By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News
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Loney, who joined the company in June 2008 as general manager and vice president of operations at the Port Townsend mill, plans to stay on for a few months to assist in the transition to new leadership at the mill, according to a statement issued by the company, Jefferson County’s largest private employer, with about 300 workers.
Loney, who arrived in Port Townsend with the intention of staying three to five years, will relocate to the East Coast, where most of his family lives, and plans to pursue other business interests, the statement said
“On behalf of the entire company, I would like to thank Roger for his commitment, leadership and efforts in moving the company meaningfully forward at a critical time in the company’s history,” said Port Townsend Holdings Co. Executive Chairman Dale Stahl in the statement.
“We wish him well in his future endeavors.”
Company spokesman Kevin Scott said Loney’s plans already had been known within the company and that a search for a replacement has begun.
He provided no other details.
Loney was unavailable for comment Tuesday.
The statement said Loney is “a seasoned mill manager who has significant experience in turning around poor-performing assets.”
The mill — which produces pulp for Asian markets and container board for cardboard boxes in North America — emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in August 2007, reorganizing under new management and structure.
Stahl said Loney “has worked diligently to develop a transforming strategic plan and to implement capital and process improvements to better position the company for success.”
He said Loney “strengthened the management team, improved the mill safety record, oversaw implementation of $33 million in capital” and helped reduce energy consumption.
“Looking forward and in support of the strategic plan developed by Roger and the management team, this week, we placed major equipment orders for our $6.8 million investment in electrical transformers and other equipment,” Stahl said.
According to the company website, Loney has both a bachelor’s degree in forestry and a master in business administration from the University of Maine.
It also said he has worked with both Great Northern Paper and Bowater Inc., where he served as vice president of newsprint operations, with responsibility for six mills.
Prior to moving to Port Townsend, he was general manager for SP Newsprint Co. in Dublin, Ga.
Loney also has led the company through the expansion of its biomass cogeneration plant, a $55 million project expected to be in operation in 2014 or 2015, which has been protested by environmental groups.
Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.