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Leadership

Mativ’s strong and experienced global executive team is driving growth, expanding our position as a leader in specialty materials, and creating value for our customers, employees, and shareholders.


Executive Officers

Julie SchertellPresident and Chief Executive Officer
Portrait of Julie Schertell

Julie Schertell is Mativ’s President and Chief Executive Officer and serves on its Board of Directors. Formerly President and Chief Executive Officer of Neenah, Inc., she has held numerous leadership positions within the company over the last 14 years, including Chief Operations Officer, Segment President of Technical Products and Fine Paper & Packaging, and Vice President and General Manager of Fine Paper & Packaging. 

Julie began her career at Georgia-Pacific in 1992 as a Financial Analyst for Consumer Products. While at Georgia-Pacific, she served in several roles over her 16-year career there, including Vice President of Sales and Marketing Strategy, Vice President of Supply Chain, Director of Sales Operations and Director of Financial Planning and Analysis. 

Julie graduated from Florida State University’s College of Business in 1991 with a BA in Accounting and received her MAcc degree from the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business in 1992. 

Omar HoekChief Operations Officer
Portrait of Omar Hoek

Omar Hoek is Mativ’s Chief Operations Officer and is the former Executive Vice President of the Engineered Papers Division of SWM International.

Prior to joining SWM International in 2020, Omar held multiple roles at Ahlstrom-Munksjö from 2011 to 2019, including Executive Vice President of Specialty Business Area and Group Research and Development and the Executive Vice President of Strategy. He also held roles at Newell Brands and Avery Dennison in Europe. 

In addition, Omar was a member of the Board at Ahlstrom Non-Woven India and on the Supervisory Board of Ahlstrom Specialties in France. He also served as the Chair of the Board for Ahlstrom, Yulong Special Paper Co. Ltd. in China, and as the Director of the Ahlstrom Chirnside Ltd. in the UK. He is currently Vice Chair of the EDANA nonwoven association.

Omar received his BA in Communication from Hogeschool NARAFI in 1989 and holds an MBA in Management and Operations from OUBS. 

Andy WamserChief Financial Officer
Portrait of Andy Wamser

Andy Wamser is Mativ’s Chief Financial Officer and is the former Chief Financial Officer of SWM International. Having served in this position since 2018, his career spans more than 25 years of varied experience in financial management and business leadership. Prior to his time at Mativ, Andy held multiple titles at AutoNation, mostly recently serving as the company’s Vice President of Finance and Treasurer.

Earlier in his career, Andy served as Managing Director, Investment Banking for Barclays Investment Bank, in addition to other investment banking roles at Barclays and UBS Investment Bank.

Andy attended Washington University in St. Louis’s Olin Business School, where he received his MBA in Finance and Accounting in 2001.

Sarma MalladiChief Information Officer
Portrait of Sarma Malladi

Sarma Malladi is Mativ’s Chief Information Officer. He formerly served as SWM International’s Chief Information Officer, joining the company in 2018. 

Prior to his time with SWM International, Sarma held various executive and key leadership technology roles with multiple large, global organizations including Chemtura Corporation, where he served as Vice President and Chief Information Officer, and Tyco Integrated Security, where he served as Vice President of Information Technology. Throughout his career, Sarma has worked with IT functions, business strategy and development and is best known for his track record of building strategic value for multi billion-dollar corporations.

Sarma received an Engineering degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur and holds a Masters in Technology from the same institution.

Ricardo NuñezGeneral Counsel, Secretary and Chief Compliance Officer
Portrait of Ricardo Nuñez

Ricardo Nuñez serves as Mativ’s Chief Legal Officer and Chief Compliance Officer, and formerly served in the same position at SWM International since 2016. 

Ricardo began his legal career in the Miami, Florida, office of Steel Hector & Davis (now Squire Patton Boggs). He then transitioned to in-house practice at Esso Inter-America, Inc., and went on to serve in positions of increasing responsibility at General Electric Company and The Home Depot, including serving as Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer at HD Supply, Inc. 

Ricardo received his BSE in Entrepreneurship and Marketing in 1986 from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and received his Juris Doctorate degree from Columbia Law School in 1989.

Natalie PoteranChief Transformation Officer
Portrait of Natalie Poteran

Natalie Poteran is the Chief Transformation Officer at Mativ.

Prior to joining Mativ, she served as the Americas Vice President of Finance for Interface from 2016 to 2022. 

Over her nearly 30-year career, Natalie has held various key corporate and business financial roles with large global companies. During her 16-year tenure at Newell Brands (formerly Newell Rubbermaid), Natalie held a series of senior positions in different areas of the business, including Senior Vice President of Development Finance and Vice President of Corporate Finance, leading the company’s Business Planning and Analysis team. Earlier in her career, she held leadership roles with Intercontinental Hotels Group, W.R. Grace, United Technologies, Cigna Healthcare and Deloitte.  

Natalie received her undergraduate degree from Quinnipiac University’s School of Business in 1994.

Mike RickheimChief Human Resources and Administrative Officer

Mike Rickheim is the Executive Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer and Chief Administrative Officer of Mativ and served in the same role for Neenah, Inc. 

Prior to joining Neenah, Inc., in 2020, Mike served as the Chief Human Resources Officer for Newell Brands, a Fortune 250 consumer goods company. Before his promotion to Chief Human Resources Officer, he held various roles of increasing responsibility related to human resources business partnership, talent acquisition, talent development, employee engagement, inclusion and diversity and communications. He has also served on numerous Boards of Directors for a variety of non-profit organizations, including the Naismith Awards & Atlanta Tipoff Club, Atlanta Sports Council, The Newell Brands Foundation and the Direct Employers Association. 

A graduate of Bowling Green State University, Mike also completed the Modern Chief Human Resources Officer program at Cornell University’s School of Industrial & Labor Relations.

Business Operations Leaders

Lionel BontePresident, Healthcare and Wellness
Portrait of Lionel Bonte

Lionel Bonte is Mativ’s President of Healthcare and Wellness.

Lionel is a global leader with more than 20 years of experience across industries and geographies focusing on operational and commercial excellence, revenue growth, and business development. Prior to joining Mativ, he served as Vice President for Ahlstrom’s Medical Business.

Lionel holds a master’s degree International Business in Economics from ISCID Business School (Institut Supérieur de Commerce International de Dunkerque – Côte d’Opale).

Katrin HanskePresident, Engineered Papers
Portrait of Katrin Hanske

Katrin Hanske is the President of Engineered Papers at Mativ and is based in Luxembourg. She joined former SWM International beginning in 2021 as Vice President and General Manager of SWM’s Tobacco and Alternative Solutions business.

Prior to her time at SWM International, Katrin served as the Vice President of the Supply Chain at Orion Engineered Carbons from 2015 to 2021. She also held the role of Director of Supply Chain at Avery Dennison Label and Packaging Materials (2010 to 2015). Katrin worked in the U.S. and Asia on semiconductor plant construction projects, and began her career as a production engineer for a Motorola/Siemens joint venture in the U.S.

Katrin received her degree in Engineering from the Technische Universitat Dresden in 2001.

Olivier LavaudPresident, Release Liners
Portrait of Olivier Lavaud

Olivier Lavaud is the President of Release Liners at Mativ. Previously, he served as the Vice President and General Manager of Silicone Release Liners at the former Neenah, Inc., and is based in Andoain, Spain.

Prior to his time at Neenah, Inc., Olivier spent almost 10 years at ITASA, which was acquired by Neenah, Inc., in 2021. At ITASA, he served as a Sales Director, General Manager and eventually the Chief Executive Officer before transitioning to Neenah, Inc. From 2004 to 2006, he served as the Owner of Peterson Espanola SA and from 2006 to 2012, served as the Product Line Manager of Goscogne Laminates in Dax, France. Olivier started his career at Alhstrom Paper Group as a Sales Manager in 1996 and spent almost 10 years between the U.S., Australia and France locations.

Olivier received his degree from the E.S.C.E. International Business School in Paris, France in 1996.

Vishal RaoPresident, Industrials
Portrait of Vishal Rao

Vishal Rao is President of Industrials at Mativ. He previously served as Vice President and General Manager of Neenah, Inc.’s, Industrial Solutions division beginning in 2020, after serving in commercial leadership roles since joining the organization in 2017. 

Prior to joining Neenah, Inc., Vishal held multiple General Management and Strategy roles at Novelis and its subsidiaries, including Vice President of Asian Specialties Business based in South Korea, Managing Director of Alcom based in Malaysia and Director of Corporate Strategy based in Switzerland and U.S. Preceding Novelis, Vishal worked in various strategy and finance roles at McKinsey and Company, World Bank and KPMG. 

Vishal received both his BComm and MComm degrees from the University of Mumbai and qualified as a Chartered Accountant from India in 2001. Vishal also attended the Harvard Business School, where he received an MBA in General Management in 2006.

Caio SedeñoPresident, Protective Solutions
Portrait of Caio Sedeño

Caio Sedeño is the President of Protective Solutions at Mativ. He previously served as the Vice President and General Manager of Films for SWM International beginning in 2020. 

Prior to his time at SWM International, Caio spent 13 years at Dow in a variety of leadership roles in the U.S., Latin America and Europe, including Research & Development Manager for Fluids and Lubricants, Global Product and Marketing Director for several specialty chemical businesses, Oil & Gas Regional Business Director and Latin America Performance Chemical Division Commercial Vice President. In 2019 he ended his career at Dow as the North America Commercial Vice President of Dow Polyurethanes and CAV.

Caio received his BS in Chemical Engineering from the Escola de Engenharia Maua in Brazil and received his Executive Education in International Business Management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management. 

Kingsley ShannonPresident, Packaging & Specialty Papers
Portrait of Kingsley Shannon

Kingsley Shannon is the President of Packaging & Speciality Paper at Mativ. She formerly served as Executive Vice President, Segment President for Neenah, Inc.’s, Fine Paper & Packaging division beginning in 2020.  

At Neenah, Inc., Kingsley served in a variety of directorial and leadership positions from 2013 to 2022, including Vice President of Consumer Products Sales & Marketing, Vice President of Marketing & Global Marketing Services and Senior Director of Marketing of the Fine Paper & Packaging division. Prior to her time at Neenah, Inc., Kingsley served as Director of Marketing Services and Senior Brand Manager at Newell Brands (formerly Newell-Rubbermaid). She also held a variety of positions at Maytag Corporation (now Whirlpool Corporation) including Director of Marketing & Innovation along with other sales and marketing positions.

Kingsley received her BA degree from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 1997. Kingsley also currently serves as a board member of the National Paper and Trade Association and has served as a board member, and the marketing chair, for the USDA’s Paper & Packaging Board.  

Christoph StenzelPresident, Filtration
Portrait of Christoph Stenzel

Christoph Stenzel is Mativ’s President of Filtration. Previously, he served as Neenah Inc. Vice President for Global Filtration and General Manager for the Neenah Gessner GmbH.

Christoph spent almost than 20 years at Neenah, serving in multiple directorial and leadership roles. In 2003 he joined the Filtration Team as Sales Manager and developed markets around Asia and South America. Christoph was promoted in 2009 to a Director of Sales & Marketing and Director of the Strategic Business Units Filtration. In 2013, he became a Vice President and oversaw Filtration Gessner and was promoted in 2015 as a Vice President of Sales & Marketing of Global Filtration.

Christoph started his professional career at Henkel and Sihl before joining FiberMark-Gessner as an R&D manager for Masking Tape in 1998. He received a degree in Chemical engineering from the Fachhochschule Aachen.

Jason FreeExecutive Vice President, Operations
Portrait of Jason Free

Jason Free is the Executive Vice President of Operations at Mativ. He served as the Executive Vice President of Global Operations & Supply Chain at the former Neenah, Inc., beginning in 2020. 

Jason started his career at Neenah, Inc., in 2006 as an Asset Leader. He served as Operations Manager and Converting Center Manager before becoming Director of Mill Management. In 2018 Jason was promoted to Vice President of the Fine Paper & Packaging Supply Chain, then Vice President of U.S. Manufacturing. 

Prior to his time at Neenah, Inc., Jason served in various roles at Stora Enso (2000 to 2004) and Wausau Paper (2004 to 2006). 

Jason received his BS in Paper Science & Engineering from the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point in 1996. 

Andrew DownardExecutive Vice President, Global Supply Chain

Andrew Downard is the Executive Vice President of Global Supply Chain at Mativ.

Prior to joining Mativ, he served as the Senior Vice President of Supply Chain, Operations, and Analytics for Apex Tool Group from 2017-2022. Other past roles have focused on improving operational execution for well-known consumer, industrial, and service brands.

Andrew’s experience includes being a supply chain research director with Gartner, as well as leadership positions with consumer products, food manufacturing, healthcare, medical services, chemical manufacturing, and aerospace manufacturing companies.

Andrew is a certified Six Sigma Master Black Belt. He received his B.Sc. and Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Calgary, Canada.