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There’s No Time Like the Present

By Julie Rice Suggs, Ph.D.

March 21, 2022


The new year is most certainly upon us at this point! I’m sure most of your social feeds were inundated with the cliché “New Year, New You!” as January 2022 officially appeared on our calendars. It’s likely that many of you have already started and subsequently fallen off the wagon of your lofty (or even not so lofty) New Year’s resolutions—signing up for that gym, scrolling less on social media, traveling more, picking up a new hobby, etc. We’re most certainly not snubbing the idea of setting new goals for yourself, but we are questioning the idea embedded in our subconscious that January is the best time to start these new ventures. As we are now several months into the new year and some of us (cough, cough) may or may not have even begun our resolutions, it’s time to reframe our thinking. If you want to make a change, a date on the calendar doesn’t mean a thing—pick the timing that is best for you. But what to resolve?

According to Forbes, the most common resolutions involve some form of self-improvement, followed by a determination to meet new career goals. How would these goals translate for packaging professionals working within the paper and corrugated industries: Could there be professional development with hybrid events and webinars? Or how about participation in virtual summits and tours? Maybe online training courses that build your employee’s industry knowledge? If any of these suggestions ring true for you, we have a convenient way to incorporate not just one but all of these elements—become a member of AICC. AICC represents independent corrugated packaging manufacturers and their suppliers. Membership is split between general and Associate members. For example, companies that convert corrugated or paperboard (privately held—do not have majority mill ownership) are general members, while industry suppliers and boxmakers that do not fit into the general category are Associate members. Most importantly, AICC is dedicated to strengthening the position of these manufacturers and suppliers in the marketplace through dynamic programs that empower their members to compete successfully in a rapidly changing industry and an increasingly competitive and global business environment.

To put the benefits of AICC membership into perspective, we had the pleasure of interviewing AICC’s Virginia Humphrey, director of membership and marketing, and Patrick Moore, membership services manager. Let’s get to know them a bit.

Humphrey spends her days connecting with members, answering their questions, and helping them find the resources they need. “I love my members. It is really about the people I get to talk to and know and help,” she says. Working with membership engagement activities, reviewing or creating marketing materials for the Association and their benefits and events, and reaching out to new prospects are just a few of the other areas she lends her expertise to.

When asked about a typical day in membership services, Moore says, “My role is all about serving our members! AICC lives by the motto, ‘When you invest and engage, AICC will deliver success,’ and my role is to make ‘engaging’ with AICC as easy and as pain-free as possible.”

To say this team is busy is an understatement, but Humphrey and Moore are always ready to help existing and future members find their passion in AICC.

When asked about some of AICC’s key member benefits, Moore speaks to the wide range of resources and welcoming community that membership opens the doors to: “AICC is a resource because we offer many products and services that you can lean on in order to benefit your business (e.g., education, workforce development, industry information, exposure, and health care). AICC is a community because we bring together the industry in meaningful ways and offer you the opportunity to find your place. The ‘resource’ idea and ‘community’ idea often work together as well—seminars, webinars, summits, and advisory groups all help create the community aspect.”

As far as education goes, AICC provides many opportunities for growth and learning alongside fellow members through seminars, summits, and national meetings. These events give members from different companies the chance to broaden their skills and network with other industry experts. Humphrey notes, however, that registration fees, travel costs, and time away from work for these in-person events can be barriers. “While the value of live training is exceptional, it isn’t always possible,” she says.

To balance the equation, AICC gives all team members a way to increase their knowledge and skills through free online education. They partner with The Packaging School to allow member companies and all respective employees the value-add of training programs for free (in case you didn’t catch that the first time). And with more than 80 online courses in both English and Spanish, all related to the packaging industry and the manufacturing environment, there’s something for everyone.

Overall, Humphrey’s simple yet resounding advice is to get involved. “There are so many resources included with membership—free white papers, BoxScore magazine, access to the AICC experts, and free online education—that can help employees at member companies thrive,” she says. “Then to really get to know others, build connections and a strong network, the in-person events and peer groups come into play. But all of this means nothing if people don’t get involved and engage.”

Whether you’ve already jumped into your New Year’s resolution or you’re taking the plunge now, AICC and its membership team are ready for you. Contact Humphrey at and Moore at to see how they can assist in your current or future membership with AICC.


Julie Rice Suggs, Ph.D., is academic director at The Packaging School. She can be reached at 330-774-8542 or





Alli Keigley, who contributed to this article, is production coordinator at The Packaging School. She can be reached at