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A Lesson From the Bard of the Bronx

By Michael DAngelo

July 15, 2020

Portrait of Michael D'Angelo“When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” —Yogi Berra

This issue of BoxScore went to print shortly after AICC began a new fiscal year on July 1. Since the COVID-19 pandemic landed on our doorsteps in March, the AICC staff has been attempting to put together a budget and a Destination Model for what is now fiscal year 2021. Given the uncertainty in the timing of a COVID-19 vaccine and the duration of the resulting economic fallout, the task has been difficult.

AICC’s budget committee, executive committee, and the full board of directors have been very supportive and very helpful. Good AICC governance by member volunteers remains a bedrock of the Association. Another characteristic of AICC members is their willingness to share their opinions. AICC surveys go a long way to setting programming and priorities.

At the beginning of June, AICC surveyed boxmaker and supplier members to get their thoughts on travel to AICC events in the fall. We asked the same questions to the two member categories, compiling the results separately. You, the members, spoke honestly and passionately, as usual.

Eighty-six percent of boxmakers and 86% of suppliers have installed some form of travel restriction, ranging from no travel at all to only necessary travel. A vast majority of the respondents do not have a specific date when the restrictions set by their company will be lifted. Accompanying comments indicate that most members’ reopening process will be very gradual and will depend on myriad factors. Consequently, 84% of boxmakers and 62% of suppliers will not attend an AICC national event during the calendar year 2020. There are subsets in the data that show that 20% of boxmakers and 11% of suppliers will not travel prior to the availability of a COVID-19 vaccine or the implementation of an effective treatment for the virus.

Smaller AICC events such as summits or education seminars fared only slightly better relative to travel, with 67% of boxmakers and 61% of suppliers saying they would not attend.

AICC also questioned the members on safety measures expected at any national or regional meeting. The full results of the surveys, along with commentary, can be found at

So, based on polling, we won’t be seeing you in person anytime soon unless circumstances dramatically change.

AICC offers very strong membership value through The Packaging School and the pivot that has been made to videoconferences, webinars, and website content—all necessitated by the restrictions imposed upon members by governments or imposed by the members themselves. We have seen strong growth in the utilization of all AICC platforms. But at its heart, AICC is a meeting, camaraderie, and networking Association. We fully expect to return to this foundation at the soonest opportunity.

When will that be? John Kenneth Galbraith once said, “There are two types of forecasters: those who don’t know the future and those who don’t know they don’t know,” which brings me back to the opening line above from the “Bard of the Bronx.” This year has been a journey like no other. It is a journey that, just like for you, has led to many forks.

In the interest of delivering success to our members, we always take them.




Michael D’Angelo

AICC President