The Flexible Packaging Association’s 2018 Annual Meeting was recently held March 13-15, 2018, at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort in Naples, Florida. Attendees included over 300 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.

David Staker, President and CEO, Plastic Packaging Technologies, LLC, and Chairman of the FPA Board of Directors, opened the Annual Meeting educational sessions with an 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, Vice President, Plastics, IHS Markit, shared his bi-annual Polyolefin Market Update; Jonathan Quinn, Market Development Manager, Food Packaging for NOVA Chemicals, Inc., provided insight into Food E-Commerce: the Good, the Bad, and Opportunity; while Todd Bukowski, Principal, PTIS, LLC provided an update on the upcoming Sustainability Report for Flexible Packaging. FPA President and CEO, Alison Keane, Esq. gave FPA members an overview of FPA’s new Market Tracker and Consumer Websites.

In addition to industry content, the meeting provided insight into the U.S. economy, investment strategies, and risk management. Vikram Mansharamani, an expert on bubble scenarios and author of Boombustology, believes that the future doesn’t have to surprise us – and won’t – if we regularly step away from our expertise and look at the world through multiple lenses. He calls this the generalist’s mindset. When encountering information that seems irrelevant most people think, “So what?!” Generalists think instead, “Isn’t that interesting,” and look to connect disparate dots. When they do, the conclusions they draw and decisions they make may be very different from more narrow-focused thinking. Vikram demonstrated practical ways to use this approach to spot opportunities and reduce risks. Vikram’s appearance was generously sponsored by Berry Global, BioLogiQ, Inc., Bobst North America Inc., Hosokawa Alpine American, and Wikoff Color Corporation.

Inspiring Celebrity Chef, Star of Flip My Food with Chef Jeff, and author of If You Can See It, You Can Be It, Chef Jeff Henderson, addressed FPA members during the second General Session. He shared two decades of life lessons that he gained on his redemptive journey from drug dealer to TV celebrity chef to nationally acclaimed speaker. Chef Jeff presented his 12 inspiring and pragmatic street-smart recipes for success that will help meeting attendees discover their hidden business aptitudes, make life-changing decisions, and secure personal and professional success. Chef Jeff’s presentation was generously sponsored by Charter NEX Films, Inc., Flint Group, and Sun Chemical Corporation.

Copies of the FPA 2018 Annual Meeting presentations are available in the Members Only section of FPA’s website, www.flexpack.org. FPA gives special thanks to FPA members Actega Coatings and Sealants, Bema Incorporated, Cloeren Incorporated, Comexi North America, Inc., EFI, Energy Sciences, Inc., INX International Ink Co., Nordmeccanica NA, Nordson Corporation – PPS, NOVA Chemicals, Inc., Oswal Extrusion Ltd., Presto Products Company FRESH-LOCK® Zipper Unit, Toyo Ink America, LLC, and Transplace for their generous support of the FPA 2018 Annual Meeting Networking Events. FPA would also like to thank the following FPA members for sponsoring the Annual Golf Tournament held in conjunction with the Annual Meeting: Ashland, Bamberger Polymers, Inc., Bema Incorporated, Coveris, MJW International, Packaging World, Paper Converting Machine Company (PCMC), and Polymer Packaging Inc. Special thanks is also given to ISOFlex Pack for sponsoring the Annual Meeting St. Patrick’s Day networking event.

For more information on the 2018 FPA Annual Meeting, and other FPA conferences and events visit www. flexpack.org or contact FPA at 410-694-0800.