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News & Press: Pressroom

AICC Member Companies Investing in Their Future Through Their Emerging Leaders

Thursday, June 21, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Alyce Ryan
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Over 40 AICC Emerging Leaders (EL) came together June 5-6 in Chicago during the annual Chairman’s Field Trip. Hosted by AICC Chairman, Al Hoodwin, Michigan City Paper Box (MCPB), the annual Field Trip explored new technology applications for packaging, state of the art converting facilities, and valuable networking.


Terri Lynn Levesque, Office Manager, Royal Containers Ltd, said, “out of all the amazing benefits that the EL Program has to offer, the Chairman’s Field Trip is one of the most important. This year’s trip was one of the best I’ve experienced. In addition to great tours and training we made new friends with all of the members. Al and his team have set the bar pretty high. I genuinely feel regretful for those who missed out.”


Al Hoodwin welcomed the group to Chicago with an exploration of augmented reality’s practical application in packaging design, sales, and marketing. Charles Delaney, GROW Retail Technologies, explained that augmented reality (AR) is technology that combines virtual reality with the real world in the form of live video imagery that is digitally enhanced with computer-generated graphics. AR can be experienced through headsets that people wear but has become more popular since mobile devices have been equipped with the capability. Among the examples shown by Charles, was a design application that places images of various packages or display products in the retail setting. He also showed how AR is being utilized in marketing with multiple examples, including the label of 19 Crimes wine. A maintenance application for trouble shooting in collaboration with external techs was also presented. Aaron Judson of Michigan City Paper Box then showed attendees how MCPB is using AR in design to provide a 3D proofs, as well as placement of the virtual product in the customer’s desired retail space.


The ELs evening networking event was held in a unique Chicago venue, the Wrigley Rooftop. These venues line the outfield with residences that have been converted to indoor/outdoor Cubs’ game viewing sites.


Day two of the Chairman’s Field Trip started early with a bus trip to Welch Packaging in Elkhart, Ind. CEO Scott Welch and his team were very generous with their time and personnel. Scott gave a brief history and mission of the company. He explained that they started in 1985 with four employees and have grown to 10 manufacturing locations with the motivation of making a difference in the lives of customers, associates, and the community. ELs met over a dozen top executives who led the tours and answered questions. Andrew Akers, Sales Manager, Akers Packaging said, “it’s amazing to see what Welch is doing and what they have become in 30+ years.

The next stop was Michigan City Paper Box in Michigan City, Ind. For most of the participants this was the first exposure to rigid box manufacture. Andrew Akers said, “MCPB was unlike anything I’ve seen before, and couldn’t believe the amount of volume they were pumping out of that location. No wonder they’ve been in business for 114 years!” One stop on the tour exhibited the short turn around capability MCPB provides. The ELs watching a machine form boxes were surprised to see four digitally printed versions of the box bearing images from the Wrigley Rooftop event the night before. Josh Sobel, an Account Manager at Jamestown Container, summed it up by saying, “it was a great learning experience and a fun networking event. Learning about augmented reality provided insight into a future staple of the packaging industry, while watching a Cubs game from a rooftop was a check off the bucket list. The EL’s from Jamestown Container were all so grateful for opportunity to be a part of this great event!”


The Emerging Leaders meet at AICC’s two annual meetings (Spring and Fall) and for the Chairman’s Field Trip. The group is open to individuals under the age of 36 at AICC member companies. For further information contact Scott Ellis at



About AICC

AICC, The Independent Packaging Association, is uniting and celebrating the success of inspired, independent packaging companies. We are a growing membership association which has served independents since 1974, by providing access to education and information in print, in person, and online. AICC membership is for the full company- join and all employees at all locations have access to member benefits. In April 2017 AICC began offering free online education to all members to help the individual maximize their potential and the member company maximize its profit. When companies invest and engage, AICC will deliver success.