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50 Years of AICC 1980–1993: Where Do We Go From Here?

By AICC Staff

March 20, 2024

Keith Munt of ProPak and a founding AICC
member speak with an attendee of AICC’s
1988 Annual Meeting. (Photos courtesy of AICC.)

By 1980, AICC had over 300 members. In June of that same year, Dick Troll, AICC’s fourth board president (what we now call chairman), became AICC’s first full-time executive director. He believed “an association cannot survive on fear,” so the growing Association looked beyond antitrust issues and lawsuits toward training and information for members. Troll wanted independents to have access to the same kinds of resources as integrated companies, so AICC set out to develop the type of services members could not possibly provide on their own.

AICC celebrated its 10th anniversary with a membership of 500 independent companies. Also, in 1985, Troll and Hardy Sanders of Bates Container Corp., AICC’s 10th president, acted as the catalysts on the Association’s board of directors to form the International Corrugated Packaging Foundation (ICPF), a nonprofit charitable organization devoted to industrywide education and public awareness of the importance of corrugated packaging. In 1990, the Fibre Box Association was invited to join in sponsorship and support of ICPF to bring together the entire corrugated industry, not just the independent sector.

From left are Diane and Joe McQuade, both of Commencement Bay, and Nancy and Al Prisk,
both of Heritage Container, in attendance at AICC’s 1988 Annual Meeting at the Westin Copley Place in Boston.

Employee training was the biggest concern of members at that time and a passion for Troll. Illustrating this need for training was an early AICC convention workshop titled $50 Million Market; $5 Million Plant; $1.98 Sales Force. Troll and AICC’s board of directors got behind efforts to develop sales training programs, which became the first of many AICC training programs in sales, production, customer service, and executive and management training.

The Realworld Selling Course (RSC) was the first industry-specific training program for independent corrugated converters. While other professional training organizations offered training throughout the industry, none focused on the needs of smaller companies; AICC’s RSC filled this void.

Training programs put AICC on the corrugated industry map and earned the Association a reputation for excellence in industry-specific education. AICC expanded the number of disciplines in its training portfolio: In 1984, it added Corrman, a management program for corrugated plant supervisors; in 1985, the Communication Skills for Sales Correspondents, a customer service communications program; and in 1986, Up and Running, the first program designed for production managers.

AICC’s first issue of Box Score, before it was changed to BoxScore.

AICC developed other services for members, including gathering statistical information and salary and wage surveys for independent members, which AICC continues to provide today.

Understanding the value of learning from one another and the need to encourage generational succession, in 1992, at the urging of AICC board Vice Presidents Rich Eastwood of Central Graphics and Display and Bill Flinn of Scope Packaging, the AICC board of directors formally endorsed the creation of a “Next Generation” Committee to create a venue for networking and succession planning in AICC member companies. This group is one of the original iterations of AICC’s esteemed Emerging Leaders program today.

The years from 1980 to 1993 were marked by AICC’s strategic evolution. The shift from fear-driven concerns to proactive measures such as industry-specific training and the establishment of ICPF positioned AICC as a respected player in the corrugated industry.

As it embraced growth and expanded its influence, AICC played a crucial role in shaping the landscape for independent box plant owners and employees during this transformative period.

Industry pressure drove independents together at the 1986 Annual Meeting.
John Ludecker authored and recorded AICC’s early courses.
AICC began the International Corrugated Packaging Foundation and kicked off the foundation’s fundraising efforts with a $40,000 grant.

Sidebar: Past Presidents and Chairmen

George B. Arvanigian, 1980–1981*
Arvco Container Corp.

Lawrence I. Falstein, 1981–1982*
Tri-Pack Corp.

Jack D. Grollman, 1982–1983*
Triangle Container Corp.

Hardy Sanders, 1983–1984*
Bates Container Corp.

Donald Morphy, 1984–1985*
Morphy Containers Ltd.

William C. Akers, 1985–1986*
Akers Packaging Service Inc.

Stanley Jacobson, 1986–1987
Alden Corrugated Box Co.

Robert J. Thacker, 1987–1988
Thacker Container Co.

Jim DeLine, 1988–1989*
DeLine Box Co.

Laurence C. Schiffenhaus, 1989–1990
Schiffenhaus Packaging Corp.

Lou Wetmore, 1990–1991
Triad Packaging Corp.

Richard Braverman, 1991–1992
R & R Corrugated

Peter Keady, 1992–1993
Viking Container Co.

Richard F. Eastwood, 1993–1994*
Central Graphics & Display

*Of happy memory