2016 ASPI Spring Meeting 

February 24-26, 2016
Thompson Miami Beach, Florida


Mill Speakers a Highlight of 2016 Spring Meeting


With the highest member turnout for any Spring Meeting in more than ten years, the 2016 ASPI Spring Meeting offered a valuable opportunity for members to hear from customer companies in a professional atmosphere designed to foster communication. The 2016 Spring Meeting was held February 24-26, 2016 in Miami, Florida. The program included presentations from the 2016 ASPI Award recipients and invited speakers, plus new member presentations, ASPI Board meetings, and networking events.

Steve Voorhees, Chief Executive Officer, WestRock, accepted the 2016 Customer Executive of the Year award, ASPI’s highest honor for an individual. He shared the management philosophy he has used to lead the global packaging producer on a successful path of growth and change. “If you take the time to notice our products, you’ll see what a terrific business we’re in,” he told attendees.

Don Forst, Director-Global Sourcing, International Paper, accepted the 2016 Excellence in Leadership Award. Regarding the relationship between mills and suppliers, Forst remarked, “In this industry, you need a trusted partner. That’s true in any industry, but it’s particularly true for our industry.”

Green Bay Packaging VP Mill Operations Matt Szymanski challenged ASPI members to share their expertise regarding two critical industry issues. “We invite you to approach us with ideas about training and safety,” Szymanski said. Warren Allen, VP Procurement for Resolute Forest Products, echoed the importance of industry safety: “(At Resolute) we’ve done some remarkable things with safety—we all have, as an industry. But it’s never good enough.”

Industry analyst Chip Dillon concluded the program with an in-depth look at critical factors impacting the pulp, paper and packaging markets, and offered a strategic outlook for the industry. “Consolidation has created much more discipline,” he noted, offering ASPI members insight into which sectors are expected to see growth and outlining the economic and sociological trends creating that growth.

Attendee feedback is collected after each program segment to help the Association create programs of highest benefit to attendees; the 2016 Spring meeting received overwhelmingly positive comments from attendees. Only ASPI members, and invited prospective members, may attend meetings.

Learn more about the meeting in the May 2016 ASPI Newsletter.