The PDA Planning Meeting, held every January, took place from January 8 to January 10 in Sarasota, Florida.
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, Nick Mihacevich, Chairman of the Board, motivated the group with an inspiring and humorous speech about people in packaging.
As the general session continued, the group heard strategy updates from a number of leaders in PDA regarding member initiatives, leadership training, supplier council, SBO overview, equipment program, marketing, and champions council.
Next, the event keynote speaker, Todd Buchholz took the stage to educate the group on his perspectives as an economist. Buchholz is a renowned economist, White House advisor, and best-selling author; he connects the dots between Wall Street, Main Street, and financial capitals throughout the world. He is an internationally known consultant on global markets and winner of Harvard’s annual teaching prize.
Following Buchholz the members and suppliers separated into small groups for “speed dating” where they were able to learn more about each other’s business and find new ways to do business together. Later in the afternoon, the group was able to participate in a team building exercise where they built bikes for the Haven (a part of Suncoast Charities for Children).
On Tuesday morning, the group came together again for more speed dating. Then the group heard from a panel on current Issues and Challenges (led by Todd Maxwell, Micah Zehner, Tom Schreiner, and Charlie Henry)
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 2023 year.