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AICC 2024 Spring Meeting Celebrates 50 Years of Success

May 17, 2024

Joe Morelli of Huston Patterson and Lewisburg Printing Co. and Jeff Pallini of Fosber America Inc. moderate a multigenerational panel of boxmakers Bill, Jim, and Andrew Akers; Chad Wagner; and Larry and Richard Grossbard.

The AICC 2024 Spring Meeting and 50th Anniversary Celebration concluded with resounding success, marking a historic milestone for AICC. Held in the scenic backdrop of Palm Desert, California, the event brought together 850 industry leaders, emerging talent, and esteemed guests for a memorable occasion of learning, networking, and celebration.

The extravaganza featured myriad sessions, speakers, and activities, offering attendees invaluable insights into industry trends, essential information, and networking opportunities. Event highlights included the commemoration of AICC’s 50th Anniversary, the 10th Annual Independents’ Cup Charity Golf Tournament, and 10th Anniversary of the Emerging Leader program, marking a decade of growth and innovation.

The enthusiasm of attendees was palpable throughout the event. “We are thrilled the AICC 2024 Spring Meeting and 50th Anniversary Celebration was such a high note this year,” says Matt Davis, president of Packaging Express and AICC chairman. “This event provided a platform for connecting with new friends and old, having meaningful discussions, and it also allowed us to honor the legacy of AICC while looking forward to a future of continued growth and success.”

AICC Board Chair Matt Davis of Packaging Express and AICC President Mike D’Angelo recreate the moment from the first AICC meeting of breaking one stick but unable to break a bundle of them. This highlights that independents are still stronger together.

From the moment attendees entered the event space, they were steeped in AICC history. They enjoyed a Walk of Fame, with past U.S. board chairs remembered on stars on the floor, an 8-foot timeline of AICC’s history, and signs honoring the accomplishments of Hall of Fame recipients, AICC Canada and México past board chairs, safe shop winners, and many others who have been part of AICC’s history.

The meeting kicked off with the Sales Managers Forum, a dynamic training session designed exclusively for sales managers in the corrugated manufacturing industry. Led by industry experts John Ballentine of the University of Arkansas and Trent Halasek of Akers Packaging Service Group, the forum delved deeply into the financial implications of sales decisions, equipping attendees with valuable skills to drive value-based choices.

The event featured insightful sessions on hot industry topics, including Sarah Meiburg of the Paper & Packaging Board sharing tools and insights on selling sustainability and Derek Mahlburg of RISI offering an economic outlook and emerging trends. Both sessions provided attendees with a comprehensive understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing the industry today.

Tim Connell of A.G. Stacker moderated a panel with AICC experts Ralph Young, AICC corrugated technical advisor; Doug Friel, risk management advisor at JKJ; and Jeff Putt of Deline Box and the AICC AI & Technology Committee chair. They answered members’ technical questions and offered resources to help boxmakers be more efficient and productive.

Jerry Frisch of Wasatch Container gave a heartwarming and entertaining presentation about how his company began and grew and offered advice to the next generation of leaders.

Moderators Joe Morelli of Huston Patterson and Lewisburg Printing Co. and Jeff Pallini of Fosber America Inc. led an industry panel with Chad Wagner of Peachtree Packaging; Larry and Richard Grossbard of President Container; and Bill, Jim, and Andrew Akers of Akers Packaging. The panelists discussed family dynamics, industry challenges, and their vision of the future.

Ron Sasine of Hudson Windsor took a deep dive into consumer purchasing behavior, changes in distribution, and the differences between what retailers say they need and what the industry thinks they need.

A lively big band performance brings members to the dance floor during the celebration.

Keynote speaker Pippa Malmgren, former special assistant to former President George W. Bush and authority on geopolitical, economic, and technological trends, took attendees into the future with her presentation. She described the turbulence she sees coming and the opportunities on the horizon and discussed a different form of globalization, the new space race, and the speed of new technology.

Henry Winkler, aka “The Fonz,” Emmy award-winning actor, author, director, and producer, closed the meeting with the enthralling story of his youth, how he got into acting, and how discovering his dyslexia later in life put many of his experiences into a new context. He was called dumb by his parents, who did not support his dream of acting, but he never let their words stop him; they only motivated him to be and do more. He shared emotional stories with a humorous twist to captivate the audience before taking questions and signing his latest book for attendees.

New members and first-time attendees were treated to a special networking reception with their AICC ambassadors, who helped them navigate their first meeting and make new connections.

The celebration’s highlight was the 50th Anniversary Dinner, where attendees dressed in their finest. The room was beautifully decorated with centerpieces created by Bay Cities, glowing trees, and stars covering the room. Many attendees took advantage of a 360-degree photo booth to memorialize the evening. They also watched a video tribute to AICC’s history and future. Bringing in the golden age of Palm Springs for AICC’s golden anniversary, attendees watched a Rat Pack tribute show. They then danced the night away to lively big-band music, providing the perfect finale to a memorable evening.

AICC thanks BHS, WestRock, and Domino for their support in creating the 50th anniversary video shared during the celebration. “Words cannot express how grateful I am to past AICC members for 50 years of memories and to current members who made the celebration in Palm Desert a new and fitting memory. AICC is clearly ready to support its members for the next 50 years,” says AICC President Mike D’Angelo.

During the meeting, AICC also celebrated the milestones of its members, recognizing the following companies for their years of continuous operation:


AICC recognizes the many past board chairs during the meeting. Standing from left are Tom Skinner, Jim Haglund, and Cindy Baker.
  • 110 years: Utah PaperBox
  • 100 years: Bradford Co. and Standard Printing Co.
  • 70 years: Global Boxmachine
  • 65 years: Lonestar Container
  • 60 years: Corrugated Supplies Co.
  • 50 years: Automated Conveyor Systems
  • 40 years: Packaging-Atlanta Corp. and Alliance Machine Systems

“As we reflect on the success of the AICC 2024 Spring Meeting and 50th Anniversary Celebration, we are grateful for the continued support and participation of our members, sponsors, and industry partners,” says Terri-Lynn Levesque of Royal Containers, chair of the AICC Convention Content Committee. “This event served as a powerful reminder of the significant influence AICC has had on our industry. We will be talking about our time together in Palm Desert for the next 50 years. We look forward to building on this momentum and shaping the future of the independent packaging industry together.”

Videos of many sessions are available to attendees upon request. Contact Laura Mihalick at lmihalick@AICCbox.org for more information.

AICC members will come together again for SuperCorrExpo, September 9–12, 2024, in Orlando.

For more information about upcoming events, visit www.AICCbox.org/calendar. 


Sidebar: Thank You, Sponsors!

AICC is grateful to the sponsors who helped make the Spring Meeting a success:

Premier 50th

  • Bradford Co.
  • Flint Group
  • Haire

Premier Platinum

  • Domtar Packaging

Premier Gold

  • eProductivity Software
  • A.G. Stacker
  • SUN Automation

50th Anniversary Dinner

  • A.G. Stacker
  • Bobst
  • JB Machinery
  • Pamarco
  • Quest7

50th Late Night Bash

  • A.G. Stacker
  • Pacificolor
  • Göpfert

Additional Spring Meeting sponsors include:

  • Oklahoma Interpak
  • HP
  • Kao Collins
  • Geo. M. Martin Co.
  • Alliance Machine Systems
  • Bay Cities
  • Stafford Corrugated Products
  • Kolbus America
  • Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
  • Global Boxmachine
  • EFI
  • Arco Murray
  • Bradford Company
  • Huston Patterson
  • Lewisburg Printing Co. 
  • Dusobox
  • Amtech

Sidebar: 10th Annual Independents’ Cup Charity Golf Tournament

Throughout the Spring Meeting, attendees participated in various activities, including the Independents’ Cup Charity Golf Tournament, where they tested their skills on championship courses against the backdrop of the Santa Rosa Mountains in California. The tournament not only provided a platform for friendly competition but also supported a charitable cause. The tournament raised $15,000 for the Foundation for Packaging Education. 

“We are thrilled that the Foundation for Packaging Education was the beneficiary of the Independents’ Cup Charity Golf Tournament,” says Gene Marino, president of Akers Packaging Service Group and board chair of the Foundation for Packaging Education. “The tournament not only raises funds to benefit our educational programming but also showcases the camaraderie within our industry.”

Winners of the tournament were:

First Place—Palm Course

  • Bobby Atkinson, GAPCO | Gulf Atlantic Packaging
  • Cody Bryant, A.G. Stacker
  • Colin Moynihan, Columbia Container
  • Tom Murphy, Reliable Container

First Place—Valley Course

  • William Berg, Menasha Packaging
  • Brant Dixon, A.G. Stacker
  • Brian Kentopp, Topp Corrugated Products
  • Bryan Rabb, Rabb Corrugated

Golf sponsors include:

Major Sponsor

  • Hood Container

Caddies

  • Schwarz Partners

Gift Cards

  • Bobst
  • Additional golf sponsors included:
  • BHS
  • Equipment Finance Corp. 
  • EMBA
  • Bradford Co.
  • Fosber
  • BCM Inks
  • Bobst
  • Cuir
  • Litho Press
  • Flint Group
  • Crossroads Paper
  • Isowa America
  • EAM MOSCA
  • Engineered Recycling Systems
  • Huston Patterson
  • Lewisburg Printing Co. 
  • A.G. Stacker
  • Akers Packaging Service Group
  • Alliance Machine Systems
  • American Corrugated Machine
  • Atlantic Packaging Products
  • BW Papersystems
  • Clean Print USA
  • Dicar
  • EAM Mosca
  • Isowa America
  • Jamestown Container Cos.
  • M&T Capital Leasing
  • McLean Packaging
  • Pacificolor
  • Pamarco
  • Philipp Lithographing
  • Quantum Ink
  • Royal Containers Ltd.
  • Standard Printing Co.
  • Standfast Group
  • Two10 Technologies
  • Valco Melton
  • Wasatch Container
The weather is perfect for the 10th Annual Independents’ Cup Tournament where more than 240 members helped raise $15,000 for the Foundation for Packaging Education.

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