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News & Press: Pressroom

AICC Members Invest in Their Future

Friday, April 12, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Alyce Ryan
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April 12, 2019 – AICC, The Independent Packaging Association, hosted nearly 700 people during the Spring Meeting, April 1-3, in Miami, FL. The meeting explored key economic indicators, succession planning, the impact of generations in the workforce, recruiting and retaining employees, and the latest innovations impacting the containerboard and paperboard markets.


The Sales & Customer Service Management Forum, a pre-conference two-day seminar, which began Sunday, March 31, was the first event to bring members together. Lead by Wayne Millage, WM Investments LLC and Suzy Cummins, Next Gear Consulting, the first day taught Sales Managers how to build a strong team and identify trends, while the Customer Service Managers focused on metrics and profitability. Day two brought the two camps together to explore strategic alignment between the departments and within the company.  


Monday, April 1, began with a tour of Atlas Packaging & Displays a designer and manufacturer of custom corrugated packaging and point of purchase displays. Their products range from die cut corrugated, to retail packaging, to other specialty products.


Later that afternoon Moderator, Kevin Ausburn, Chairman & CEO, SMC Packaging Group, brought together Mitch Klingher, CPA & Partner, Klingher Nadler, LLP; George Staphos

Managing Director, Bank of America Merrill Lynch; Matthew Poirier, Director of Trade Policy, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, (CME); and Ken Waghorne, VP, Global Packaging Paper, RISI; each gave perspective on the future of the economy, which was relatively positive, the MCUSA Agreement (NAFTA II), and market forces that will impact AICC members in the coming years.


That afternoon also brought together 35 AICC Emerging Leaders to learn how to generate creative leadership, shared vision and alignment across a variety of skills and talents from Mark Houck, Founder & President, The King’s Men, Inc. The Leaders later enjoyed a night out in Wynwood, Miami’s trendiest neighborhood, where they experienced the graffiti art and toured Wynwood Brewing Company.


Keynote presentations offered inspiration and new ideas to attendees:

  • Scott Zimmer, Generational Expert & Consultant, BridgeWorks offered ideas about Bridging the Generational Gap.
  • Jeff Skiles, Co-Pilot of U.S. Airways Flight 1549, shared his amazing experience and the role he played in the “Miracle on the Hudson.”


During the closing General Session AICC members also heard from a surprise visitor, Eric Trump, the second son of U.S. President Donald Trump, Executive Vice President of the Trump Organization, and founder of the Eric Trump Foundation. Eric shared his perspective on running a family business.


The meeting offered four workshop tracks to allow AICC members to gain insights into Human Resources, Generations in the Workplace, Leadership Transition, and Supplier Innovations.


Human Resources Track

Solve the Work Shortage Crisis – Recruiting & Retaining Veterans

Justin Constantine,  Partner & Chief Business Development Community, JobPath, debunked myths about veterans returning to the workforce, explained the military/civilian language barrier, and offered solutions that will help companies attract veterans. JobPath, a new AICC member benefit, allows AICC members to post jobs on the JobPath portal, an innovative online community that helps companies connect with qualified veterans. Learn more at  


Recruiting, Retaining & Retiring Top Level Employees

Joe Trybula, Printers401K, (I think his official company is Diversified Financial Advisors. That’s what we had in the program guide.) helped AICC members translate their 401K plans into a recruitment and retention tool. He also discussed common practices and best practices of companies offering this benefit.


Generations in the Workplace

Generations & the Future of the Workplace

Generational Expert & Consultant, Scott Zimmer of Bridgeworks, offered seven tips that motivate millennials other than money, explained the importance of listening to the ideas of millennials and Gen Z, encouraged a flexible work environment, and stressed the importance of offering feedback with examples of how different generations tend to prefer to receive it.


Here Comes Gen Z

Josh Miller, Speaker & Passionate Advocate for Generation Z, XYZ University, explained that Gen Z will share many traits with Baby Boomers. Gen Z is the first generation of the 21st century and they came of age during the most disruptive decade of the last century.


Leadership Transition

Leadership Transition

Moderators Gene Marino, Rusken Packaging and Terri-Lynn Levesque, Royal Containers lead the audience in a discussion with panelists David Callif, BCM Inks; Peter Moore, Moore Packaging; and Neil Saunders, Container Graphics Corp. about their experience transitioning into leadership roles in their companies. (Shouldn’t this say something like “about their experience transitiong their successor into leadership roles in their companies”?)


Develop a Road-map For Your Own Leadership

Gene and Terri-Lynn began again on the second day with the successors of Day One’s leaders, Rob Callif, BCM Inks; Stephen Moore, Moore Packaging; and Graham Saunders, Container Graphics Corp. to discuss their process and lessons learned along the way.


Then, Jim Hensel, Speaker, Author and Transition Coach, Mayhem Mindset, joined the conversation to help members create a “road map” for their own leadership transition plan.


Supplier Innovations

AICC Associate Members shared the latest machinery and non-machinery innovations for the corrugated, folding carton & rigid box industries.


Machinery Innovations


  • Kolbus America, “KOLBUS AutoBox”
  • Samuel Strapping Packaging Systems, “All New Unitizing System Engineered by Samuel”
  • Global Boxmachine, LLC, “Super Alpha High-Speed High Graphics Flexo Folder Gluer”
  • SUN Automation Group, “Taking the Air Out: New Electric Ink Pump Ensures Lower Operating Costs” 
  • EFI, “Unique White Ink in EFI Nozomi C18000 Single Pass Inkjet Printer for Corrugated”
  • Valco Melton, “Valco Melton/ClearVision CartonChek Pro for Specialty Folder/Gluers and Folding Carton Folders”
  • CST Systems Inc., “Duplex: Perfect Core Grip – Perfect Core Ejection – Every Time”
  • XDS Holdings Inc., “AirBond A Double Backer Heat Transfer Upgrade”
  • Pamarco, “Increase Quality, Reduce Ink Consumption, Improve Efficiency”
  • A.G. Stacker, Inc., “Sample Quality Rejection”


Non-Machinery Innovations


  • Tilia Labs, “AI”-CC or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Artificial Intelligence
  • Advantzware, “Advantzware-Esko Full Integration”
  • EFI, “Streamlining Product Creation with the Corrugated Business System”
  • Amtech Software, “Smart Factory-Streamline Your Scheduling”
  • REISSCO Corp., “Re-Invent your Business with Better Knowledge Management”


Over the three days, more than 40 new members or first-time meeting attendees were treated to a special networking event and reception, as well as a breakfast, with AICC Ambassadors, seasoned AICC Meeting attendees, to help them integrate into the AICC family and make the most of their meeting experience.


During the Meeting AICC also recognized members for safety and significant anniversaries:


Independent Safe Shop Winners

AICC recognized 14 member companies for outstanding performance in plant safety.

  • Abbott-Action, Inc., Attleboro, MA
  • Akers Packaging Solutions, Inc., Huntington, WV
  • Akers Packaging Solutions, Inc., Middletown, OH
  • Akers Packaging Solutions, Inc., Oreana, IL
  • Alliance Sheets, LLC, Bristol, IN
  • Arrow Box Company of St. Louis, Kirkwood, MO
  • Box-Board Products, Greensboro, NC
  • Buckeye Boxes, Inc., Columbus, OH
  • Hoosier Container, Inc., Richmond, IN
  • Jamestown Container Cleveland, Macedonia, OH
  • Jamestown Container, HP Nuen Division, Lyons, NY
  • Lawrence Paper Company, American Packaging Division, South Hutchinson, KS
  • McElroy Packaging, Inc., Orrville, OH
  • Wunderlich Fibre Box Company, St. Louis, MO


AICC Member Milestone Recognition

The Member Milestone program, started in 2017, was developed to honor the hard work and longevity of AICC member companies.

  • 80 years: Wertheimer Box Corporation, McCook, IL
  • 60 years: Central Package & Display, Minneapolis, MN
  • 60 years: Landaal Packaging Systems, Flint, MI
  • 50 years: Cumberland Container, Monterey, TN


The International Corrugated Packaging Foundation also gave the Circle of Distinguished Leaders Award to Joseph R. Palmeri of Jamestown Container Companies.


The 6th Annual Independents’ Cup Charity Golf Tournament, with its largest turnout ever with over 196 golfers, raised over $100,000 in sponsorship from 54 member companies for the following charities; St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, J. Richard Troll Memorial Scholarship Fund, and local charities Branches and Camillus House.  


Top Meeting and Golf Sponsors included:

  • Poteet Printing Systems
  • HP
  • SUN Automation Group
  • EFI
  • Hood Container Corporation
  • Schwarz Partners
  • Bobst


AICC also thanks the many other companies that supported the meeting through their generous contributions.


Photos from the meeting can be found on AICC’s Facebook page,


Meeting attendees can request recordings of the General Sessions contacting Laura Mihalick at 703.836.2422 or  


The AICC 2019 Annual Meeting & Independent Packaging Design Competition will be held September 16-18, 2019, at the Westin Harbour Castle Hotel in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  Registration for the annual meeting will open in June 2019.    


AICC 2019 Spring Meeting Recap Video from AICC on Vimeo.