Southeast Nonwovens, Inc. Co-Founder Steven F. Nielsen Announces Retirement

Southeast Nonwovens, Inc. Co-Founder Steven F. Nielsen Announces Retirement

Clover, SC – June 28, 2108 – Steve began his nonwoven journey with Manning Paper Company.  It is here that he learned how to make specialty papers and wet-lay nonwovens.  Eight years later he was recruited by Celanese to help develop polyester fiber for wet-lay nonwovens.   One of the primary activities was the creation of a wet-lay pilot line as a marketing tool.  Here Steve worked with potential customers to develop new products using Celanese polyester fiber.   This was to become the genesis of the idea for SENW.

After the merger of Celanese with Hoechst AG, Steve was recruited to take a position in the newly formed Innovation Group who were charged with developing new businesses for the corporation. There he led two different teams through the stage-gate process from conception to commercialization.

In 1995 Hoechst AG started a divestment program which included the Fibers, Films and Chemicals divisions.   Rather than move with the newly divested entities, the idea of combining the experience working with customers to develop new products with his knowledge of new business development was far more attractive.  It was time to start what was to become SENW.

With the decision made, Steve called one of his friends at Manning Paper, Bryan Thomas.   Bryan was also keen on the idea of starting a privately-owned R&D company for nonwovens.   A few months later in October of 1997, Southeast Nonwovens, Inc. was born.

The past twenty-one years as President of Southeast Nonwovens, Inc. has been filled with interesting and stimulating challenges as Steve watched the industry evolve.  “I’ve enjoyed every day.  I especially enjoyed meeting and working with so many of the great people associated with the nonwovens industry.   The time at SENW has been a great experience I would not trade for anything.  At this stage in my career and time in my life I’ve done all I set out to do at SENW.  I want to see the company continue and prosper so I believe it’s time for some new blood to come aboard.  Bryan will take over the day to day leadership activities as President.   I know he will do a great job.”

Steve said, “I will miss the people I work with, but I am also looking forward to trying some new things.”

Steve remains a major share-holder and Chairman of the Board of Southeast Nonwovens, Inc. He will be working on special projects in an advisory role.


Southeast Nonwovens is a privately held company with a 21-year history as a leading provider of independent, innovative and discreet contract research and development services for the nonwovens and paper industries. We also provide contract manufacturing and converting for small scale and specialized nonwovens. Our materials and polymer science experience has served customers across a range of industries – including hygiene, medical, insulation, filtration, battery separator, automotive, aviation, composites, building products, agriculture and more. Building on our history, we are expanding our team and capabilities to bring innovation in custom fiber-based solutions. Connect with us online @ or call us at 803.222.5711 today.

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Company: Southeast Nonwovens, Inc.