The Flexible Packaging Association’s 2019 Annual Meeting was held March 6-8, 2019, at the Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch in Scottsdale, AZ.
Attendees included over 250 FPA members and guests who participated in content-rich general sessions that focused on ﬂexible packaging industry-speciﬁc 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, and Jan Homan, FPE honorary chairman and senior advisor of Constantia Flexibles provided an update on the European flexible packaging market.
Nick Vaﬁadis, VP, plastics, IHS Markit, shared an update on the polyethylene market. 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 & CTO, Bemis Company, Inc.; Adrianne Tipton, VP of New Product Development, Novolex; and Bob Lilienfeld, VP, marketing & sustainability, BioLogiQ, Inc.
In addition to industry content, the meeting provided insight into the U.S. economy. Alex Chausovsky, senior consulting advisor for ITR Economics provided meeting attendees with ITR's views of what to expect from the economy in 2019 and beyond and covered industry trends, business to business activity, tax reform, trade, inflation, and interest rates.
Meeting 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.
Tammie Jo Shults, a Southwest Airlines pilot and former F/A-18 Hornet pilot addressed FPA members during the second General Session of the meeting.
Her 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 history and talent received wide acclaim on April 17, 2018, after 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.