The workplace was a lot more dangerous when I first started out. We were aware of hazards but took a lot more chances,” he explained. “I was careful – and maybe a little lucky – and tried to perform my tasks as safely as possible.”
Mike is the first employee to ever reach 50 years of service at the mill, so his Resolute colleagues celebrated the occasion in style earlier this month. The day started with 1960s music and snacks for everyone. At lunchtime, the entire maintenance department came together to honor Mike, presenting him with fun gifts and sharing stories. His wife, Shirley, attended the lunch, as well as his daughter, Angi, who works at Catawba as a testing specialist in the technical department.
“50 years of service in our industry is extremely rare,” said André Piché, senior vice president, Tissue Group, and Calhoun, Catawba and Mokpo Operations. “Mike’s success and endurance are in large part linked to his hard work, dedication and positive attitude.”
“It is important to be positive and motivated on the job each and every day,” added Mike. “Our mill has always had good people, and it has been a real pleasure to be part of the many teams of the past five decades.”
Mike Hunter is looking forward to a well-deserved retirement at the end of the year.
On behalf of all company employees: Congratulations, Frito, on 50 years of service with Resolute!