In Packaging, PDA Stories, News & Events

The PDA Planning Meeting, held every January, took place from January 12 to January 14 in Chicago, Illinois

Each January, the members and suppliers who are part of PDA come together to plan for a successful year ahead.  The meeting kicked off on Sunday with a welcome reception where our attendees met to celebrate the start of the new year and start conversations about the progress to come. From the chatter of the crowd, it was evident that the group is excited for the meeting ahead, and the innovation that is coming to packaging this year.

The first morning of the planning meeting is dedicated to reviewing the status of PDA and our keynote speaker.

PDA President, George Strobel officially welcomed the group and shared insights about the member and supplier updates, and other exciting news for PDA. Following George, Stephanie Roland, PDA marketing coordinator, presented about the marketing status, then Ken Wong, Chairman of the Board, motivated the group with an inspiring speech.

The event keynote speaker, Jeff Havens, captivated the audience with his entertaining and educational speech Uncrapify Your Future. His unique approach is to help people – in business and life – to embrace innovation. He has a 3 step process that makes innovation possible and easy for anyone.  He teaches us to value productive thinking and ask questions.

Following Havens, Neal Magaziner (Hughes) led a panel discussion on Multi-Location Accounts. Along with Nick Mihacevich (M-Line), Jim Dawson (Morrisette), and George Guenther (Intertape Polymer Group), Magaziner encouraged the group to think differently about engaging with multi-location accounts. The goal was to help the community to better understand all of PDA’s capabilities and how each member company works together.

After the MLA panel there were two more presentations to continue the conversation on innovation:

  • Joseph Danko presented the LifDek corrugated palette
  • Clint Smith (Pregis) shared insights on sustainability in packaging

Later in the afternoon, David Varsano (Pacific Packaging) led a panel discussion with Allen Backscheider (BGR), Dominick Donatelli (Box Partners), and Ken Parrish (Signode) about current issues, challenges, and concerns within the PDA group.

Monday closed with group break outs to discuss attracting and retaining new sales talents.

On Tuesday morning, keynote speaker, Shawna Suckow, presented her speech Dont Become Extinct – Join the Sales Evolution. Shawna has extensive experience in sales and is a best selling author. She shared her insights on how to think differently about selling and becoming more connectable in our modern world.

Following Suckow, the group had the opportunity to experience two more panel discussions:

  • PDA Champions Panel: Robin Goheen (Rusco), Amy Packer (Hughes), Todd Maxwell (RMH Systems), and Lydia Backscheider (BGR)
  • Board of Directors Panel: Kelly Bonnel (BGR), Ken Wong (Crownhill Packaging), Marc Collis (RMH Systems), and Mike Pasley (B2B Industrial Packaging)

It was clear by the afternoon on Tuesday that everyone in the PDA community is excited about the year ahead and proud to be part of PDA. Overall, the PDA kickoff event was a huge success and a great way to start the 2020 year.

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