Elias M. Karter was born in Maine and graduated from Waterville High School. He graduated from the University of Maine in 1962 with a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering, in 1963 he completed his Master’s in pulp and paper, and a fifth-year certificate in pulp and paper management. In 1968, he earned a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering, also from UMaine.
Karter began his career working at Westvaco Corporation's Covington, Virginia mill where he held engineering and managerial positions for 15 years. He then went on to serve as mill manager with Boise Southern Company for three years. In 1981, Karter joined Mead's Paperboard Division. He was elected corporate Vice President of the Paperboard Group in 1983, responsible for management of Mead's paperboard, packaging, and containers operations.
He was then appointed vice president manufacturing and technology by Mead's Board of Directors in September 1984. In July 1994, he began serving as Mead's Vice President and Operating Officer. In 1996, he was elected Executive Vice President by Mead's Board of Directors.
Karter was a recipient of a UMaine Pulp and Paper Foundation scholarship as an undergraduate and was among the first students to receive a stipend from the Foundation in support of his Ph.D. studies. During his career, he served the Foundation in a volunteer capacity as a member of the Investment Management Committee, as Vice President, as President, and Chair.
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Chemical engineering, Pulp science, Paper manufacturing