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AICC Spring Meeting Delivers Strategic Alignment

By AICC Staff

July 7, 2023

The Spring Meeting at Trump National Doral Resort in Miami drew nearly 800 attendees.

The AICC Spring Meeting, April 24–26 in Miami, welcomed nearly 800 attendees for three days of general sessions, plant tours, workshops, and networking.

During the meeting, speakers addressed the state of the industry, what’s next, and strategies to increase profitability. Additionally, 240 members enjoyed the 9th Annual Independents’ Cup Charity Golf Tournament.

AICC President Mike D’Angelo says of the meeting, “We thank AICC members for the tremendous turnout at the Spring Meeting. Dynamic members, a strong program of speakers, tours, education, networking, and fun—keep moving independents, AICC events, and this great industry forward.”

The meeting began with tours of SupplyOne and Schwarz Partners Packaging, followed by the Focus Session, which offered an industry and economic outlook from Anna Wong, chief U.S. economist at Bloomberg L.P.; an extended producer responsibility and Federal Trade Commission update with Terry Webber, vice president of industry affairs at the American Forest & Paper Association; and a new look at recycling from Suzanne Fisher, CPP, of Fisher Packaging.

The Sales Management Forum was held on consecutive days to start the Spring Meeting, including a reception during the first evening.

A panel of box and packaging manufacturers, moderated by Mike Schaefer, president of Tavens Packaging & Display Solutions consisted of Howard Bertram, president of Complete Design & Packaging; Brett Kirkpatrick, director of trade business at The BoxMaker; Joseph M. Palmeri, president of corrugated packaging at Jamestown Container Cos.; and Ben Urquhart, sales manager at NEWW Packaging & Display. Panelists discussed current conditions, the economy, training employees, what keeps them up at night, and more. Check out our story on p. 38 for a key portion of the discussion.

Throughout the meeting, attendees heard keynote presentations about marketing sustainability from Susannah Enkema, vice president of research and insights at The Shelton Group, and the ideas in the book Build for Tomorrow, from Jason Feifer, book author and editor-in-chief of Entrepreneur magazine. The closing keynote speaker, Sheryl Connelly, leading futurist and global consumer trends expert at Ford Motor Co., gave a fresh view of today’s world and how to prepare for and incorporate change into your company.

AICC Chairwoman Jana Harris presented John Bird, chair and CEO of JB Machinery, with his AICC Hall of Fame induction plaque.

Packed workshops gave attendees insight into attracting employees and the impact of social media on the industry, with Jake Hall, “The Manufacturing Millennial,” and succession planning with Daniel Prisciotta, CFP, CPA/PFS, ChFC, CBEC, managing partner at Equity Strategies Group. There was also a panel discussion with Greg Tucker, chair and CEO of Bay Cities; Kim Nelson, president and CEO of Royal Containers Ltd.; Larry Grossbard, vice president of President Container; and Jerry Frisch, president of Wasatch Container, on the future of their companies.

Over two days, supplier innovations were shared with a standing room-only audience. Presenting companies included:

  • Baldwin Technology
  • Young Shin USA
  • EFI
  • Kongsberg Precision Cutting Systems
  • Sun Chemical
  • Fosber
  • SRC America
  • HiFlow Solutions
  • Motionalysis
  • HP
  • Kao Collins
  • Kento Digital Printing
  • A.G. Stacker
  • Valco Melton
  • Amtech
  • SUN Automation
  • Bobst
  • OMP
  • JB Machinery
  • Flint Group
  • Goepfert Machinery USA
  • Koenig & Bauer
  • MHI
  • Durst Image Technology

During the meeting, John Bird, chair and CEO of JB Machinery, was inducted into the AICC Hall of Fame for his many contributions to the industry.

AICC recognized AICC member milestones, with Deline Box & Display and Viking Packaging each celebrating 50 years of continuous independent operation.

The following locations were also awarded the Independent Safe Shop Award for their safety record this past year:

  • Air Conveying Corporation (ACC Filter)
  • Akers Packaging Group, including:
  • Hoosier in Richmond, Indiana
  • Michiana in Sturgis, Michigan
  • Middletown in Middletown, Ohio
  • Packaging Logic in La Porte, Indiana
  • Webster West in
    North Vernon, Indiana
  • Webster West Evansville in Evansville, Indiana
  • Lawrence Paper Co., American Packaging Division
  • Royal Containers Ltd.
  • Unicorr Packaging Group/Vermont Container
  • United Engravers
  • Welch Packaging Group, including:
    • Bridgeview, Illinois, location
    • Columbus, Ohio, location
    • Romulus, Michigan, location
    • Toledo, Ohio, location
    • Heritage in Lincoln, Illinois
    • IndyCorr in Indianapolis, Indiana
    • Welch Packaging Brown Box in Elkhart, Indiana
Over 200 meeting attendees took to the links for the 9th Annual Independents’ Cup Charity Golf Tournament, proceeds from which help to fund the Foundation for Packaging Education.

Before the meeting, sales professionals participated in a two-day Sales Management Forum in which bestselling author Ed Wallace and millennial sales strategist Omar Abdullah helped attendees develop targeted conversations that lead to revenue, deliver sales results aligned with a buyer-centric approach, and learn to use application exercises to create fluency within sales teams.

More photos from the meeting can be found on AICC’s Facebook page, and videos of the general sessions will be available to meeting attendees on AICC NOW (

Questions about the Spring Meeting and the value a well-connected workforce brings to a company can be answered by Cindy Huber, AICC director of conventions and meetings, at or 703-836-2422, or by Laura Mihalick, AICC senior meeting manager, at or 703-836-2422.