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Evidence of growth is all around us

Greetings to all and very best wishes for a successful 2006.

James Ellis President
James Ellis President

As I write this letter, I am anticipating the arrival of a major customer, and my butterflies are overwhelmed only by my adrenalin rush. I can’t help but reflect on the positive features and benefits that we, as contract packaging companies, have to offer our customers. Our commitment and professionalism make us a valued component of their overall business. The excitement is growing within our team as we are about to finalize the launch of more than 20 items for a new toy. Is this a great business or what? I am sure we have all felt these emotions.

Our theme for the year is “Preparing for the Growth—Are You Ready?” Your association board has been very busy finalizing the program for our upcoming annual meeting. We have an excellent agenda, profes-s-ional speakers, and a super location, and we anticipate a large audience.

I am thankful for the commitment and work accomplished by the various committees and their volunteers. I am also grateful for the seven new volunteers who have answered the call and will now be involved with the association in an active and productive way. They are all owners or key executives of their respective companies. Welcome Chris, Joe, John, Bill, Rick, Vicky and Tim; your willingness to jump in where needed is impressive.

I am happy that we are on track to exceed our membership goals and will be recognizing our 100th member at the spring meeting. In addition to our membership campaign, we continue our efforts with regard to the certification/qualification program, sponsorships, purchasing programs, charity events, national exposure, and visibility.  We have added a new initiative that will address the “State of the Industry.” We feel our association has the responsibility to be the single definitive source for industry information. Those interested in volunteering to serve on this most important committee will be welcome. Call me at 404/625-1697 or e-mail me at jellis@sugarfoods.com. We are also looking into the interest expressed by the investment banking community as more and more consolidation and alliances are being made in our industry.

As I look at the features and benefits of our association, I see a better balance. Not only is our RFQ (Request for Quote) process an ongoing success, but the networking, education, spring meeting, Contract Packaging magazine, Packaging Services Expo, member participation, and visib-ility are all important components in the overall success and strength of our association. The stars have all lined up. The concept of outsourcing, particularly contract packaging, is white hot. The primary driver is speed to market.

We have more work to do to accomplish the goals of the association, but we have strong momentum, and we are gaining more respect and awareness from our customers. I look forward to the annual meeting in the spring and seeing all the members and associate members, especially the new volunteers. It is a pleasure serving you. My very best regards to each of you.

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