The past week during Pack Expo International 2010 in Chicago, packaging professionals witnessed the induction of four industry trailblazers into the Packaging Hall of Fame Class of 2010. The event – a fundraiser to benefit packaging education – was held at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place the evening on Tuesday November 2. Two of the deserving inductees include Edwin O. Landon, executive director emeritus, Institute of Packaging Professionals and  Bill Zito, vice president of sales for Enercon Industries. The two other inductees, Robert K. Dodrill and Michael Richmond, have a special connection to flexible packaging and are detailed below.

Photo caption: The Packaging Hall of Fame class of 2010 L to R:  Bob Dodrill, Ed Landon, Mike Richmond and Bill Zito, with PMMI Education & Workforce Development Committee Chairman Jeff Bigger of MASSMAN Automation.

Robert K. Dodrill 
President, Rollprint Packaging Products, Inc.

In the 1970s, Robert K. (Bob) Dodrill recognized the future for single-use, sterile medical devices – and the tremendous opportunity and challenge of providing packaging for those devices. That vision has propelled his career and Rollprint Packaging Products, Inc., ever since. In 1975, he became a partner in Rollprint, and under his leadership, the company has become a full-service converter for high-demand, high-performance flexible packaging, and a thriving supplier to medical, consumer, food and industrial packagers.

Among the inventions Dodrill has developed and/or brought to market is the first foil header pouch – and its next generation, a clear layer alternative, commonly known as “The Rollprint.” Dodrill also introduced polybutene-based peelable sealants to the medical device packaging industry 10 years ahead of the competition as well as developed RP-1A, a heat-seal coating that was one of the first to provide a visual indicator on packages made entirely from film.

The 1980s included the launch of high-performance, cost-effective silicon-oxide and aluminum oxide-coated packaging structures, which included developing adhesives that met U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) requirements and the first clear, retortable, high-barrier lidding for shelf-stable food.

In 1994, Dodrill received a patent for Process for Sterilizing the Contents of Sealed Deformable Packages, and in 1997, he installed a five-layer co-extrusion laminator/coater at Rollprint. The installation made the company the first in flexible packaging to extrusion-coat polyester sealants on film, and the first to extrusion coat peelable polyester sealants on any substrate.

Dodrill’s gifts to the packaging industry have been broader than just new technologies, however. He served on the board of directors of the Flexible Packaging Association from 1994–1999, and remains active in the group to this day. In 1994, he helped found the Sterilization Packaging Manufacturers Council, and has chaired its executive committee since 2000. Since 2004, Dodrill has served on the board of directors of Opportunity Medical: non-profit medical device manufacturer that primarily employs handicapped individuals.

Michael Richmond, Ph.D. 
Sr. Partner, Packaging & Technology Integrated Solutions (PTIS)

Michael Richmond, Ph.D., has enjoyed a highly productive career in food and food packaging science and technology, global technology and packaging innovation, food marketing and packaging strategy. As senior partner for Packaging & Technology Integrated Solutions (PTIS), he is an advocate for the business value of packaging, regardless of material or container type.
PTIS research has helped to advance technologies including aseptic packaging, hot- fill flexible, non-thermal, minimally processed, convenience food packaging and sustainability to the commercial forefront. PTIS is a leader in independent research, analysis, strategy, training and education, and development of information and knowledge about sustaining planetary resources for leading companies across the packaging value train.

As president and CEO of PTIS, Richmond built the company by working across consulting project work, and technology and equipment development. His work today has helped many Fortune 500 companies, consumer packaged goods firms and packaging industry suppliers implement programs and projects that will improve bottom line packaging growth. 

Richmond was instrumental in developing and implementing strategic plans and programs regionally, nationally and internationally for Kraft and Kellogg’s in the R&D component of strategic sourcing. A leader in package sustainability, Richmond headed environmental initiatives to reduce package material mass in solid waste streams while at Kellogg’s and Kraft. During that time, he was also an intense advocate for top- and bottom-line packaging value to enhance the economic status of the companies’ product distribution systems.

Richmond’s time at Kellogg’s gave him the responsibility for developing and implementing start-up departments of Technology Discovery and Global Packaging Innovation. Technology Discovery is the search for scientific and technological developments to apply to specific situations – a particular strength of Richmond’s.

Developments credited to Richmond while with Kellogg’s include early development of open innovation in packaging and technology, development of one handed cereal and milk packaging, numerous cost reduction programs, development of packaging value models and new package format development across Kellogg product lines.
At Kraft, Richmond participated in the development of easy open/reclosable reduced oxygen shredded, sliced and chunk cheese packaging (using oxygen barrier packaging) now a universal package that has boosted cured natural cheese sales in North America. He also took part in developing and commercializing the conversion from spiral wound to polyester packaging for grated Parmesan cheese, and he has been recognized for his contributions to packaging of DiGirono pasta, pizza and related 
Italian-type food products.

Richmond has been a professor in the School of Packaging at Michigan State University and has headed the Industrial Advisory Committee for the Center of Advanced Food Technology at Rutgers University, and is an active member in the Institute of Food Technology. He has authored or co-authored more than 25 peer-reviewed publications. Richmond also continues to support the MSU School of Packaging through the PTIS Endowment and he also lectures at both Western Michigan and MSU.