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Yolanda Simonsis is a 33-year veteran of the packaging and converting industries. She has held past editorial positions with two former publications of Delta Communications and Cahners...more

TLMI Honors Best Converter & Supplier

At the Tag & Label Mfrs. Inst. annual meeting held this past October 17–20 at the Boca Raton Resort, in Boca Raton, FL, two were bestowed highest honors for Converter and Supplier of the Year among many label award accolades.

John Hickey, CEO of Smyth Cos., Inc., St. Paul, MN, and past TLMI chairman of the board, was selected Converter of the Year–an honor awarded by package PRINTING’s Tom Polischuk.

Supplier of the Year was presented to Calvin Frost, CEO of Channeled Resources Group, Chicago, IL. Frost has been a champion for TLMI’s L.I.F.E. program, TLMI’s Label Initiative for the Environment. We congratulate them both for achieving such distinction.

As chair of the Label Awards program, Steve Lee of Eureka, MO-based Rotometrics, and known affectionately among his TLMI friends as “Mr. Line/Prime,” announced the winners. Look for a summary of the winners in PFFC’s November issue. Best of Show, however, went to ASL Group–All Stick Label Ltd., Vaughan Ontario, Canada, for it’s Dan Aykroyd Sauvignon Blanc flexo-printed wine label.

Keynote presentations were given on Monday and Tuesday of the management meeting, with Roger Crawford leading off with an inspirational message for people to consider the possibilities. His very presence requires no speech. Having been born with physical challenges, he recalls his daughter’s description of himself: “Dad, you have a permanent peace sign formed by two fingers on your left hand and one thumbs-up sign with your one finger on your right! You were born to be an inspirational speaker!” In addition, he has one artificial leg, yet Crawford has never held any pity parties for himself.


Despite these physical challenges, Crawford has spent the last 25 years of his life as “America’s Possibility Coach.” He urges his audience to examine their past to find resilient moments. These can be used as a strategy to improve the future.

Tuesday’s speaker was Dr. Roche Parayre, a senior partner with Decision Strategies Intl. and teaching Fellow at the Aresty Inst. of Executive Education at the Wharton School, Univ. of Pennsylvania. His workshop approach gave the audience an opportunity to experience first hand how to identify and implement a Blue Ocean Strategy to change their individual value offerings to become so distinctive that they find blue waters of new market space, making their competition irrelevant.

It’s important, says Parayre, not to be so focused that you loose your peripheral vision–a danger easily realized by remaining a “me-too” business. He recommends dedicating a half hour per week to look for other opportunities: “Read something you wouldn’t have read; talk to a non-customer.” Explore new markets.

I wanted to jump up and scream: So read PFFC!!!

As one of our readers so aptly put it:

“Even though some of the content doesn’t apply directly to our business, it’s interesting to keep up with the technology in case we expand into other areas. Or, sometimes the technology for a different area of converting can be applied to what we do. It’s always nice to see new ideas and principles to avoid paradigms.”

There’s a lesson to be learned here. You really can find Blue Oceans! Start with PFFC.

The final day of the meeting diverged from the norm. Meeting chair person Steve Leibin of Gallus Group, committed Wednesday to the development of young leaders with featured guest speaker Frank Gerace, past president and CEO of Multi-Color Corp. His presentation addressed “Building a Business through Diversification.” The audience learned how his company became a global market leader with added value offerings that grew its customers and markets while expanding its products and services. All this was achieved while still investing in technology and people to maximize the company’s shareholder returns.

The meeting lived up to its theme for both the experienced and novice: Change, Challenges & Strategies for Success.

Captions: (Left) John Hickey of Smyth Cos., Inc., is Converter of the Year; Calvin Frost of Channeled Resources is Supplier of the Year.


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