ASPI 2016 Fall Customer Alignment Meeting with Customer Host

November 16-18, 2016- Atlanta, Georgia

 

Fall Meeting rated highly by attendees
 
Strong attendance and excellent participation marked a very successful ASPI 2016 Fall Meeting. WestRock hosted the ninth ASPI Fall Customer Alignment meeting in November, 2016, near its headquarters in Norcross, GA. Every fall, the ASPI Customer Alignment meeting is hosted by a leading pulp, paper, or packaging company, which gives attendees the rare chance to network with their customers’ senior executives. This year’s event was no exception, and included breakout sessions, panel presentations, and even a WestRock trade fair featuring representatives from each of the host company’s business units. Results from the attendee surveys offer the best endorsement: when asked “Did you gain specific ideas/concepts that could be directly applied to your company?” a full 100 percent of attendees answered “Yes.”
 
Customer up-close
The name says it all: ASPI’s Customer Alignment Initiative is designed to help industry suppliers and mill customers align their goals and perspectives to enhance success on both sides of the relationship. The Fall Meeting kicked off the effort with an “Overview of WestRock” panel discussion. Attendees had the chance to submit a variety of specific questions for panelists Ward Dickson, WestRock CFO; and Jeff Chalovich, president, corrugated packaging at WestRock.
When asked, “Which markets outside North America does WestRock consider key?”, Dickson answered, “We plan to follow our customers.” He also outlined growth potential in Brazil, as well as the company’s established presence in India.
The 2015 merger between RockTenn and MeadWestvaco that formed WestRock was also a topic of interest. When asked about the “biggest surprise” since the merger, Chalovich gave insight into the deal’s success. “ The way the teams have come together has been a pleasant surprise,” he told attendees. “We were very deliberate and intentional about culture—we asked our people around the world about the strengths of both companies. It’s been very positive.”
 
Knowledge, connection, engagement
As always, the 2016 Fall Meeting also included sessions designed to fulfill the ASPI goals of connecting industry leaders, providing unique knowledge to improve industry performance, and supporting unparalleled customer engagement. Expert industry analysis was provided by Scott Gaffner, Barclays; a breakout session on Capital Investment also offered insight into capital planning and execution. Workforce issues were the focus of two popular afternoon sessions. WestRock’s Shan Cooper, chief transformation office and Robin Stenzel, VP, talent management, led a lively session on WestRock Culture and Workforce Planning; and Hannah Ubi, Bridgeworks, gave attendees valuable strategies for motivating and connecting with employees in her session, Breaking into the Millennial Mind. More details about the outstanding Fall Meeting program will soon be available on this page. Only ASPI members have access to program presentations from past meetings, and only ASPI members may attend the Fall Customer Alignment meeting. Learn how your company can become an ASPI member.