After more than a year-and-a-half of pandemic related delays, the much anticipated TAPPI/AICC SuperCorrExpo 2021 successfully kicked off with an opening night reception and ribbon cutting ceremony on Sunday, August 8, at The Hyatt Regency Orlando.

Larry Montague, CEO of TAPPI, extended his thanks to an enthusiastic and excited throng who gathered to watch the ceremony and finally, to reconnect and network with colleagues, customers and friends.

The enthusiasm swelled into Monday, when for the first time since 2016 the corrugated industry opened its doors to a major trade show that saw more than 240 exhibitors, many with working machinery, ready to present their innovative offerings to attendees eager to witness the latest the corrugated industry has to offer. 

In addition to live demonstrations of machinery and equipment on the expo floor, attendees had the opportunity to experience more than 17 breakout sessions – including five stellar keynote presentations – and more than 25 hours of educational programs rife with solutions to solve production problems.

The TAPPI Awards & Recognition Breakfast filled Monday morning – the complete list of award winners will be published in a future issue of BCN – after which Pete Watson, President & CEO of Greif, Inc., delivered the opening keynote presentation on The Greif Way. (See page 1 of this issue for his comments). Following Watson on the stage was Richard Boyd, co-founder and CEO of Tanjo, Inc., who shared insights about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning.

On Tuesday morning, AICC Chairman Jay Carman conducted the Association’s annual business meeting and recognized outgoing board members, introduced new ones and announced the winners of the Student Design Competition and the J. Richard Troll Scholarship. The complete list of new board members and scholarship award winners will appear in the next issue of Board Converting News.

Carman introduced Finn MacDonald of Independent II, who presented AICC’s Annual Member Champion Award to Pat Szany of American Corrugated Machinery. Szany was recognized as being the AICC member who has gone “above and beyond” to promote AICC membership and the value of the association. 

Carman, the first AICC Chairman to serve two years, then introduced Gene Marino of Akers Packaging as AICC’s Chairman for 2021-22 Membership Year and in his first duty as Immediate Past Chairman, presented Marino with the Chairman’s Gavel. As Marino’s first order of business, he presented Jay and Terry Carman with AICC’s crystal globe, which represents the tireless level of commitment the Carmans have given over the past two years.

“I want to tell you how honored I am to be AICC Chairman,” said Marino in his introductory remarks. “This association means a great deal to me and many of the wonderful people in this room and I look forward to representing you all. I’m also grateful to Akers Packaging, not only for their support of my chairmanship of AICC but for their support as an employer. Akers is a great organization.

“As we come out of the pandemic year, it’s time to re-evaluate and re-think what we’re doing in our business to create a sustainable enterprise. What I’d like to focus on for my year in the Chairman’s role is marrying my love of golf and my love for strategy and execution, which is basically a ‘grin it and rip it’ philosophy. 

Marino said his philosophy is like approaching a golf ball on the tee: it’s time to stop thinking and it’s time to start executing. It’s also doing what it takes to get everyone on the same page and heading in the same direction, whether its five, ten or fifteen years down the road.

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