In PDA Stories, News & Events

At this year’s annual meeting, over 160 members of the PDA community came together to identify new business opportunities and celebrate PDA.


2023 was the largest annual meeting PDA has ever hosted. Packaging Distributors of America’s 17th annual meeting took place at The Ritz Carlton, Santa Barbara, California, on Sunday June 4th through Thursday June 8th.

The venue, a perfect setting for our Members and Suppliers to network, was appreciated by all as new connections were formed and business was done. Everyone enjoyed celebrating PDA while raising money for charity and honoring achievements.

The Welcome Reception kicked off on Sunday evening, as the community gathered for a hand-crafted meal and special announcements from PDA President, George Strobel. George introduced visitors, welcomed everyone to California, and thanked the event sponsors:

  • PAC Strapping
  • Berry Global
  • Intertape Polymer Group
  • Sigma Stretch Film
  • Versa Pak
  • Shurtape
  • Badger Paperboard
  • Pregis
  • Base Plastics
  • Air Wave
  • Laminations
  • ID Images

Every year PDA has a raffle and drawing to benefit a local charity in need. The raffle winners received gift cards and other prizes but the real prize is the chance to give back. The money raised from this year’s raffle went to The Santa Barbara Bucket Brigade. We raised $6,500 and PDA matched that for a total donation of $13,000. Click here to learn more about the Bucket Brigade. Thank you to everyone who contributed.

On Monday, the general session opened with words from George Strobel. He welcomed the group and reassured everyone that the Power of PDA is stronger than ever. He then introduced various council members to update the group on current initiatives, events, and progress that is happening for PDA.

Nick Mihacevich, former Chairman of the Board, took the stage next and said his final words as Chairman. He introduced new Chairman of the Board, Micah Zehner (New Tech Packaging), PDA’s first female Chairman. She inspired the group with some words about People, Purpose, and Passion, and connected with the group through her experience and humble background.

George introduced PDA’s keynote speaker, Ben Nemtin. Ben Nemtin is a #1 New York Times bestselling author, co-founder of The Buried Life movement and inspirational keynote speaker. He has delivered over 500 keynotes to brands and Fortune 500 companies around the globe. His message centered around the powerful change one can experience by creating a bucket list and accomplishing your biggest goals. The audience was captivated and many indicated they will be working on their bucket lists when the get home!

For the remainder of the day, and throughout the subsequent days of the meeting, PDA Members and Suppliers had a chance to meet individually and in group sessions to collaborate and learn about new offerings and discuss business opportunities and issues.

On Tuesday afternoon, many of our Members and Suppliers took a break from meetings to participate in our annual charity golf tournament.


On the final evening of the meeting, all attendees and family members came together for the annual awards dinner. George Strobel introduced our annual charity contribution and announced the 2023 award winners.

Member of the Year: Morrisette Packaging

Supplier of the Year: Badger Paperboard

Champion of the Year: Amy Packer, Hughes

2023 President’s Award: Crownhill Packaging

2023 President’s Award: Robin Goheen, Rusco

Following the PDA awards presentation, Jacob Cantrell, DNP, approached the stage to present PDA with an award from DNP. George Strobel and Barb Dammann humbly accepted and showed their appreciation for the PDA Family.

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