More than 200 members of AICC Mexico met November 15-17 in Guadalajara, Mexico, for the 2022 AICC Mexico Annual Meeting and Trade Fair.
The three-day event offered educational seminars, general session presentations, and a trade fair featuring 37 suppliers of corrugated machinery, equipment, and services.
Also on the agenda was a tour of Cartographic, a corrugated and folding carton operation in the nearby town of El Salto.
The meeting began on Tuesday, November 15, with a daylong seminar, “Packaging Design Workflow Process Mapping,” by Andrew Hurley, a professor of packaging science at Clemson University in Clemson, S.C. The five-hour session looked at a seven-step process of design for customer-focused, sustainable packaging. Working in teams, the 52 attendees created hypothetical products, developed and assembled packaging design prototypes, and then presented them to the group.
The meeting continued on Wednesday, November 16, with general session presentations from several industry and business-management speakers. AICC Mexico President Sergio Menchaca, CEO of EKO Empaques, opened the session and welcomed attendees. Noting the growth of AICC Mexico in the past two years, he reported that the Association has 75 member companies, up from 40 in 2019. He then welcomed AICC President Mike D’Angelo, who reported on activities at AICC International and urged members of AICC Mexico to participate in the Association’s Spanish-language training programs and free online courses. Jana Harris, CEO of Harris Packaging and American Carton in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area and Chairman of AICC, also gave welcoming remarks, noting the need for more education about our industry in colleges, universities, and trade schools.
The featured industry speaker of the morning was Mark Wilde, Senior Paper & Packaging Analyst with BMO Capital in New York, who gave an overview of the containerboard and corrugated markets in North America. He noted the recent months’ decline in box demand and the softening containerboard markets as a result and predicted that the major producers will soon be announcing closure of older mill assets, adding that new capacity coming onstream in 2023 will also put downward pressure on paper prices.
Juan Javier Gonzalez, CEO of Cartro, a major independent supplier of sheets located in the Mexico City area, presented a leadership discussion on the qualities and characteristics of the chief executive. Saying that most management and leadership training focuses on the lower level positions in the company and overlooks the CEO, Gonzalez outlined key characteristics needed for a successful company executive. They include: mental and physical energy; sound mind; emotional equilibrium; maturity; good work habits and refined social skills. All these, he said, contribute to effective and ethical leadership.
Continuing in the program, Rodrigo de Leon, a professor of political science and economics and IPADE, the Instituto Panamericano de Alta Direccion de Empresa, spoke about the new geopolitical order in the post-pandemic world and Mexico’s increasingly important role. De Leon cited four factors that will influence the geopolitical structure into the mid-21st century: demographics; geopolitics; democracy and sustainability.
Rounding out the keynote presentations in the day was Simon Cohen, CEO of the global logistics company HENCO, who discussed “The Secrets of an Entrepreneur who, in Search of Success, Found Happiness.” Cohen described how in his early days of building his company he suffered a heart attack and in rehabilitation re-ordered his life priorities to family, faith and friendship. His book, Pleno, tells the story of his journey.
The program also included AICC Mexico’s annual Hall of Fame award, this year presented to Jose Diaz of EAM Mosca. Diaz has been a member of AICC Mexico’s Board of Directors since 2002 and has been instrumental in its growth over the past 20 years.