Looking back: March 25, 1971

Published 8:53 pm Tuesday, March 16, 2021

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MARCH 25, 1971


John D. Munford, former assistant to the manager of Union Camp Corporation’s giant paper mill at Franklin, has been named general manager at Franklin.

James M Piette, who – until now – held the position, is now vice president and general manager of primary products, a new post. He will be headquartered at the Company’s largest plant site – in Savannah, Georgia. Managers of Union Camp’s other paper mills at Montgomery, Alabama and Monroe Michigan, as well as Franklin, Virginia will report to Piette.

In announcing the overall reorganization, executive vice president John (“Jack”) E. Ray III said, “There is a greater need than ever before to more closely coordinate all segments of mill activity. I believe this new organization, and the individuals involved, will strengthen our efforts toward this goal.”

“James R. Lientz, who was vice president and general manager of the unbleached paper and board division at Savannah, will now work closely with me on special assignments,” Ray added.

Incidentally, Ray – who now works out of Union-Camp’s Wayne, New Jersey corporate headquarters – previously held the position of general manager of the Franklin Mill. A native of Franklin, he is a grandson of James L. Camp, Sr., one of the founders of Camp Manufacturing Company – back in 1887.

Munford, a native of Richmond, Virginia, joined Union-Camp in 1951 as a sales trainee after completing his education at the University of Virginia. His career was interrupted by three years of service in the Counterintelligence Corps of the United States Army but returned to Franklin in 1954 and has been headquartered there since then. He, at one time, was southern sales representative of Camp Manufacturing Company, Union Camp’s predecessor at Franklin, and was the assistant to the director of bleached paper and board sales. He became manager of converter sales in 1966 and assistant to the general manager in 1970.

His wife is the former Elizabeth Broun of Martinsville. They have three children:  John D. III, Charles and Elizabeth Page. They are members of Emmanuel Episcopal Church where he has served as a vestryman and senior warden. He is a trustee of St. Paul’s College in Lawrenceville, a member of the Franklin Citizen’s Advisory council, a past president of the Franklin Rotary Club, and past president of Cypress Cove Country Club. He serves on the Board of The Virginia Council for Health and Medical Care and is a member of the Executive Committee of the William Byrd Press, Inc. of Richmond. A member of the Tri-County Chapter of the University of Virginia Alumni Association, he also serves on the Board of Managers of the University of Virginia Student Aid Foundation. The Munfords live on Meadow Lane in Franklin.

Piette, a Wisconsin native, came to franklin in 1959 after eight years at Union Camp’s Savannah Mill. He became general manager of the bleached paper and board division in in 1965 and a corporate vice president in 1966. During his tenure in Franklin, he led two major plant expansions. The first culminated in the startup, in 1966, of #5 paper machine which was, then, the world’s largest fine paper machine.

Another expansion, costing more than 50 million dollars, led to the completion, in 1970, of #6 paper machine. Actual startup is scheduled for early 1971.

Piette has been active in state and local civic affairs. He is a member of the boards of Southampton Memorial Hospital and Virginia National Bank, and a trustee of Chowan College in Murfreesboro, North Carolina. He is a director of Virginia Forests, Inc. and was recently appointed a member of the Virginia State Reforestation Committee by Governor Mills Godwin. He is a member of the Franklin Redevelopment and Housing Authority.

Mrs. Piette is the former Bettye Jones of Sylacauga, Alabama. They have four children: Jim, Amy, Mollie and Nancy. The Piettes are members of St. Jude’s Catholic Church in Franklin. They reside on Clay Street in Franklin.

The plant at Franklin produces a wide range of fine papers and bleached coated and uncoated paperboards. With a production of more than thirteen hundred tons of paper per day, the plant employs over eighteen hundred persons and has an annual payroll of 14 million dollars.

Wood procurement for the plant extends throughout a large area of Virginia and North Carolina and woods is brought to the Franklin site by rail, truck and river barge.