PPC Fall Meeting Features Wide Range of Speakers


SPRINGFIELD, MA | The Paperboard Packaging Council (PPC) Fall Meeting and Leadership Conference, held from October 23–25, 2013, in Dallas, TX, was attended by close to 250 participants. They heard from nine industry leaders and honored the winners of the 70th Annual North American Paperboard Packaging Competition. 

Starting the general sessions on Thursday, Claus Bolza-Schünemann, president and CEO of KBA, explained how his company has succeeded in growing within today’s difficult economic, globalized environment. He also stressed the importance of hiring a competent workforce, advising attendees to, “hire the best people and listen to them.”

Donna Harman, president and CEO of the American Forest & Paper Assn., described the progress of the Paper Check-Off Program

Tim Bohrer, owner of PacAdvantage Consulting, spoke about a recently concluded comparison study between flexible packaging and paperboard primary packaging units. “Primary package weight does not solely determine whether one package system has a better sustainability profile compared to another.”

Dr. Jeffrey Rosensweig, director of the Global Perspectives Program at Emory University, and Dr. Marc De Vos, director of the Itinera Institute, spoke about the economic crisis facing both Europe and the US. According to Dr. Rosensweig, the US economy is recovering but due to the ongoing indecision in Washington, DC, the recovery will continue to be a slow one. He also suggested attendees form detailed contingency plans in preparation for either a recession or a rise in interest rates.

Keynoting Friday morning’s general session was Mary Cooper, VP of Account Management at Perception Research Services, who discussed how advancements in technology and changes in shopping habits affects the packaging industry. Cooper advised becoming as trend-savvy as possible, noting, “As your company evolves, keep in mind the changing relationships between retailers and manufacturers as well as the current changes in globalization, public health, sustainability, and digital printing.”

Dr. Diana Twede, professor at Michigan State University, explained how the curriculum of the packaging school relates to the industry and emphasized the need for attendees to support and encourage package design talent with internships as they transition into their professional careers.

Closing out the session was Kelly Jewell, project manager at The Forest Trust (TFT), who described how to achieve supply chain transparency through responsible sourcing and product traceability.

The three-day conference concluded with sold-out plant tours of Southern Champion Tray and American Carton Co. in Mansfield, TX.

“We’re very pleased with the impressive turnout and the level of expertise offered by our speakers,” says PPC chairman Stephen Scherger.

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