Clearwater Paper’s President and CEO, Arsen Kitch, had a compensation package valued at $4.01 million in 2020, the year he became the top executive of the company.

Kitch started the new job April 1, 2020, exactly at the moment the company was in the spotlight for making toilet paper, which had become, in some cases, an almost impossible-to-obtain item because of the coronavirus.

The demand for the necessity helped north central Idaho’s economy remain strong. Clearwater Paper’s largest manufacturing complex is in Lewiston, where it employs 1,300 who make toilet paper, paper towels, paper napkins, facial tissue and paperboard that is used for items such as paper dishes and packages for goods like medicines and cosmetics.

Compensation for Kitch, who was senior vice president and general manager of Clearwater Paper’s consumer products division before his promotion, was disclosed in the company’s proxy statement filed with the federal Securities and Exchange Commission earlier this month.

In addition to Kitch’s annual compensation, the document contains that amount for four other top executives and two individuals who are no longer with the company.

“Our compensation philosophy remains consistent and straightforward — pay our executives competitive and fair compensation that is linked to individual and company performance,” said Shannon Myers, a Clearwater Paper spokeswoman, in an email. “Executive compensation is based on market and individual factors and is set by a committee of independent directors who work with outside compensation consultants.”

Linda Massman, Kitch’s predecessor, had a compensation package valued at $2.11 million in 2020 and $3.85 million in 2019, her last full year in the position before retiring.

Robert Hrivnak left his position as senior vice president finance and chief financial officer less than two weeks after Kitch became CEO. Hrivnak’s annual compensation package was valued at $1.45 million in 2020. He is now chief accounting officer with Orion Engineered Carbons in Texas, according to his LinkedIn profile.

The annual compen-sation package of Hrivnak’s replacement, Michael Murphy, was valued at $1.72 million in 2020.

Figures for the other three were: Senior Vice President General Manager Pulp and Paperboard Division Steve Bowden, $1.83 million; Senior Vice President General Counsel and Corporate Secretary Michael Gadd, $1.96 million; and Senior Vice President Human Resources Kari Moyes, $1.92 million.

Bennett family sells Erb’s Ace Hardware to Lewiston couple

Coffee makers, hand mixers and meat smokers are among the items selling well at Erb’s Ace Hardware in Lewiston, which is under new ownership.

Jeremy Weeks and his wife, Heather Weeks, recently acquired the business, in a leased space at 141 Thain Road, from Bennett Industries.

Jeremy Weeks was the general manager of the store for about two years as part of a transition plan. Heather Weeks will continue her full-time employment as a factory manager at Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories in Lewiston.

One of Jeremy Weeks’s goals is to fill a gap by carrying products that had been on the shelves of stores such as Shopko, Kmart and Macy’s before they closed in Lewiston.

He has expanded the small household appliance section, adding microwaves and mini refrigerators. He’s also included more products in the outdoor cooking department.

“We do have this very good customer base that has made a conscious decision they’re going to shop local,” Weeks said.

The gift area has a broader selection too, with products such as Black Rifle Coffee; Dr. Squatch, a natural hygiene products line that plays off a Bigfoot theme; and old-time candies and sodas.

Those goods reflect a nostalgic feel he has brought to the store by installing tile that looks like hardwood floor, making a 1930s era tractor and Ford truck focal points of the decor and hanging reproductions of black-and-white pictures taken of the store decades earlier.

“I want to make the store into more of a destination store, where people can bring their families and just have fun,” he said.

Erb’s Ace Hardware hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

Wells Fargo shrinking brick-and-mortar footprint in north central Idaho

The Lewiston Orchards branch of Wells Fargo at 303 Thain Road is closing at noon on July 14.

Wells Fargo will maintain its downtown Lewiston office at 868 Main St.

The decision wasn’t easy and comes at a time when more customers are completing transactions with digital services, not at branches, said Julie Fogerson, a spokeswoman for Wells Fargo, in an email.

“We continually evaluate our branch network, and make adjustments based on customer use, market factors, economic trends and competitor actions,” Fogerson said. “This process leads to both expansion and consolidations.”

In March, Wells Fargo announced similar changes in Moscow where it is shuttering a location at Blaine Street and White Avenue on June 2, but keeping a branch on the corner of Main and Third streets. It is “exploring options” for the soon-to-be-closed branch buildings it owns in both cities, Fogerson said.

The consolidation appears to be part of a strategy reported in January by the Charlotte Observer, a newspaper based in Charlotte, N.C., where Wells Fargo is the largest private employer, with more than 20,000 workers.

Wells Fargo’s CEO and President Charlie Scharf, who has been in the post since October 2019, decided to decrease yearly expenses by $10 billion, including $3.7 billion this year, partly through the closure of 250 branches, according to the Observer.

The next generation begins at Fazzari’s in Clarkston

A daughter of a Fazzari’s founder has joined the Clarkston business.

Sophia Fazzari Henry is the new operations manager of the restaurants known for its pizza. Her father, Randy Fazzari, opened Fazzari’s in 1985 with his brothers, John and Marty Fazzari, who now are retired.

Henry is a 2014 graduate of Clarkston High School and received a bachelor’s degree in human development from Washington State University in 2017. Before starting at Fazzari’s, she taught at Holy Family School in Clarkston.

The company operates Fazzari’s Finest, a dine-in and to-go pizza and pasta restaurant on Bridge Street, and Fazzari’s Home Run, a delivery and to-go only location on 15th Street.

The pizza earned the business a national reputation, with orders coming in from as far away as Seattle. In 2014, it was named one of BuzzFeed’s “Best 18 Pizza Joints to Try Before You Die” in the United States.

Drinkable suds and more coming soon at Lewiston’s Brewfest

Lewiston’s Brewfest is joining a growing list of community events resuming after coronavirus hiatuses.

The activity for adults 21 and older will be held outside from 2-8 p.m. June 26 at the Nez Perce County Fairgrounds.

It will feature microbrews, ciders, seltzers and wine slushies from more than 20 drink vendors, as well as food, live music and free rides home.

Brewfest, which is in its 13th year, typically happens three times a year, but it didn’t run in October or February because of COVID-19.

Regional financial institution strives for diversity

Zions Bank has launched a supplier diversity program in an effort to spend more money at businesses owned by people in traditionally underrepresented groups such as minorities, women, LGBTQ individuals, veterans and people with disabilities.

“Banking is a local business, and to be successful we must be representative of the communities we serve,” Zions Bank president and CEO Scott Anderson said in a news release. “This program levels the playing field so more businesses can successfully compete for Zions Bank procurement opportunities.”

To be considered to be added to a supplier database, businesses complete an online registration at

The database is used by supply chain managers, who participate in decisions about how to spend millions of dollars each year spread over 11 Western states on goods and services such as building maintenance, technology and catering.

Williams may be contacted at or (208) 848-2261.