Members of AICC Mexico met in Monterrey, Mexico, November 17-19 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the founding of AICC’s Mexico chapter. The group, numbering 170 members, suppliers and guests, was welcomed by past president Humberto Trevino of Washington Box in Monterrey and past president Pedro Aguirre of Technologia de Carton in Torreon. Trevino told members, “It is gratifying to see the support of so many AICC members at this meeting given the challenges of the past year posed by the pandemic and the state of the economy.” He said that membership in AICC Mexico had grown to nearly 100 member companies and the interest in the activities of the Association, particularly the online training programs, was very high.

AICC Ambassador Steve Young addressed the group on behalf of AICC President Mike D’Angelo. He thanked the members for their support and encouraged them to participate in the services offered by the Association, especially the online training and learning resources. He reported that AICC had created the Foundation for Packaging Education, a charitable foundation specifically dedicated to supporting and sustaining the development of online education and training programs, including their translation into Spanish. He remarked briefly on the financial performance of AICC in the past fiscal year, noting that the Association’s financial resources are very sound, and he also commented on the AICC/TAPPI SuperCorrExpo, August 8-12 in Orlando, which saw attendance of nearly 3,000 people and 235 exhibiting suppliers.

Speakers at the meeting included Patricia Inés Christensen of the Asociacion Mexicana de Envase y Embalaje (AMEE), an expert in packaging, design and brand identity, who spoke on creating value through packaging design. Juan Jacobo Mondragón, Industrial Engineer, discussed total quality systems design in corrugated packaging operations, while Hiram Cruz, also of AMEE, presented ways to optimize paperboard materials and reduce waste in the production process.

On the topic of sales, Gerardo Rodriguez gave an energetic, at times raucous, presentation titled, “Shut up and Sell!” A well-known motivational speaker, Rodriquez told his audience that knowing how to sell is crucial for success in business-to-business industries like corrugated and paperboard packaging, and that everyone has the ability – they just have to tap into it. 

Also on the program were Marina Faleiros, the Latin American editor for RISI/Fastmarkets, who gave an overview of the containerboard and packaging markets in North and South America, and keynote presenter Benjamin Aleman of Instituto Panamericano de Alta Direccion de Empresa (IPADE), who spoke about the main challenges and opportunities that arise in an uncertain economic environment.

Members were treated to a cocktail reception and table-top trade fair hosted by the sponsors of the AICC Mexico meeting. Sponsors were: Policart; HP; Grupo Gondi; BCM Inks; EAM Mosca; Kolbus; ICASA; PCM; Alliance Machine Systems; ARC; Fosber; Macarbox; ALHU International; Global Boxmachine; and Amtech. Approximately 35 Emerging Leaders of AICC Mexico also held a special event at a local top golf site. 

AICC Mexico celebrated its 20th anniversary with a reception and dinner, where Marco Ferrara of Carton Sultana was inducted into the AICC Mexico Hall of Fame. 

In the annual election of officers, Sergio Menchaca of Eko Empaques in Guanajuato was elected president of AICC Mexico. He told members that he looked forward to serving them in the coming year, saying it would be another year of growth for the Association and the industry in Mexico

On the event’s closing day, Friday, November 19, the group was hosted by Eduardo Posada, CEO of Grupo Gondi, at Papel y Empaques Gondi Monterrey, where members toured the recently constructed paper machine Number 7, which can produce 400,000 tons of recycled containerboard annually. The completion of the mill in January of 2021, raised Grupo Gondi’s total containerboard capacity to 1.1 million tons per year. 

For more information about AICC Mexico, contact Maria Frustaci at mfrustaci@aiccbox.org, or Veronica Reyes at vreyes@aiccbox.mx.