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Quantifying the 'WOW'

Greetings to all members and associates, fresh from attending the Contract Packaging Association Annual Meeting and the Packaging Summit. I continue to be encouraged by several industry leaders, as well as customers, on the anticipated growth of the contract packaging industry.

James Ellis President
James Ellis President

As we are aware of this potential growth and have been making plans within our companies to prepare for it, I must now consider the question “Where’s the ‘WOW?’ ” Indeed, where is it in both my company and in the Contract Packaging Association? Do you know where the WOW is within your company? Are you emphasizing WOW to your customers? Now is the time.

Your board and management team have been working on the WOW of the organization. Rick Cayer, a past president of the association in 1998, said to me at the annual meeting, “WOW, have the organization and industry changed. Good work done by all, and I am happy that I have rejoined the association. I look forward to what lies ahead.”

Let’s take a look at the WOW of your association: greatly increased membership, solid education programs, membership participation, sponsors, requests for quotes, Web site expansion, a quarterly newsletter, and networking. Of course, there is the “What” to all of these WOWs. For more information, please speak with Stan Zelesnik, our executive director, at 630/696-4008.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the members who attended the annual meeting, the volunteers, our management team, and especially Sean McKeon, our meeting chairman, and John Lyon, our golf chairman. It was the best meeting I have attended in my nine years as a member. Sean has stated to me, “Wait ‘til you see next year.”

I can’t wait. As a reminder, please mark your calendars and save the dates for the March 30–April 3, 2007 meeting. It will be held at the Loews Ventana Canyon Resort in Tucson, AZ. We are working on the theme, speakers, and agenda. You won’t want to miss it.

I would also like to publicly thank Thomas Bacon, president and founder of Aaron Thomas Company and founder of the Contract Packaging Association, for his tireless and endless work in making this association what it is today. I had the pleasure of presenting Tom with a plaque honoring him as the CPA’s first Hall of Fame inductee. It was both a professional and personal honor to do so. Thank you, Tom.

Looking ahead, we have several initiatives that are moving forward: a sponsorship programs, a group purchasing program, the state of the industry report, and pre-qualification programs. We have also initiated two new programs. One is upgrading the request for quote mechanism, and the other is the development of several guiding documents that will be made available to all members. Our staff and member volunteers are working to complete these programs, and we will be updating and expanding our membership as we move forward.

Thanks again to all members for all your support and participation. You are what make things happen. Your board continues its efforts to carry the vision and visibility of the association forward in as many venues as possible. It is a pleasure to serve you. Best wishes to all. [CP]

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