From left, Madison Keyser, HR Manager; Steve Keyser, CEO, and Paul Keyser, Chairman of the Board, Utah Paperbox.
The paperboard packaging industry lost a giant this past January. Paul B. Keyser, Chairman of the Board of Utah Paperbox, passed away in his sleep after a long battle with cancer.
Paul “PK” was born and lived his early childhood in Salt Lake City, Utah. He attended high school at The School in Pennsylvania. Following high school, he attended and graduated from Princeton University, where he learned the value of a great education and over the years, set up numerous education funds for the children of friends and employees.
He started his packaging journey in 1965 at Utah Paperbox (UPB) and came into the family business as the third generation. Within a few years Paul’s father fell ill and passed away, thrusting Paul into the big chair. At that time UPB was a small rigid box company that made boxes for various candy companies, garment boxes for retail stores and boxes for the Church of Latter-Day Saints.
In the ’70s, Paul decided to expand into the folding carton business and purchased a used 29-inch 2-color press along with a die cutter and straight-line folder gluer. UPB was off and running in the folding carton world.
In 1988, UPB purchased a used 4-color press and in 1966, UPB purchased its first new press, a 6-color 50-inch model. In 1998, UPB installed its first 7-color offset press. If you knew Paul, you knew he loved state-of-the-art, cutting-edge shiny equipment. That was also true for his love of cars and toys.
In 2012, Paul and his son, Steve, consolidated into its new 250,000-square-foot headquarters with a new 7-color UV press.
Paul worked at UPB for 57 years and worked up until the week he passed away. Today, UPB is celebrating being in business for 109 years. Steve Keyser (4th generation) is the CEO and his daughter, Madison (5th generation), recently joined, overseeing Human Resources. Paul’s goal was to set up UPB to be successful today and in great shape for another 100 years.
Paul was a great father figure to so many people and he helped many of his friends start new businesses. One of them is Wasatch Container which was founded by Jerry Frisch and Paul Keyser in 1995.
Paul was a great mentor to many people in and out of the packaging world. He loved Utah and sharing it with others. He knew every backroad and trail in Utah. During those explorations, Paul shared his feelings about the true meaning of life and happiness. If you were blessed to know PK, you would be really blessed in life. Men like Paul don’t come around often. He was one of the good ole’ guys of our industry, as well as the world.