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Thanks, Ben

For the first time since Packaging World began publishing in January, '94, this space is not filled by packaging news and opinions of Ben Miyares.
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Thanks, BenThanks, BenThanks, Ben

Ben is now vice president of industry relations at the Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute (Arlington VA) which also publishes Packaging Management the weekly newsletter that Ben writes and prepares. Last month was his final "The Insider" column for PW and I know the staff and our readers will miss his view on this business each month. It means one fewer voice one less mind--and one of the most experienced of both. Ben as some of you know has been an observer of packaging primarily as a journalist for more than three decades first with what he calls Food & Drug Packaging "Classic" the original incarnation of that publication. Later he served as editor of the newsletter Packaging Strategies for several years before he began Packaging Management. During his career Ben has been center-stage for major packaging events particularly as a packaging voice of reason in the aftermath of the Tylenol murders in the early '70s. And under his stewardship F&DP won coveted Jesse Neal awards. Similarly he helped develop many fine journalists several still involved with the packaging business. In much the same way he also helped "coach" his fellow journalists at PW as we discussed issues and sought his long-term perspective on them. That's why we decided to retire his "The Insider" column name. Unlike most packaging journalists Ben is equally comfortable discussing the technical details with a mid-level packaging engineer for a manufacturer and talking about venture capital with the president of a major packaging supply company. And this comfort level comes I believe from his remarkable credibility to both the engineer or the company president. Regardless of a person's position in the chain-of-command Ben can be trusted. And that's why he is able to gain access to key people on both sides of the packaging decision buyers and sellers. In a small display of our gratitude PW presented Ben with his "cover" of PW (see photo with PW publisher Joe Angel). Thanks for five-plus years Ben and we all hope our paths regularly cross in the years to come. The Analyst Regardless of how much we'll all miss Ben's news and opinions first and foremost he recognized that the story subject was more important than the reporter covering it. And we'll try to keep that perspective in this space in the months to come. For those who want to continue to see Ben's viewpoints one shameless plug: For a subscription to PMMI's Packaging Management newsletter phone Ben at 440/892-0998 or e-mail him at We now call this space "The Analyst" for a number of reasons one of which can be seen at the bottom of the column. PW will be regularly publishing packaging pricing and container shipment reports all courtesy of an arrangement with Salomon Smith Barney and its primary packaging equity researcher George Staphos. Will these numbers help you make decisions? Not by themselves we hope. Over time they will help to illuminate trends in pricing and container use that can play a role in your decisions about packaging. Along with them each month we'll also examine other packaging trends and try to offer some perspectives that may help guide you. What we're definitely not attempting to do is to handicap the stocks of public packaging companies much like George Staphos and others do. From time to time some of the trends we discuss may involve suppliers that are publicly traded companies but our goal is to look at their activities in light of the packaging business not the investment potential of their stock. (My wife can explain the tax deductions I've showered on her unfortunately in the form of capital losses.) And that's in keeping with the content and style of Ben Miyares' remarks for the last five years: report and analyze packaging decisions that may affect this business in a broad general way.

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