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2020 Annual Report

By AICC Staff

December 1, 2020

“AICC’s 2020 fiscal year (FY 2020) ended on June 30. With the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic in March, AICC was two-thirds of the way through its fiscal year. As you can imagine, with this life-changing event, a review of the past fiscal year is a tale of two experiences. Prior to the pandemic, AICC was continuing to refine its programming to be the most effective it could be for all levels of membership, boxmaker to supplier, small to large. With the onset of the pandemic, AICC pivoted all programming to be online, and members responded with vastly increased participation compared to pre-pandemic program consumption in some areas. AICC commenced a daily COVID-19 update page on its website. Website visits grew by nearly 300% as members desired timely information. AICC joined the Zoom movement and conducted weekly COVID-19-related videoconferences, often engaging with more than 300 members per session. All were eager to learn from their fellow AICC members the best ways to serve customers and protect employees. Online education content grew to 80 courses, with nearly one-quarter available in Spanish. Member participation in AICC education programming was continuing to grow during the fiscal year, up until March, when utilization of AICC’s online education, a free member benefit, exploded. 2019 average monthly logins were 409. April, May, and June logins averaged 1,309 per month. AICC’s E-Commerce Xperience in February was the last major event prior to shutting down in-person AICC meetings. We had 145 very engaged attendees. AICC’s last national meeting was held in fall 2019 in Toronto. AICC will optimistically commence in-person meetings again in 2021.

With the shutting down of segments of the economy earlier this year, members faced a great deal of uncertainty. AICC advocated directly with several state and local entities on the question of “essential” businesses, supply chain integrity, and the role of AICC members. AICC partner associations such as the National Association of Manufacturers, the Council of Manufacturing Associations, and the Small Business Legislative Council played an important role in ensuring that AICC was able to keep its members informed of the unfolding of government policies and guidance in an ever-changing landscape. These partnerships continue to serve AICC and its members on an ongoing basis.


AICC welcomed 21 new general members into the Association and 15 new Associate members. Dues revenues totaled $1,608,190 in FY 2020, up from $1,574,502 the prior year. The Association’s membership retention rate was 92% against a target of 93%. The total number of AICC member corporate entities, national and international, general, and Associate members is 471. General members are boxmaking members. Associate members are suppliers of machinery, materials, ancillary equipment, and services to boxmakers.

Education and Training

AICC’s industry-specific education and training programs brought in $445,529 in revenue in FY 2020. We rightfully shine the spotlight on AICC Education Investors as they continue to be indispensable partners in the development of education programming that directly impacts the employees of all AICC members. Please thank them for their continuing support of AICC’s mission of educating the industry’s workers. AICC’s Education Investor partners are: Fosber America, BCM Inks, SUN Automation Group, JB Machinery, Pamarco, Absolute Engineering, Printron, EFI, Kruger, Bobst, HP, and Stafford Corrugated Products. Through their financial support and the sharing of their experts’ precious time, and in providing technical content, these companies support AICC’s growing catalog of online education and training programs, in English and Spanish.

Members’ increasing utilization of AICC’s online education was occurring pre- and post-pandemic. As a reminder, access to AICC’s online education for each member company’s employees is included with your membership. AICC maintains its partnership with The Packaging School, Greenville, South Carolina, a leading online educational platform for the material handling, packaging, and processing industries. At the end of FY 2020, the Packaging School and AICC partnership provided members with 80 online courses, up from 64 courses available the previous year, at no additional cost, in disciplines covering production, sales, design, customer service, and general leadership and management topics. As of June 30, AICC members had completed 4,962 online courses since AICC’s Packaging School went live in spring 2017. The telling statistic of completed courses is that at the close of FY 2019, AICC members had completed 1,891 courses. More courses were completed this year than in the previous three years combined. One reason for this growth was that training figured in the calculation for eligible employee time taken into consideration in the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program, one of several COVID-19-related initiatives launched in response to the uncertainty brought on by the pandemic and the shuttering of so many aspects of the economy.

Translation of AICC online courses into Spanish continues with the valuable assistance of Marco Ferrara and his team at AICC member Cajas de Cartón Sultana S.A. de C.V. and Juan Javier González and Samuel García González at AICC member Cartró S.A.P.I. de C.V. for their support to ensure technical accuracy and correct Spanish terminology.

When the pandemic struck, AICC and The Packaging School made several online courses available at no cost to packaging schools nationwide, as well as to a school in Canada. Because of COVID-19, these schools had sent students home in the spring for their safety. There were no in-person educational opportunities in the packaging disciplines. By granting packaging schools access to certain AICC Packaging School content, students have been able to keep engaged remotely and progressing with their knowledge of paper-based packaging. This program continued through the summer months and has proved to be a great way to keep AICC and its members in front of students who will be entering the industry workforce shortly.

AICC’s Xperience event was held in February in Dallas and was focused on e-commerce. Attendance was 145. The AICC Xperience is an annual education-related event that presents an industry trend or important topic in a multifaceted way over a rigorously scheduled three-day period. The AICC Xperience will continue, as it has become an eagerly anticipated event.

AICC created one new CEO Advisory Group and filled vacated seats in several existing groups. CEO groups were meeting regularly until the pandemic hit, after which several groups continued to offer support, advice, and guidance to fellow members through virtual meetings. AICC also launched a Leadership Advisory Group and a Production Leadership Group during the fiscal year.

During the first three months of the pandemic, AICC offered 12 webinars, more than half of which were free or sponsored, so there was no charge to AICC members. Four of the webinars were specifically COVID-19-related, and the remaining webinars were designed to help members to improve operational and plant efficiency and/or to help members improve their virtual and online sales skills. Total attendance at these online presentations, along with the weekly AICC COVID-19 Zoom conferences, totaled more than 2,300 members.

National Meetings, Regional Summits, and Special Events

Attendance at AICC’s national meetings, summits, and other events totaled 961 people in FY 2020, which ended June 30. The 2019 Annual Meeting in Toronto drew 560 attendees and featured a Practical Innovation in Package Design Forum, a one-day training, an Emerging Leader program titled Finding Your Voice & Increasing Your Impact, and the Independent Packaging Design Competition. The competition brought in 146 total entries, surpassing the goal of 115, from 32 AICC member companies.

AICC hosted eight summits in FY 2020 (most in calendar 2019), two of which included golf tournaments, and two of which were AICC’s annual ski events. Additionally, several events were held in Canada and Mexico. The U.S. summits were attended by 401 members and guests. The annual AICC México meeting was postponed. AICC Canada was able to hold its annual general members meeting, the President’s Luncheon, and its holiday party in Toronto.

Combined revenue from AICC’s U.S. national meetings and summits was $796,831. This was short of budget by $755,000. This shortfall is essentially because of the cancellation of AICC’s Spring Meeting in April. All AICC in-person events for April through June were canceled.

Publications and Advertising

AICC publications and advertising spent FY 2020 in a state of evolution. Revenue totaled $319,062, down slightly from FY 2019. The components of the total were $305,662 in website and print (BoxScore) advertising and $13,400 in publication sales. AICC website advertising was “slowed” by an exciting project. AICC updated its iDirectory of members to be much easier to navigate. A well-reputed contractor to the association marketplace, Naylor Association Solutions, built the new directory. In return for doing so, Naylor is now responsible for selling web-based advertising for AICC. The revenue percentage that Naylor receives is paying for the new, more useful iDirectory.

AICC publications are all downloadable now. There is no longer a hard copy inventory of AICC resources. Following a well-attended session at the Annual Meeting in Toronto, AICC created a new white paper, Cost of Corrugated Packaging Production Across Print Technologies, which is a comparative study of data provided by more than 50 packaging manufacturers and suppliers as it pertains to the cost to produce one exemplary box by various methods. Also released this year was the third edition of Understanding the Key Characteristics of Linerboard. The major publication launched this year was AICC’s popular Salary, Hourly Wage, & Benefits Report.

AICC Canada

AICC Canada encompasses Ontario, Québec, and the Maritime Provinces. It is run by an independent board of directors led by Stephen Moore of Moore Packaging, Barrie, Ontario, who serves as AICC Canada president. AICC Canada hosts a number of events annually and provides various services to its members locally. In FY 2020, events included a general member meeting, the annual Christmas party, and the winter President’s Luncheon. AICC Canada’s golf event, held jointly with the Canadian Corrugated Case Association, was a casualty of the pandemic. Longtime AICC Administrative Director Jana Marmei retired and was replaced by Renee Annis. AICC Canada publishes its own regional membership directory and biennial salary survey. Terri-Lynn Levesque of Royal Containers Ltd. serves as the Canada director on the AICC U.S. board of directors. For more information on the activities of AICC Canada, contact Renee Annis, administrative director, at 674-264-8674 or, or visit

AICC México

In 2020, AICC México was all about growth and new programming. While the annual meeting was cancelled due to the pandemic, engagement for online webinars on COVID-19- and industry-related topics that were quickly developed by staff and AICC México members was extremely high, with an average of more than 200 participants per event. Well-regarded experts helped members to cope with the unfolding situation in the country. General membership continues to grow, as does the AICC México Emerging Leaders program. AICC México members are playing a vital role in the translations of AICC online education materials into Spanish. Founded in 2001, the regional association continues to be a vital and growing part of AICC’s international family. AICC México is represented on AICC’s board of directors by Juan Javier González, president of Cartró S.A.P.I. de C.V. in Tepotzotlán, Mexico. For more information on the activities of AICC México, visit

Executive and Governance

AICC continued its traditional collaboration with related industry trade associations, including the Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry, the Fibre Box Association (FBA), Flexographic Technical Association, the American Forest and Paper Association, and others. Internationally, AICC maintains membership in the International Corrugated Case Association (ICCA), where we are represented on its board of directors by AICC Overseas Director Kim Nelson, who is CEO of Royal Containers Ltd., Brampton, Ontario. AICC is a participant at these organizations’ meetings each year. Unfortunately, several were cancelled due to the pandemic, including FBA’s and ICCA’s. AICC also maintains a close relationship with the U.K. Sheet Plant Association and the European Federation of Corrugated Board Manufacturers.

Financial Results

AICC was unable to overcome the loss of revenue that the pandemic and related government shutdowns brought to bear, specifically not being able to hold the 2020 Spring Meeting. Keeping AICC members, AICC staff, and AICC partners safe always guided AICC’s decision-making and actions. AICC’s executive committee and board of directors has been fully engaged throughout the crisis.

AICC’s operations in FY 2020 brought in $3,275,933 in revenue and realized expenses of $3,392,466. This resulted in a net operating income of $(130,677). This income, along with $(687) in nonoperating income, brings a total net income of $(131,364). These numbers have been prepared and confirmed by AICC’s auditor, Mullins PC, of Bethesda, Maryland. AICC members who wish to receive a copy of AICC’s audited financial statement should send a request in writing to Mike D’Angelo, president, AICC, PO Box 25708, Alexandria, VA 22313, or email

Although AICC operated at a loss in FY 2020 (the first loss since FY 2012), the overall financial position of AICC remains quite strong due to long-term investments, cash on hand, and well planned future near-term budgets.

Due to the participation and planning of the board of directors, the success of AICC events in the past, and strong membership retention and renewals, AICC is well positioned to continue serving you well into the future.”