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She’s lovin’ it

GP hires new spokesperson

Julie VanDeWater is very happy that she has found her way south to Alabama – and especially Brewton.

She was recently named the public affairs and communications manager at the Brewton mill of Georgia-Pacific. In her position, she manages employee communications, community relations, media relations and bridge the communication with local officials.

Julie Vanderwater is Brewton’s GP mill newest communications manager.

“I have fallen in love with Brewton,” VanDeWater said. “I moved here on New Year’s Eve of 2016, and I didn’t get off to the best beginning. I was so sick. I had been invited down to the Blueberry Drop by Mayor Lovelace, but I was too sick to even go to the event.”

Her’s is the face that everyone sees during the good times and the bad times at the mill.

“I get to be involved in the happy events, and every once in a while, it entails times when sad or unfortunate events take place,” she said. “But those times are outweighed by the good things that happen.”

VanDeWater is a native of Warsaw, Ind., and graduated Tippecanoe Valley  High School in 1986.

“While a sophomore, I had a speech class,” she said. “I was looking for topics and I found one on public relations. It sounded like it would be a lot of fun. I decided to go with that.”

She graduated from Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., in 1990 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. She then moved to the Chicago, Ill. area and worked for several years before she got a position with NIPSCO, a utility business, which she said was very lucrative and it gave her the opportunity to advance in her chosen field.

“I got the chance to move closer to my family and that was great for a while,” she said. “Then I went to work at a hospital which was basically fund raising. When the economy got bad I was out of work for a while, but I got on at Georgia-Pacific and moved to Oklahoma. I worked there at the Muskogee mill before moving to Atlanta as manufacturing communications manager to provide public affairs and communications support for GP’s Dixie facilities and corrugated plants.”

VanDeWater said she loves her new job and she loves living in the south.

“I have never lived here in the south before,” she said. “Brewton is just the right size of small town and if you can’t find what you want, there are bigger cities nearby. One of my favorite things is the proximity to the beach. I find myself going down there as often as I can. I can’t wait to bring my step-grandson, Wyatt, down here and take him to the beach. I am sure I won’t have any problems getting my friends to come for a visit.”