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Grateful for Our Associate Members

By Matthew M. Davis

January 23, 2024

This is always my favorite issue. Ask yourself, “What did my plant look like five years ago, and what is it going to look like in another five years?” I have always been one to dream. I love to look at how our box plant has evolved over the past 25 years, and this issue inspires me to think about what the future can hold. I love to flip through this issue and see where our industry is going and imagine what box plants of the future might look like.

My grandfather received this purchase order for a corrugator he bought in 1940 for $29,473.

Early in my career at Packaging Express, my older brother, Pete, who is now the general manager at DeLine Box & Display, was selling ink for BCM. My younger brother, Tom, now a managing partner at Brown Brothers Harriman, was selling gluers and stitchers for Bahmüller. It was a special time for our family because we believed that the Davis brothers had three facets of making a box covered. Plus, seeing each other at industry events had a new meaning. It was during this time that I realized the importance of the supplier relationship. Over the years, we have grown fantastic partnerships with our Associates. In many ways, we are only as good as our equipment and the solutions the suppliers bring to us. I have also appreciated the expertise each one brings to us. Associates are on the ground and in a wide range of box plants every day, and they bring great perspective to us as owners.

These pages also remind me that making a profit in our business is an art. Each of us is presented with a unique market, and our Associates help us find solutions to best fit our customers and their needs.

We are all in this together. As chairman, I wholeheartedly understand that I represent the boxmakers and the Associate members. I value our relationships with our vendors so much. I want to take this opportunity to thank the Associates for supporting and sponsoring AICC events and education as well as donating to the Foundation for Packaging Education. We like to support the companies that support us. We always look first to an AICC Associate member when we are getting ready to make a purchase. We also look to our peers in the box business with similar machines and see how their experience has been.

In my opening remarks at the fall meeting in Louisville, I shared that my grandfather, T.J. McLaughlin, bought a corrugator in 1940 for $29,473. Next time you make a big purchase, keep a copy of the purchase order. Your grandson or granddaughter might get a kick out of seeing it 84 years from now.

Matthew M. Davis
President, Packaging Express
AICC Chairman