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The Value Proposition of AICC

By Tim Connell

July 7, 2023

In the early part of 2002, as I transitioned from the world of plastic packaging films to a future in corrugated converting equipment sales, I considered resources that would bring me up to speed quickly. In addition to learning the products of a new company and industry, I had to understand the needs and issues in our industry from the perspectives of the customers, suppliers, industry experts, and regulators that had already gained some of this experience.

When I was first introduced to AICC, I knew I needed to get involved, engage further, remain committed, and understand better all AICC has to offer. The AICC staff works hard to research new and relevant topics for training programs, management and leadership skills training, technical workshops, and seminars with industry experts who help members grow their businesses.

AICC national and regional events became my most valued learning resource, enabling me to make contacts, meet new friends and mentors, entertain customers, and “compare notes” with other suppliers and even friendly competitors. AICC’s content committee does an outstanding job of keeping the meeting agendas and speakers fresh and exciting. Whether your business is looking for financial or operational guidance, considering new technologies, or creating new business partnerships, the meetings and networking events have so much to offer. The Emerging Leaders program, CEO advisory groups, and new member welcoming programs continue to evolve and emphasize the organization’s networking value. Over 20 years later, the value proposition of my AICC membership is still present, apparent, and appreciated at every event.

Years ago, the opportunity for networking was most of what AICC had to offer. Now at AICC, while networking events are still a primary membership benefit, they are not practical for every employee in your organization. To overcome this, AICC offers various educational programs, mostly online, to assist members with employee education and skills development that makes recruitment and retention easier.

The AICC Packaging University proudly offers 100-plus online courses and has educated over 15,000 industry team members in the past five years. Many member companies have incorporated university content into their respective onboarding programs for new team members. The new AICC NOW
( platform is the single source for online AICC programming that makes the educational content and membership benefits more accessible than ever before.

The true benefit of the Association can be best demonstrated by the growth of the members that get involved and stay involved. Usually, these are the same people who feel compelled to serve the Association by sharing their experiences and success stories to encourage other companies and individuals to do the same. I believe the passion and enthusiastic sharing of knowledge present in our Association is either high-functioning due to AICC’s efforts or simply unique to our industry—thanks and keep up the good work, AICC.

In closing, I would like to offer this quote from the great U.S. industrialist Henry Ford: “Coming together is the beginning, keeping together is progress, working together is success!”

Tim Connell is director of sales at A.G. Stacker and is vice chairman of AICC’s Associate board.