My name is Jay Carman, and I am president of the StandFast Packaging Group in Carol Stream, Ill. I am pleased to be representing my family’s company as Chair of this great Association, AICC.
This is very special for my family and me because my father, John Carman, and his business partner, John Morrice, founded StandFast in 1967. They both were founding members of AICC in 1974, and my father was not only an active member of AICC’s Region 6, he also served for many years on AICC’s national board of directors as a regional director and director at large.
My wonderful wife Terry and I have two children, Samantha and Jake, who worked for the business and will hopefully work for it again in the future. We also have two nephews in the business, Kevin and Gabe Carman, who are showing great promise for our future as a company. Over the past 35 years, each of my brothers—Scott, Keith, and John Jr.—has also contributed to the growth and success of StandFast.
In this day and age, not many family businesses make it to the second generation, let alone the third. My brothers and I feel that we owe our current success to the prudent decisions made by our father and his partner in those early days of StandFast. A look at AICC’s 1981 membership directory shows that StandFast had a slitter, a taper, two flexo folder-gluers, two semiautomatic tapers, a flatbed die cutter, one stitcher, a few bundlers, and a unitizer. It was a typical sheet plant doing what was then typical brown box sheet plant business in about 40,000 square feet of space in Addison, Ill.
Today, we are in a 360,000-square-foot facility in Carol Stream, and with our joint venture partners at Atlantic Packaging, we now have a share in our own sheet feeder, Blackhawk Corrugated.
So, how did we get from there to here? Through my father’s decision early on to join AICC and apply what he learned and leverage the contacts he made to grow his company. He and my mother never missed an AICC meeting; they were dedicated to the Association, and they made many friends along the way. Thanks to them, my bothers and I have engaged in our industry associations—AICC, the Fibre Box Association, and TAPPI—and by this, we have learned how to grow our company.
This will be my focus in my year as your Chair: What are the ways the AICC can help your company grow—whether in discovering new markets, expanding your plant capacity and investing in new equipment, or in educating and training your next generation of workers and leaders. AICC is our Association, and when we support it, engage with it, and dedicate time to it, our companies and our industry will grow.
Thank you for this opportunity to serve you in AICC.