Domtar Corporation senior business analyst Melissa A. Page insists that her greatest professional achievements happen every workday. They are her ability to wear many hats and to adapt to change, traits she declares critical in the paper industry. Her mantra is, “Nothing ever stays the same, so just accept it.”
Ms. Page acquired such wisdom during more than 30 years of fulfilling various roles at Domtar Corporation, which makes, markets, and packages wood fiber-based paper and is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of pulp. She was first hired by the company as a temporary secretary before being promoted to different jobs as an inventory projection scheduler, an export sales manager, a mill planner, a projects coordinator, and a business support analyst. In time, with paid continuing educational support from the company, she was making decisions on international exports. Today, Ms. Page is responsible for analyzing vital data and systems for paper machine processes, integrating technology into her work, and providing training for colleagues on multiple projects.
Applying her knowledge at the company when it counted the most led Ms. Page to receive the Bronze Key Award for service excellence, which she earned with a partner for automating Domtar Corporation’s documentation process, making it significantly more efficient. Ms. Page also took the initiative to solve a paper transportation challenge to the company’s export business. She found an alternative way of moving products that resulted in the company reducing its transportation costs, which prevented the loss of one of its largest client accounts. It was a trainer and mentor who gave her the opportunity to pursue her idea. Mentors at the company often let her try new things and trusted that she knew what she was doing, which gave her confidence.
Ms. Page now pays it forward as a mentor to other coworkers. She often shares with mentees a variation of the familiar adage that when one door closes, a window does open and advises anyone who will listen to keep persevering and looking for training opportunities that a company will offer and use them to their advantage. Within the next few years, Ms. Page hopes to follow in the footsteps of her mentors by providing younger professionals at Domtar Corporation the same growth opportunities that she received.
Ms. Page credits her success to her mother, whom she said had a very hard life growing up yet always persevered, worked hard, and taught her children to do the same. Her mother served in the U.S. Marine Corps and then worked in the law enforcement and social services/child support fields, all while raising three children as a single parent. Witnessing her mother’s work ethic and determination inspired Ms. Page to become the best mother to her own two children, Matthew and Mackenzie. Modeling her mother’s tenacity is what inspired her to stubbornly put forth every effort and take on each challenge that propelled her to achieve greater professional heights within the Domtar Corporation. Ms. Page also benefitted from the unconditional love and support of her brothers, who served as mentors as well by positively influencing her during her career.
Ms. Page believes what has separated her from many others is her longevity with one company — an employment practice that is rare today. Her loyalty, hard work, and dedication continually pay off for her professionally and personally. If there is something she still does not know after three decades, she now has the network and respect to easily find the information. Her advice to anyone who seeks to join her industry is to never fall into water-cooler talk around the workplace, be true to yourself, be honest, and even when you get frustrated, never give up. Ms. Page also touts the virtue of service in addition to work. She is a longtime volunteer with the Latta Plantation, a historic site in Huntersville, North Carolina, and active with the Breast Cancer Foundation|Susan G. Komen Classroom Central.