TLMI greeted guests to its yearly converter meeting with what the North American tag and label association is calling ‘TLMI 4.0.’ 

Dan Muenzer, a one-time TLMI member who’s now serving at the helm of the association, unveiled a new website and initiatives designed to increase the value and services companies receive from their TLMI membership. Behind a cleaner and more sophisticated looking website and fresh logo, the association is building a portal where members can interact and learn from one another. 

Muenzer said the portal can help guide its converter members through industry changes such as increased digital adoption, an aging workforce and heightened environmental pressures. 

‘The whole industry is changing,’ Muenzer said. ‘This is forcing TLMI to evolve and help our membership navigate this landscape.’ 

The new portal will be a resource for converter and supplier members, functioning as an online repository for TLMI reports, meeting presentations, archives, intelligence and other resources. The portal will also serve as a private social network for members to manage their profiles, form communities, and connect with peers and colleagues. 

‘The secret to making that work is member engagement,’ Muenzer said. 

Converter panel 
The event continued over two days in San Diego, California, where a panel of label converters was a highlight of the conference sessions. Panelists were Lori Campbell of The Label Printers; Greg Jackson of Columbine Label; John Wynne of Fortis Solutions and John Attayek of Inovar Packaging Group. Each offered a different outlook on leadership and the challenges facing their companies. 

Both Fortis Solutions and Inovar Packaging in recent years have grown significantly by acquisitions. Both CEOs explained their processes in building synergy among new employees and across locations. 

Wynne of Fortis Solutions Group said being a leader means being a good listener. When acquisitions occur, he said, ‘We have to understand what made their company great.’ 

Attayek of Inovar Packaging has a similar approach. To build trust with new employees through acquisitions, he gathers them around a table. ‘We’ve bought a lot of pizza over the years. Trust is built on relationships. Dress down, relate, engage, make it more familial.’ 

Above all else, the panel showed that even leaders of successful companies are not immune to struggles. The Label Printers’ Campbell said as the leader of her company it’s important that she engage with employees. ‘I have to work hard on engaging with people on a regular basis,’ she said. ‘It’s taken me a long time to realize that has an impact on people. Now I have to be really conscious to go through the plant, through the office with my eyes open and head up.’ 

Jackson, of Columbine Label, doesn’t dwell on losses, but rather looks at them as opportunities. He said: ‘If I’m not going to get the sale, I’m going to at least get the lesson.’ 

In addition to the panel discussion, the converter meeting hosted motivational speakers who addressed the meeting’s theme: ‘Leadership = Vision + Values + Fortitude.’ Speakers included Ryan Estis, who spoke on embracing change; Nathan Jamail, whose talk focused on creating a ‘coaching culture’; Dr JP Pawliw-Fry, who offered a scientific approach to leadership; and economist Alan Beaulieu, who provided insight into future economic trends. 

TLMI member winners of the L9 World Label Awards were also announced at event and Eugene Singer awards for best-managed companies were honored at an awards banquet.


Chelsea McDougall is North America editor for Labels & Labeling.

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