The 2016 FPA Annual Meeting becomes the Association’s biggest ever with more than 332 members and guests attending the three-day event. It offered networking opportunities, and a program with insights into both industry trends and big picture perspectives on the United States.

First Look at Industry Status

A key industry insight came from a first look at FPA’s 2016 State of the Industry Report. It is an annual benchmark for gauging where the industry is going. The report shows the industry hitting $31 billion in revenues. Attendees also got an analysis of where flexible packaging is going in Europe; Jan Homan, Chairman of Flexible Packaging Europe, estimated the growth in Europe was about 1.8%. Attendees also got an insight into trends in resin pricing from Nick Vafiadis of IHS Chemical.

On the “big picture” side, a presentation by Secretary Carlos Gutierrez—former Secretary of Commerce and former Kellogg Co. Chairman of the Board—examined the direction of the overall U.S. economy. His forecast is that the economy is still solid and U.S. remains a world leader.

An Identity Crisis

A view of the fall elections came from Howard Fineman, a top political analyst. He sees U.S. politics being as polarized as they ever have been. A key reason, according to Fineman, is that America is “going through one of its identity crises.”

And finally, a perspective from a Pulitzer-prize winning author gave those in the audience a way to judge where we stand against historical standards. David McCullough offered his perspective on the way our educational system affects our future.