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The Packaging Distributors of America’s annual meeting returned for the 16th year in 2022. Running from Sunday, June 26th through Wednesday, June 29th, this year’s meeting took place in the beautiful Montage Palmetto Bluff resort in Bluffton, SC. On the Sunday evening, members welcomed each other and enjoyed friendly chats on the May River Lawn. President George Strobel started the night’s events by welcoming everyone to Palmetto Bluff and thanking the meeting’s sponsors.
Monday morning, the General Session kicked off with a word from George Strobel and Nick Mihacevich, Chairman of the Board. From there, author and keynote speaker Dan Thurmon, author of Off Balance On Purpose, took the stage and shared his approach to creating a happy, fulfilling life by aligning with your purpose.
Thurmon’s approach to balance contradicts popular beliefs on the topic. Having started as an acrobatic performer for corporate events, he learned a unique perspective on how to get from one end of a challenge to the other.
“If you have ever closely watched professional tightrope walkers, you may recall that they never look down at their feet or the wire or to either side at their hands (or the balance pole). Rather, they keep their head up and look forward toward the goal—the faraway platform—in front of them. With this single instruction change, this mere shift in perspective—maintaining an upward and forward focus—I’ve seen novices find new confidence and achieve the breakthrough that enables them to make the trip across.”
Thurmon performed juggling and balancing acts throughout his talk on-stage. Those in attendance also took part in a balancing activity, enjoying the opportunity for enjoyable laughter as well.
A crucial point of discussion during the annual meeting was the current state of the economy, along with the push for sustainability in the packaging industry. It proved to be an interesting topic and made for enlightening talk during the individual member/supplier one-on-one meetings.
During the General Session, Jeff Knapke of Versa Pak, Chairman of the PDA Supplier Council, also proposed bringing back PDA initiatives that had paused during the recent pandemic.
That includes PDA Days, where sales and industry professionals meet, and the Champions Meeting, where both suppliers and members name a champion to represent each group and share their accomplishments and struggles.
“Hopefully, by the end of the day, they walk out with a better sense of each other and a better sense of some processes that may be taking place,” Strobel added.
Tuesday afternoon, after the completion of member/supplier meetings, the much-anticipated PDA annual golf tournament took place at the May River Golf Club.
As part of each annual meeting, Packaging Distributors of America chooses a charity to support.
“Our charity this year—and as you may know, we almost always pick a local organization—is Bluffton Self Help. During the pandemic, we gave part of our deposit (as we had to move our meeting) to this organization. This year, we decided to donate to them again,” said Barb Damman, Director of Client Services.
Together, PDA members raised $7500 through an event raffle, with PDA generously matching the amount for a total $15,000 donation to Bluffton Self Help.
Wednesday night’s final gathering was dedicated to honoring the achievements of PDA members. Among dinner and cocktails, George Strobel announced the annual charity contribution, drew raffle winners, and announced the 2022 award winners.
2022 President’s Award: Jim Dawson, Morrisette
Champion of the Year: Amy Packer, Hughes Enterprises
Member of the Year: The Packline Co.
Supplier of the Year: Pregis
The 2022 annual meeting and its Welcome Reception wouldn’t have been such a success without the help of PDA’s generous Supplier Partners: Base Plastics, AirWave Packaging Inc., Berry Global, Combi Packaging Systems, LLC., PAC Strapping Products Inc., Versa Pak., Pregis, and Intertape Polymer Group (IPG).
Crownhill Packaging looks forward to the next PDA gathering in early 2023.