Sappi sustainability director Laura Thompson has been named the 2017 Woman of Distinction by the Girl Scouts of Maine.

As director of sustainable development and policy initiatives, Thompson is responsible for working with Sappi’s leadership to set strategy, establish long-term goals and drive initiatives, enabling the company to be recognized as a leader in sustainability. She also serves as an industry and academic leader.

“For 105 years, Girl Scouts has helped shape girls’ aspirations and confidence in areas that need more female leadership,” said Joanne Crepeau, CEO, Girl Scouts of Maine, in a release announcing the recognition. “Women are particularly underrepresented in STEM fields and Girl Scouts has programs committed to increasing girls’ interests and abilities in these disciplines. Exposure to STEM professionals has real impact on girls especially when they see women pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. This is why we are thrilled to honor Laura Thompson, whose professional pursuit and many accomplishments make her a perfect role model for women, of any age, today.”

Sappi, which is headquartered in South Africa and has facilities in Westbrook and Skowhegan, has been recognized for numerous sustainability awards in the last decade because of Thompson’s work. In 2014, Thompson was awarded the 2014 William D. Schaeffer Environmental Award by the Printing Industries of America.

She will be honored at a gala Dec. 7 at The Westin Portland Harborview hotel.

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