It has been an exciting year as your AICC Chair and one I will not soon forget. A bit of a pandemic-related shift created an early window for me, as SuperCorr was my kickoff last August, and what a successful start it was! The Orlando, Florida, conference was very well attended, and many of us were ready to move beyond the challenges and get back to meeting in person. AICC’s staff of professionals works tirelessly alongside your board of volunteers to provide compelling content mixed with social interaction, and this event delivered.
On the heels of that meeting, I found myself in California for the AICC West Coast golf outing, which has been a meeting staple for quite some time, and it was not overhyped. I found myself back at the hotel that evening at a tableful of Associate members where several hours of laughing and camaraderie were had, making a memorable experience for sure.
A quick stop in Toronto for the AICC Canada Holiday Party did not disappoint. That group is an incredibly strong presence for the independent in Canada—and they’re some of my favorite boxmakers to boot. We also attended the International Corrugated Packaging Foundation fundraiser in New York and enjoyed the experience immensely alongside AICC and Fibre Box Association members alike.
A working winter board meeting takes place every January, at which much of the strategic heavy lifting is completed—one of my favorite exercises. Our committed volunteers, alongside a dedicated team of true AICC professionals, unpack our most critical value propositions to challenge our assumptions and continue to improve upon AICC messaging and product offerings that best benefit our membership.
A stop in Kansas City, Missouri, for the AICC Packaging Xperience program provided two days of excellent presentations and content, with AICC again exceeding expectations to provide value to its membership.
The Spring Meeting in Palm Desert, California, brought us warm weather and more attendance records. Capping off the trip with a presentation by Capt. Richard Phillips made this a special event. May began with the Southeast Summit and was followed by the Midwest Summit with the Chicago TAPPI tabletop event. While I am writing, the Midwest golf outing and Northeast Summit are on the calendar and expected to be five-star events, as well. My time as your Chair will conclude at Corrugated Week in San Antonio, where I am looking forward to the passing of the torch to Chair Jana Harris.
There was of course much that I regrettably could not attend, like the Mexico meeting and the Canada golf outing—not for a lack of trying, however! I have been extremely fortunate to be a participant in this industry. It is all about the people. Our suppliers, competitors, peers, partners, and all related participants are what makes this such a special industry. Thank you for your support, your kind words, and your friendship. Many thanks to my advisors, Al Hoodwin of Michigan City Paper Box, Joe Palmeri of Jamestown Container, and Joe Morelli of Houston Patterson. Many thanks to AICC President Mike D’Angelo and the entire AICC team. You make this look so turnkey—you are all true professionals. My gratitude to the Akers/Akey family for their support during my tenure, as well.
It has truly been an honor to be your Chair.
Executive Vice President, Akers Packaging Service Group