Corporate Member Spotlight: Georgia-Pacific
WMA’s regional reach extends beyond Alabama, touching residents in the Florida panhandle and southwest Georgia. One out-of-state corporate member, Georgia-Pacific, understands the regional draw of the museum, and supports its mission to serve the tri-state area. We spoke with Peggy Jaye, Public Affairs Manager, about their company’s philanthropy toward arts and culture in the Southeast. Georgia-Pacific supports WMA as a Patron level corporate member.
WMA: Peggy, what would you like our members to know about your company?
Peggy: Georgia-Pacific is one of the world’s leading makers of tissue, pulp, paper, packaging, building products, and related chemicals. You may recognize our household brands, such as Brawny® paper towels, Quilted Northern® bath tissue, and Dixie® cups and tableware. GP has 35,000 employees and operates in more than 30 states across the U.S. Though our containerboard facility is located just across the state line in Georgia, nearly half of the 500 employees at GP’s Cedar Springs facility live in the Dothan area.
WMA: Why has Georgia-Pacific chosen to support WMA as a corporate member?
Peggy: Not only do our products help improve people’s’ lives, but we also operate in ways that enhance the quality of life in our communities, help ensure the economic stability of our company, and help protect our environmental resources. We set aside resources to positively impact lives in communities where we operate. WMA’s vibrant and robust efforts to promote art in our largely rural region align well with our company’s focus on education and enrichment.
WMA: How does a large corporation like GP connect to art?
Peggy: With our company’s many products, we value the idea of creativity and appreciate good design. And, don’t forget how essential paper is in the creation of art — from crayon drawings to sophisticated paintings, from paper mache pinatas to classical sculpture, from love letters and thank you notes to inspiring lyrics and literature. Even in this electronic age, paper remains a valued tool for creating many forms of art.
WMA: So, art and design play a valued role in your company’s culture. Do you have a personal connection to appreciating art?
Peggy: My mother is a retired literature teacher, plays several instruments, and is a longtime member of the Escambia County Historical Society. My grandmother wrote beautiful poetry and took up painting in her seventies. An early exposure to reading, art, and music developed talents that helped me acquire scholarships to college, where I majored in journalism and minored in art history. To this day, I rarely go anywhere without visiting an art gallery or a museum. (Just ask my husband!) Retirement is still a few years away, but I have lots of plans to ramp up my paintings skills and perhaps even try songwriting!
WMA: What do you hope that your company’s support of WMA will accomplish?
Peggy: Georgia-Pacific’s support of WMA reflects a desire to increase this organization’s appeal to a broader area of this region. WMA’s free admission and children’s programs are helping accomplish this. I grew up in Brewton, Alabama, where my dad worked at a paper mill. He and many of the people who hold jobs in manufacturing aren’t typically regarded as patrons of the arts. But if we look back in history to the early artisans and craftsmen, there was a greater appreciation for their handiwork. Fortunately, the tide is turning and the increased demand for technicians and “blue collar” workers presents an opportunity for the art community to reach more of the population, particularly our youth. Each of us has different gifts; however, we are all born to create something and those creations usually reflect our upbringing. I’m proud of my 30-year career spent in an industry that makes valued products that truly make our lives better.
To learn more about how your company can support WMA’s mission, contact Melissa Rea at 334-794-3871 or firstname.lastname@example.org.