Our longest serving staff member is Adolf Leitner, who startedwith Sonoco in 1957 and is still employed with us today in the productiondepartment of Sonoco Kawerau in New Zealand. He was recently recognized by Sonoco Executive Vice President, Chief Operations Officer and CEO-Elect Rob Tiede for his 60-year service anniversary.
In 1956 Adolf immigrated by ship to Australia with his brother, George, from Salzburg, Austria. He remembers arriving into the Port of Melbourne, Australia, and seeing the flags from the Olympic Games.
Both boys found work in Sydney; however, George was working for Sonoco (then called Textile, Cones and Tubes) and earning a little more money then Adolf. George organised for Adolf to have an interview with Sonoco. That was the beginning of 60 years - a lifetime's work - with Sonoco.
In 1963 the Regional General Manager, Dave Merrick, asked Adolf and George if they would work in New Zealand. They would be required to set up the Kawerau operation (then called Tascor).
The plant was diverse in its product range to service the local paper mills. They manufactured glue, produced metal tipped cores, and composite core plugs. Adolf became Plant Manager, prioritising safety for his plant and the team.
Adolf likes to spend his spare time fishing and being with his family. His family all fondly remember Sonoco, and have said they practically lived at the Kawerau Plant waiting for their Dad to finish work as they were growing up. They don’t remember a time when Sonoco was not in their lives.