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Awards: Cascades Containerboard Packaging: Innovator of the Year

By AICC Staff

January 23, 2024

Then-AICC Chairwoman Jana Harris (left) presents the Innovator of the Year first place trophy to the Cascades Containerboard Packaging team.

AICC presented the AICC/Board Converting News Innovator of the Year awards in the nonmachinery category at the Association’s 2023 Annual Meeting. This annual competition celebrates and recognizes innovative solutions that significantly enhance the independent box plant industry’s efficiencies, productivity, product quality, and bottom-line profitability.

This year, Cascades Containerboard Packaging took home first prize. “Each year, the innovator competition fascinates me because of the variety and ingenuity of the entrants,” says AICC President Mike D’Angelo. “This year is no exception. The Cascades solution received the support that it did because it answers a need the industry has had. Congratulations to the entire Cascades team.”

The competition saw a diverse range of entries, showcasing the remarkable innovations within the field. After rigorous evaluation by the AICC Plant Innovations Committee, the finalists were selected and put to vote by AICC Annual Meeting attendees. Attendees selected:

First Place: Cascades Containerboard Packaging

Cascades took the prestigious first place for its groundbreaking 100% recycled solid bleached sulfate alternative used for color applications on packaging. Its commitment to sustainability and an innovative approach to packaging materials have earned them this well-deserved recognition.

“Cascades is proud to be recognized with this award. Creating value for our customers is at the heart of our mission at Cascades. And it is with innovations such as EnviroCC paper that we continue to offer our customers sustainable products to meet their needs,” says Cascades President and CEO Mario Plourde.

Second Place: Arden Software

Second place went to Arden Software, whose innovative bill of materials for packaging designers, complete with an integrated parts library, has significantly impacted the industry.

Third Place: EFI

EFI secured the third-place position with its 100% light-emitting diode-cured, nonodorous, flexible, and sustainable ink jet ink designed for corrugated materials.

The AICC/Board Converting News Innovator of the Year Competition continues to evolve as a platform for industry leaders and innovators to showcase their groundbreaking solutions. This year’s focus on nonmachinery aspects of the converting industry highlights the diverse and dynamic nature of the field. The nonmachinery category of the competition was open to all AICC Associate members.

This competition exemplifies the commitment of AICC and its members to advancing the industry through innovation and collaboration.

Congratulations to the winners and other finalists, which included JB Machinery, OMP, and WPR Services, for their outstanding contributions to the industry. These innovations drive progress and inspire others to push the boundaries of what is possible. The video compilation of all the winners and finalists can be found at

The next competition will feature the machinery category, and members will select the winners during SuperCorrExpo, September 9–12, in Orlando, Florida.

Questions about AICC awards and competitions and the value a well-connected workforce brings to a company can be directed to Cindy Huber, AICC director of conventions and meetings, at, or Laura Mihalick, AICC senior meeting manager, at