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News & Press: Pressroom

AICC Spring Meeting 2017 Three Days of Learning & Conversation

Wednesday, May 3, 2017   (0 Comments)
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The AICC Spring Meeting Roundup 

Over 500 representatives of AICC member companies, with nearly 150 spouses and kids in tow, descended on The Hyatt Lost Pines Resort in Austin, Texas April 26-28 for the AICC 2017 Spring Meeting. 

Nearly 60 AICC Emerging Leaders (ELs) came in a day early to participate in a workshop on Principled Leadership. The session began with a presentation and conversation with Scott Ellis, P2, moderating. The conversation focused on building trust, understanding customers, and effective communications. 

The group then broke into separate panels for the men and women to discuss Building the Right Reputation. Panelists included, Jody Akers, Akers Packaging, Bonnie Barraclough, Can-Am Packaging, Julie Elgin, Oklahoma Interpak, Jerry Frisch, Wasatch Container, Jana Harris, Harris Packaging, Emma Hay, EFI, Chris Heusch, ARC International, Larry Hudson, Jamestown Container Companies, Molly Mercer, Litho Press, and Barb Willians, EFI. Panelists shared their personal experiences and offered suggestions to the Emerging Leaders. The connections made between the ELs and the industry panelists could be seen in the continuing conversations throughout the remainder of the Spring Meeting. 

During a working session, later in the program, ELs developed the mission statement for the Emerging Leader Program: Developing the leaders of tomorrow, today.

Wednesday began with nearly 90 people embarking on tours of StarCorr Sheets LLC/Schwarz Partners Sheet Feeder Group & Community Impact Newspaper. 

StarCorr Sheets LLC is one of the newest members of the Schwarz Partners Sheet Feeder group. The greenfield plant was built in 2015 and started production in November 2015. 

Community Impact Printing prints the company’s 23 newspapers for the Austin, Dallas, and Houston metro markets. Their focus is to provide “hyper-local” news. 

Another 30 joined the Sales Managers Forum, where participants heard from Scott Ellis, Co-founder, P2, on Hunting Hunters, with tips and tools for finding and developing packaging sales professionals. 

Then, Ed Wallace, President and Chief Relationship Officer of The Relational Capital Group, on Sustaining Relational Capital. Ed focused the group on understanding relationship management as a core competency and how to objectively evaluate the relationships of the sales team. 

Next, attendees heard from Andrew Hurley, Assistant Professor of Packaging Science, Sonoco Institute of Packaging Design and Graphics at Clemson University, on Transforming the Commodity. This segment discussed finding the right value proposition for each potential customer and encouraged participants to look beyond the box. 

The final presenter of the Forum was Dave Eggleston, President, Frain Integration, who offered insights on Differentiating the Commodity: The Disruptive Impact of Education on Value. The focus of this segment was on creating the understanding within a company’s customer base that you are the “industry expert” to create a sales cycle that involves a combination of consultative relationship management, trend analysis, activity based recommendations, and reverse engineered retailer expectations. 

Forty-five HR professionals came together during the HR Summit, hearing from Holly Green, CEO & Managing Director, The Human Factor, Gene Marks, Columnist, Author, and Small Business Owner of Marks Group PC, and Christine Walters, JD, MAS, SHRM-SCP, SPHR, FiveL Company. 

Challenges and solutions discussed the first day included:

  • Finding, managing, rewarding & engaging employees to become a ‘Best Place to Work’ organization. 
  • Learning the employee lifecycle (recruiting, retaining, rewarding, and engaging employees) and key actions you can take at   each stage to be even more successful. 
  • Tools and services, platforms and applications, hardware and devices that today’s innovative companies are using to recruit, collaborate, manage, pay, evaluate, and communicate with their employees.
  • The Affordable Care Act

The Summit continued through two days of workshops, which offered participants the opportunity to earn continuing education credits and review their employee handbooks and HR’s top 10 headaches. 

In addition to the HR Summit and workshops the Meeting hosted three additional two-day workshop tracks. 

Ed Wallace spoke to more than 100 attendees about the relational ladder. He stressed the need to credibility, authenticity and integrity to aspire to become a respected advisor. A respected advisor offers a two-way relationship and it is relationships that allow sales to grow. 

Day one, Gene Marks brought 45 people together and held a fast-paced session identifying “what’s hot” in business. Discussions covered health insurance, HSA plans, Obamacare. He mentioned wages will increase by at least 3%, and minimum wages will also increase. He believes overtime regulations will not change in 2017 and noted that paid time off is trending up. He also noted that several companies, including LinkedIn, that are offering unlimited paid time off, see employees taking less time compared to companies with a use it or lose it policy. 

Day two of Hot Topics offered nearly 30 participants unfettered access to AICC’s technical advisors, Ralph Young and Tom Weber. They offered immediate responses to the critical questions impacting the performance of member companies. 

Some wisdom shared:
A novice leader in Paperboard Packaging manufacturing asked:
Where should I start in preparing to run higher volume Folding Cartons?
Answer: Implement a robust and audited Quality System, like ISO 9000 or 9001 and follow the Top 5 below:

1. It will force you to review your systems, processes, and personnel practices.
2. It will allow you to create a system that meets the needs of your initial clients, and prospects.
3. It will allow for continuous learning to take place, and document it accordingly for future reference.
4. Utilize the wonderful FREE AICC course offerings, both on and off-line, to train your key personnel
5. Don't be afraid to pick up the phone and ask your AICC membership or the ASK Tom/Ralph support team.

Another participant was seeking insight into a glue tab failure regarding a litho lamination top sheet to corrugated. 
Answer: Almost everyone in the room had experienced a similar event whether it was corrugated or folding carton. Everyone was interested in how to investigate this problem, prevent it from happening again, and what other solutions were possible. 
It was shown that the glue tab only appeared to have about one-third of the surface covered with adhesive. The failure occurred within the thickness of the litho label. The paper stock manufacture stated that the internal bond or Z directional tensile strength of the label C1S material was within spec. 

It appears that instead of the glue tab receiving 100% glue coverage it only received about 1/3 of that amount. The glue tab would not hold with this small amount of coverage. The glue system extraction nozzles may have been clogged or the case erected was trying to save money.

A better solution provided by another converter at the session was to only allow the litho label to extend 3/8 inch beyond the score so that the other 1-1/8 of the tab width was all corrugated. Linerboard would generally have a greater internal bond that a litho label. This is the power of community.

Twenty AICC Associate members presented their latest innovations over two days. The initial session had nearly 90 participants filling the audience. Presentations included:

“Alliance Machines Raptor Palletizer Offerings” Danny Lopez, Alliance Machine Systems International LLC
“INext—Digital Transformations and the Technology that Drives Them” Eric Nolan, Amtech/Futura
“New Developments of the Bahmuller Specialty Folder Gluer” Benjamin Holke, Wilhelm Bahmueller
“Evolution in Bundle Reject Technology” Chris Raney, Baumer HHS Corporation
“ColorConneXion—Simply Controlling Color” Robert Callif, BCM Inks USA, Inc.
“Eterna 3200-C6 (126”) Specialty Folder Gluer” Mark Caffrey, Brausse
“ColorConneXion—Simply Controlling Color” Robert Callif, BCM Inks USA, Inc.
“FlexSHIELD” Jeff Stacy, Cascades Sonoco
“Leading the Digital Transformation—End-to-End Certified Corrugated Workflows” Barb Willans, EFI
“Simplifying Multi-Part Corrugated Display Design & Production Workflow and
“Innovations in Rigid Box Manufacturing Automation Equipment for Luxury Packaging” Glenn R. Maile, Emmeci USA, LLC
“Integrating Production with Business Systems” Richard Deroo, ESKO
“Printing Inside and Outside the Box in a Single Pass” James Schiffman, Global Boxmachine LLC
“HP PrintOS” Bob Raus, HP, Inc.
“The HP Pagewide C500 Press” Steve Shannon, HP, Inc.
“ColorCure ‘Cold’ LED UV” Dave Burgess, JB Machinery
“KOLBUS Luxury Packaging Line/Boxline” Robert Shafer, KOLBUS America Inc.—Hycorr
“Protecting Loads from the Elements with Lachenmeier Xeros Film” Mark Wolschlag, Muller
“Corrugator Lab” Peter Dobell, OM Partners
“SUN110 RDC: New Cost Effective, Reliable, High Performance Rotary Die Cutter” Aaron Schlothauer, SUN Automation Group
“ClearVision BoxChek” Ray Rammelsberg, ValcoMelton
“Robotic Palletizing Solution” Doug Vandergriff, WSA-USA

For early birds the meeting offered two CEO eye openers. The first, with Holly Green, brought 52 people together with a riveting program on why we do what we do and how to set up ourselves to get clear on winning in business. Participants discussed managing time effectively, email processes to clean up your inbox, track and follow up with messages, and holding effective meetings. 

The second, facilitated by Scott Ellis, Co-founder, P2, and Mitch Klinger CPA, Klingher Nadler, LLC. Allowed participants to learn from one another about deciding to buy or sell, making capital improvement decisions, and working with family. 

Matt Elhardt, Vice President, North America, Fisher International presented an overview of the current state of the industry and provide an outlook for the future. He covered trends and cost drivers for containerboard, fibre, energy, and labor.
Dinesh D’Souza, Renowned Filmmaker, Author & Scholar, gave an auto-biographical talk about how America has changed his own life and the world. America’s principles, systems of government, and value for the individual has made it into the prosperous and powerful nation in the world.

Ed Wallace, President and Chief Relationship Officer, The Relational Capital Group, turned “we all make boxes” into how to build relationships into sales. Behaviors validate your good intentions and your good intentions reinforce your business relationships. Relationship capital are principles that allow you to distinguish yourself. Ed suggests we unearth the goals, passions and struggles of your customers to build a relationship. 

Christine Walters, JD, MAS, SHRM-SCP, SPHR, FiveL Company offered an overview of HR laws and regulations that can affect small business. Of interest, were the differences in state and federal laws. Many areas were touched upon including, hiring, termination, nondisclosure vs. non-compete and no solicitation rules. 

Two evening receptions brought together all attendees for hours of networking and conversation. 

Nearly 40 boxmakers and suppliers enjoyed dinner together at The View Restaurant during the Folding Carton & Rigid Box Dinner. 

Forty-five people attended the off-site BBQ & Brewery Tour. 

Terri-Lynn Leveque won a free plane ticket to the AICC Annual Meeting in Las Vegas by topping the leaderboard in the AICC app. 

The Spring Meeting also offered to the 4th Annual Independent’s Cup Golf Tournament. The winning team was Kyle Eldridge, Matt Ausburn, Vern Bennett and John Krafels with a score of 51. Jessica Negus, John Burgess, Gil Beucher, and Kevin Ausburn all won closest to the hole, with Kevin Doherty taking home the longest drive and Kyle Eldridge winning longest putt.   

A total of $45,000 was given to Austin Music Foundation, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Texas, and Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing.





Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America, Inc. 
Richmond Corrugated Box Co. 


A.G. Stacker
Akers Packaging
Alliance Machine Systems
American Corrugated Machine
Bay Cities
BCM Inks
Benefits Exchange Alliance
Bobst North America
Can-Am Packaging
Carolina Container
Dynaric, Inc.
Emmeci USA
Equipment Finance Corp.
The Flint Group
Fosber America
Global Boxmachine
Great Northern Corp.
Haire Group
Huston Patterson
JB Machinery
KapStone Paper & Packaging
Lewisburg Printing
McLean Packaging
Oklahoma Interpak
People’s Capital & Leasing Corp.
Schwarz Partners
Stafford Cutting Dies
StandFast Group
SUN Automation Group
Vanguard Packaging
W.H. Leary
Wasatch Container


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