Co-workers & Community

At RockTenn, we employ 27,000 people who are connected by our shared commitment to be the most respected company in our business. The RockTenn culture is based on five core business principles and four key behaviors that deliver value for our customers and connect us to the communities where we live and work. RockTenn encourages and supports co-workers who give their time and talents to charitable service and professional organizations. Our co-workers participate in a wide array of activities that benefit communities.

Co-worker Profiles

Morgan German

+ Lynn Waters: Take a Chance, Reap Rewards

Customer Service Supervisor

When the previous customer service supervisor at our Atlanta food service packaging plant left the position two years ago, Lynn Waters initially didn’t think about applying for the job. At the time, she had been with RockTenn for two years as the plant’s office administrator.

“They asked me to fill in as customer service supervisor for a few days,” Waters recalls. “I was scared to death. I thought the position was out of my grasp.”

But Waters decided to take a chance. She came out of her comfort zone, performed well in the temporary role and eventually accepted the position when it was offered to her full-time. “My co-workers were very supportive,” she says. “They told me, ‘You’ll do great, give it a shot.’ And the support I received from the other food service packaging plants really helped make the transition an easy one.”

Now Waters says she is in a role she truly feels called to do.

“I love taking care of others – especially my customers and their needs. I’m a natural nurturer,” she says. “It’s more demanding than my previous role, but I love what do.”

Adds Waters: “RockTenn is very supportive of its employees and we’re all here to support one another. If you’re interested in new roles or opportunities, approach your supervisors. RockTenn supports internal growth.”

James Lord

+ James Lord: Walk the Talk

Training & Development (T&D) Team Leader

For James “Lordy” Lord, who’s been with the company 24 years, these are the most exciting times for RockTenn. “Everything is so positive,” he says. “It’s like we’re starting a new chapter.” It’s no surprise that he feels that way. Lord has been making a positive change in the Clinton, Iowa, folding carton plant as the voluntary lead of the training & development (T&D) team.

Since taking on the T&D role in addition to his regular job responsibilities, Lord and the team have been responsible for populating the plant’s compliance and training records into a single database. “It’s all about document control,” he says. “We’re keeping track of all training records. Once we got into it, we couldn’t believe how many documents were out there.”

Thanks to Lord’s ambition and initiative, it’s much easier to identify when someone needs important training to develop their operational, environmental and safety awareness and skills.

Jessica Cudd

+ Jessica Cudd: Learn More, Grow More

Director of Procurement Services

If you ask Jessica Cudd, director of procurement services, the best way to move into a more challenging role at RockTenn, she’ll tell you, “Don’t sit back and wait. Step up. Volunteer to do more. Ask for opportunities. Our culture empowers you to do that.”

Cudd started at RockTenn as an administrative assistant in risk management 13 years ago. Besides her responsibilities at work, she was also taking night classes at Georgia State University, eventually earning a general business degree with a concentration in finance. “It was the most challenging time of my life,” says Cudd, adding that on top of work and school, she was also raising a child.

Now her hard work continues to pay off and she is thankful for the opportunities to advance she has found at RockTenn. “Never stop learning new skills, and never pass up the opportunity for training,” she says. “When you learn more, you grow more.”

Daniel Fregoso

+ Daniel Fregoso: Work Well With Others

Night Shift Supervisor

Daniel Fregoso began his RockTenn career nine years ago as a die cutter at the Tulare, Calif., food service packaging plant. Over the years, he’s held various roles, but no matter what position he served in, Fregoso says he understood that it took a team to be successful.

“We work together as a group,” he says. “I value my team and treat everyone with respect. I get along with everybody.”

Fregoso was recently recognized for his commitment to caring when he came to the aid of a woman and her children who were involved in a car crash. Using his first-aid skills, he assessed the victims’ conditions and communicated with them in Spanish until paramedics arrived.

Fregoso’s positive attitude has had a lot to do with his promotions over the years. He is currently a night shift supervisor at the Tulare facility.

“It’s a harder position,” he says. “But I’ve gotten a lot of support from my managers and I hope I am able to work with others to help them succeed, too. I love my team and I wouldn’t do anything to change the great people that they are.”

Recruiting the Best Talent


Read our Statement on Workplace and Human Rights at RockTenn

Workplace and Human Rights at RockTenn

RockTenn’s vision is to be the most respected company in our business. Consistent with this vision, our respect for human rights is manifest in everything we do. We are committed to maintaining a safe, secure and ethical workplace for our co-workers, and we abide by all workplace laws that apply to our business.

At RockTenn, our co-workers are our greatest resources, and we value diversity of thought. We do not discriminate against individuals on the basis of race, sex, color, national origin, religion, age, disability, or any other status protected by applicable law. RockTenn prohibits the hiring of any person under the age of 18 years and the use of forced or compulsory labor, including indentured labor, slave labor and any form of human trafficking. We are committed to maintaining a positive and productive work environment in which all employees can obtain competitive pay and benefits, and we comply with all applicable wage, overtime and benefits laws.

Respect and trust are two of RockTenn’s long-standing core values, and we acknowledge our co-workers’ rights to form or join, or not to form or join, a legally established labor union. Where our co-workers are represented by a recognized union, we respect their right to collective bargaining and will approach our interactions with unions in good faith.

We empower our employees to make the right decisions, and have established the RockTenn Employee Code of Business Conduct and Ethics to help our co-workers understand company policies and guide their performance. If an employee believes that a violation of applicable workplace laws and company policies has occurred, he or she is required to report this information to local management, Human Resources, the Legal Department or the 24-hour RockTenn Compliance Hotline. Each report to the Hotline is investigated and, if warranted, remedial actions are taken to address the issues raised.

Compliance with all applicable laws is mandatory, but laws alone do not define our ethical business practices. RockTenn values open and honest communications, and we encourage all co-workers to provide their feedback in a constructive manner, including through use of the Hotline and our Speak Up! mailbox.

Hodge, LA Population: RockTenn

If you live in Hodge, La., there’s a good chance that your neighbor works for RockTenn. In fact, the mill employs around 460 people, which is close to the entire population of the Village of Hodge. Since 1927, the Hodge containerboard mill has been an integral part of Jackson Parish. According to some statistics, every 100 paper-industry jobs support approximately 350 additional jobs for the local community.

The impact the Hodge mill has on the area becomes very clear during outages, when the facility performs major maintenance and other projects. Hundreds of outside contractors and workers from across the region are hired to perform activities such as industrial cleaning, and equipment repair and replacement. It’s a boost to the economy that is felt by local businesses.

But the connection between the community and the mill impacts more than just the economy. The Hodge mill provides the Village of Hodge with electricity, and the Village provides RockTenn with potable water. For several decades the mill has also treated the Village of Hodge’s sanitary wastewater in its on-site treatment system. In August 2014, RockTenn began treating the sanitary wastewater from the residences within the Village of East Hodge as well. By providing these services, RockTenn is helping to alleviate these small communities of the burden of running their own separate wastewater treatment facilities.

Co-worker Stories

Mexicali Makes a Healthy Choice

+ Bringing Recycling to BizTown

Junior Achievement of Georgia’s JA BizTown® provides a unique learning experience for middle school students. JA BizTown simulates a small economy where students are assigned jobs and learn important skills like managing money.

As a sponsor of Junior Achievement, RockTenn has created a recycling business within JA BizTown. The primary function of the RockTenn “store” is to provide recycling services. Students spend the day educating their classmates on the importance of recycling in their communities, while “selling” recycling services to other businesses. Students also can visit the RockTenn store to learn about the paper recycling process.

For approximately 15 years, RockTenn has been a proud supporter of Junior Achievement of Georgia.

Go Gold

+ Stepping up for Cancer Research

In 2014, RockTenn employees from our Guelph, Ont., box plant participated in their third consecutive Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay for Life event. The 16 employees from Guelph named their team “WalkTenn” – a fun play on our company’s name – and raised more than $11,400 for the cause. The Guelph team exceeded its fundraising goal by $1,400 and increased contributions from 2013 by $3,500.

“Cancer has touched so many of us, either personally or a loved one,” said Jennifer McMahon, a Guelph team member. “We are extremely proud of our team for exceeding our goal, coming together and providing support to this organization!”

Jr Achievement

+ Taking Safety Beyond The Workplace

On April 30, 2014, the Queretaro, Mexico, box plant celebrated “Children’s Day.” Employees were invited to bring their children between the ages of 3 and 11 to the facility to learn about safety in the home and ways to avoid injuries.

The day included games and presentations designed to create awareness of dangers at home and educate children about how to avoid injury. Another special activity included painting the children’s handprints and names on the plant access wall to serve as a reminder for their parents to work safely. The children also toured the plant to meet their parent’s co-workers.

“We were very pleased that RockTenn’s safety culture has transcended far beyond the workplace,” said Ignacio Hernández, plant manager. “Our safety committee is creating not only a safe work environment, but is reaching out to employees’ families too.” ”