The Flexible Packaging Association’s 2019 Annual Meeting was held on March 6-8 at the Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch in Scottsdale, Arizona. Attendees included over 250 FPA members and guests who participated in sessions that focused on ﬂexible packaging challenges and opportunities. The meeting also provided great networking opportunities for industry leaders.
Curt Begle, president, Health, Hygiene, and Specialties Business for Berry Global, and chairman of the FPA board of directors, opened the annual meeting educational sessions with a preliminary overview of the state of the flexible packaging industry. Jan Homan, FPE honorary chairman and senior advisor of Constantia Flexibles provided an update on the European flexible packaging market. Nick Vaﬁadis, vice president, Plastics, IHS Markit, shared an update on the polyethylene market; and Tom Blaige, chairman and CEO, Blaige and Company, provided a consolidation analysis for plastics, packaging and chemicals.
The meeting also included a panel on marine debris and current and future solutions. The panel was moderated by John Kalkowski, conference program/editorial projects director, BNP Media Packaging Group, and panelists included: William Jackson, VP and CTO, Bemis Company; Adrianne Tipton, VP of new product development, Novolex; and Bob Lilienfeld, vice president, marketing and sustainability, BioLogiQ.
In addition to industry content, the meeting provided insight into the US economy. Alex Chausovsky, senior consulting advisor for ITR Economics provided attendees with ITR's views of what to expect from the economy in 2019 and beyond. Attendees learned how their companies can take advantage of their own data to make better informed decisions based on the economic environment. Using leading indicators, attendees learned how to identify where they are in the business cycle and which inputs should guide their business strategy to help them make the right decisions at the right time. Chausovsky’s appearance was sponsored by Berry Global, BioLogiQ, Inc, Bobst North America, Comexi North America and Sun Chemical.
Tammie Jo Shults, a Southwest Airlines pilot and former F/A-18 Hornet pilot addressed FPA members during the second session of the meeting. An acclaimed airline captain and former United States Navy aviator, Shults’ early interest in flying led her to become one of the first female F/A-18 Hornet pilots in the Navy, after overcoming several obstacles due to her gender. After concluding her Navy career, she became a pilot for Southwest Airlines. Her talent received wide acclaim on April 17, 2018, when she successfully landed a Southwest Boeing 737 after an engine exploded at high altitude, causing multiple system failures and rapid depressurization. The successful landing in Philadelphia saved 148 lives including passengers and crew. She shared her experiences during that day, and discussed the importance of leadership, perseverance and crisis management. Tammie Jo’s presentation was sponsored by The Dow Chemical Company.
Copies of the annual meeting presentations are available in the members only section of FPA’s website, www.ﬂexpack.org.