2019 Panelists

Smithers Pira and L.E.K. Consulting are proud to feature the industry experts who spoke at The Future of Packaging 2019

  • Paul Alshooler

    Principal MWNY

    Paul Alshooler is laser focused on what the future hold for consumer packaged goods (CPG) and brand packaging. Paul entered the field at MWNY 2012. After a great 5 year run, Paul purchased the business from previous ownership, and has built the company into the preeminent packaging prototyping agency. MWNY partners with several of the largest multi-national conglomerates; Unilever, L’Oreal, PepsiCo, Chobani, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Colgate, Estee Lauder, Proximo, Diageo and many more. MWNY services nearly every vertical of Fast Moving Consumer Goods/CPG; beauty, cosmetic, food, beverage, supplements, personal care, home care, spirits, beer, confectionery and pet care.

    MWNY’s focus is to establish partnerships with CPG brands helping them hone, develop, and
    evaluate their product innovation pipelines. This realization allows brands to better test their innovations, adjust accordingly, and move product to market with greater speed. This partnership begins far upstream from the conceptual / ideation phase and lasts all the way through preproduction. MWNY’s industry veteran team evaluates every step of packaging development spectrum from design evaluation, to primary structure, secondary packaging, graphics development, and print production. MWNY is a proxy, collaborating with brand owners / marketing, creative, 2D/3D designers, manufacturers, research and development, production, and all those apart of the supply chain who may be essential towards bringing innovation to life.

    Additionally, as the barriers of entry lowered for the CPG industry, Paul seized the opportunity and founded a consultancy named PAKG LLC. PAKG is focused on consulting with ascending CPG brands throughout all their verticals and categories. As CPG focused incubators continue their ascent this has afforded PAKG a pipeline of ascending CPG brands.

    Since 2015, Paul has been a fortunate to become a mentor and outside consult for several of these CPG focused incubators and venture capital funds in New York City. Some of these include; the Chobani Food Incubator, 301 Inc, Almanac Investments, Accel Foods and XRC Labs. Outside of work Paul is a Son, Brother, Husband, and loyal friend. Basketball and Yoga are two of his favorite non-CPG related interests.

  • Stanley B. Bikulege

    Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President Novolex

    Mr. Stanley B. Bikulege is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Novolex Holdings, Inc. Mr. Bikulege had been Chief Executive Officer, President and Chairman of NOVOLEX (formerly Hilex Poly Co. LLC) since November 2008. He has been President and Chief Executive Officer of Helix Poly Co. since November 3, 2008. He has vast experience in both operational improvement and acquisition growth strategies. He served as a Strategic Advisor of Georgia Oak Partners, LLC assisting in both the development of its operational offering and regional expansion. Prior to taking the helm at Hilex, Mr. Bikulege was an Operating Partner at Arsenal Capital Partners, Inc. He joined Arsenal Capital Partners in 2007. Mr. Bikulege served as the President, Secretary, and Assistant Secretary of Pierson Industries, Inc. He was a member of Arsenal Capital Partners’ specialty industrials team and focused on specialty industrials and general management. Mr. Bikulege served as the Chief Executive Officer at TallyGenicom, L.P. He served as the President and Chief Executive Officer at Exopack LLC (now Coveris Flexibles US LLC). Previously, Mr. Bikulege served as the Group President at Pliant Corp. and Group President of Pliant U.S. from June 2002 to March 2004. He served as the Executive Vice President of Operations at Pliant Corp from July 2001 to June 2002 and also served as its Senior Vice President and General Manager of Industrial Films Division. He served as the President and Chief Executive Officer at Renaissance Mark, Inc. Mr. Bikulege served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Exopack, LLC. He was also the Vice President at Stretch Films, General Manager at Castflex, Managing Director for Europe, Managing Director at PVC Films-Europe, Director of Manufacturing and Plant Manager. Prior to joining Pliant Corp. in 1992, Mr. Bikulege held numerous positions in Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company's Films Division. He has held a number of executive positions for both public and private companies in various industries. Mr. Bikulege has been a Director of Helix Poly Co. LLC since November 3, 2008. He serves as Director of DG3 LLC. He serves as a Director of Source Refrigeration, Diversified Global Graphics Group (DG3), and IDQ Holdings, Inc. Mr. Bikilege served on the Board of Directors of a number of portfolio companies of Arsenal Capital Partners. He serves as a Director of Coker College. Mr. Bikulege received an M.B.A. degree from Georgia State University and a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from Youngstown State University.

  • Jeff Cloetingh

    Managing Director L.E.K. Consulting

    Jeff Cloetingh is a Managing Director in L.E.K. Consulting’s Boston office. As a member of the firm’s Packaging and Industrials practices, he has worked with clients on the development of global growth strategy, go-to-market commercial strategy, roll-up strategy, digital packaging and printing strategy, and M&A transaction support.

    Prior to joining L.E.K. in 2011, Jeff focused on incentive plan design and competitive benchmarking at a boutique consulting firm. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Colgate University and a Master of Business Administration with Distinction from S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Business at Cornell University.

  • Peter Durette

    President, Enterprise Solutions and Strategy WestRock

    Pete Durette is president of Enterprise Solutions and Strategy for WestRock.  Pete works with the leadership team to shape and drive strategy across WestRock and leads the enterprise solutions organization, designed to bring the full breadth of WestRock capabilities and solutions to our customers.  In addition, Pete oversees the Beverage, Displays and RTS businesses. 

    Previously, Pete was senior vice president of the Home, Health & Beauty business.  Pete joined MWV as chief strategy officer in 2009 and helped reshape the company’s portfolio, leading many of its major growth initiatives and investments.  Prior to joining MWV, he was with Textron, Inc. and Marakon Associates.

    Pete earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Duke University and a master of business administration from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

  • Rob Flores

    Director of Sustainability Berry Global

    Robert Flores is the Director of Sustainability for Berry Global. As Berry’s principal sustainability leader, Robert drives the Company’s initiatives around greenhouse gas reduction, waste reduction, and Operation Clean Sweep®. An active member of many sustainability organizations, Robert is the Chairman of the Flexible Film Recycling Group, and member of the PLASTICS Sustainability Advisory Board. As a recycling advocate, Robert has been an active member of the Association of Plastic Recyclers since 2009 and has subsequently worked with several other organizations to foster recycling adoption and access. More recently, Robert acted as a founding advisor in the launch of the Alliance to End Plastic Waste.

  • Mike Fritschy

    Vice President, Engineering and Product Development SMC Ltd.

    Mike joined SMC Ltd. in May 2017 with over 25 years of healthcare manufacturing experience working for medical device OEMs and medical manufacturers. SMC Ltd. is a global contract manufacturer of precision medical devices serving the drug delivery, diagnostic and medical device markets.  Responsibilities also include supporting the growth and development of Oval Medical Technologies, (an SMC Ltd. company) with its proprietary line of drug delivery devices. 

    Prior to joining SMC, Mike was the Executive Vice President of Operations at Daktari Diagnostics, focused on global health issues.  Mike was responsible for product development, reagent manufacturing, supply chain and logistics.  Prior to Daktari, Mike spent 17 years as the Global Sr. Director of Program Management and Engineering at Nypro Healthcare, a Jabil Life Sciences company.  Responsibilities encompassed full product lifecycle management, from design and development through high volume production in 9 countries.  Mike also held various roles at Phillips-Medisize, Smith & Nephew and West Pharmaceutical Services.  Mike holds several patents and was a member of the founding board of M2D2 (Mass Medical Device Development).  Mike earned a MSA in Innovation and Technology from Boston University and a BS in Plastics Engineering from the University of Massachusetts.  He also holds a PMP certification from the Project Management Institute.

  • Ryan Germann

    Director of Strategy, Market Segmentation Pregis Corporation

    Ryan Germann is the Director of Strategy, Market Segmentation for Pregis. In this role, he is responsible for developing segmentation strategies and supporting value propositions for key end user market segments such as ecommerce retail and CPGs. His joint research with the University of Wisconsin has provided valuable insights into the unboxing experience for leading retailers and brands. Prior to his six years at Pregis, he spent four years with the logistics leader, FedEx. His combined knowledge of logistics and innovation through packaging is a powerful resource for businesses looking to maximize the value packaging can provide.

  • Adam Grose

    Chief Commercial Officer ProAmpac

    Adam manages and integrates R&D, product development, marketing, communications, field customer technical service for one of the fastest growing manufacturers in the flexible packaging industry. We have invigorated the ProAmpac brand as a dependable supplier at scale and as a resource for growth through collaborative innovation.

    Privately held ProAmpac LLC is one of the fastest growing companies in the flexible packaging industry and is listed among the 10 largest flexible packaging companies in the United States. With annual revenues over $1 billion and more than 3,500 employees primarily in North America.

    Its principal products are paper and plastic structures which are supplied to leading consumer package goods companies and other customers as roll stock or finished pouches or bags ready to be filled. Key market segments include packaging used in ecommerce, lawn & garden, dry food, pet food, beverage, industrial and food service applications.

    The company is guided by four core values that are the basis for its success: Integrity, Intensity, Innovation and Involvement. Cincinnati based ProAmpac is owned by PPC Partners (Chicago) along with management and other co-investors.

  • Thilo Henkes

    Managing Director L.E.K. Consulting

    Thilo Henkes joined L.E.K. in 2000 and has more than 17 years of consulting experience specializing in transaction support and developing post-acquisition, value-enhancing strategies for clients. He is a Managing Director and Partner, and leads our Paper Goods and Packaging practice. Thilo is also active in our Building Materials & Industrials Products and Private Equity practices. He has worked with his clients to evaluate merger and acquisition opportunities, assess growth options in new markets and new products, construct business plans in conjunction with developing new growth strategies, and identify value in cost-cutting initiatives. Prior to attending business school, Thilo worked in financial services for the Boston-based mutual fund company, Massachusetts Financial Services and Goldman Sachs. Thilo has also worked at Daimler Benz in Sindelfingen, Germany. He earned his Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School and his Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from Hamilton College.

  • Chris Hezeen

    Business Development Manager Healthcare Films CharterNEX Films

    Chris Heezen is Business Development Manager for Healthcare at Charter NEX Films, a leading provider of highly engineered extruded films. Chris has been in global Sales & Marketing positions focused on medical/pharmaceutical/diagnostic packaging for 32 years, including Global Executive Director of Healthcare Films at Sealed Air, Director of Regional Sales at Amcor, Product Manager Films/Key Account Representative at Perfecseal (now Bemis Healthcare Packaging) and Technical Sales Representative at Rollprint Packaging Products (now PAXXUS).  Chris has led successful business development efforts in North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia by managing key global accounts, organizing and managing sales teams, and supporting the start-up of new international manufacturing facilities.

  • Matt Jennings

    CEO and President Phillips-Medisize

    Mr. Jennings has over 20 years of senior leadership experience, as the President of the North American Medical Division of Teleflex Incorporated, a provider of Venous Access, Regional Anesthesia and Airway products, Urology, Respiratory Care and Surgical devices to the Acute Care and Alternate Site markets. He was into full P&L responsibility with over $500 million in revenue, 8,000 employees, 12 manufacturing facilities and 2 distribution centers. Prior to his tenure with Teleflex, he served as the Chief Executive Officer and President of Bioenterprise Corporation, a bioscience business formation and acceleration company, jointly founded with the Cleveland Clinic, Case Western Reserve and University Hospitals Health Systems in Cleveland, Ohio. Earlier in his career, he held numerous senior leadership positions over a twelve-year period with Baxter International and Allegiance Healthcare. Mr. Jennings serves as the Chairman of Ogenix, an early commercial stage manufacturer and marketer of topical oxygen wound care products, as well as serving several non-profit Boards. Mr. Jennings served as Director of OmniGuide Inc. He serves several Boards in addition to Phillips Plastics Corporation, including Canadian Hospital Specialties Ltd., a leading Canadian specialty distributor of medical/surgical supplies. He holds Bachelor's degree in Marketing from Miami University in Oxford, OH, and a Master's degree in Strategy and Business Development from Michigan State University.

  • Brent Lindberg

    Founder and Principal Fuseneo, USA

    Brent Lindberg is annoying, and he knows it. It’s more than just the corny jokes and odd quirks. With a curiosity that rivals George, Brent has the habit of relentlessly asking questions like a 5-year-old. He also has an obnoxious appetite for the unexpected (as anyone who’s seen his wardrobe can tell you). 

    Together these traits produce an unorthodox approach to structural packaging design which has built a culture at Fuseneo, the creative studio he started. And somehow, it seems to be working. Their incessant inquisition and boundary-pushing has been reshaping packaging experiences across retail and e-commerce for more than a decade.  

  • Ciaran Little

    VP Business Development, Director of Operations - Asia Smithers

    Ciaran is VP Business Development and Director of Operations - Asia for Smithers. This includes multiple events across Asia across 3 brands and 10 vertical markets including packaging, biomaterials, polymers and rubber, print and packing. Ciaran is also responsible for Smithers Reports and Consulting business providing authoritative and independent market data, forecasts and strategic insight across these. Ciaran works with his team to ensure we provide the highest quality content, networking and information services to our client base of multi national companies across the value chain.

  • Steve Penn

    Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing Tekniplex

    Steve joined Tekni-Plex in October 2015 as senior vice president of sales and marketing. Prior to joining Tekni-Plex, Steve was global head of merchant and packaged gases for the Linde Group. He has also held various senior positions with BOC, a multinational industrial gas company, now part of the Linde Group. His significant international experience includes general management, marketing, business development, customer acquisition, supply chain management and engineering. Steve earned a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin and a B.A. in Chemistry from Kenyon College.

  • Brian Powers

    Co-CEO & Co-Founder TemperPack

    Brian Powers is co-CEO of TemperPack. He cofounded TemperPack along with materials engineers James McGoff and Charles Vincent. Prior to TemperPack, Brian worked in M&A and restructuring investment banking at Moelis & Company in New York. Brian has a B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. Brian was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list in 2016, was a EY Entrepreneur of the Year Winner in 2018, and Inc. 30 Under 30 in 2019."

  • Erin Sellman

    Vice President of Global Marketing SealedAir

    Erin Sellman is currently the vice president of global marketing for Sealed Air, the global leader in protective packaging for e-commerce and fulfillment. She is responsible for strategy and new business development, digital and content marketing, product and customer marketing, and communications. Erin and her team are responsible for educating customers and prospects about the challenges of the modern e-commerce economy, and equipping them with the insights they need to proactively reduce product damage, mitigate environmental impact, lessen the burden of shipping cost, increase labor productivity, and create memorable at-home brand experiences for their customers. Prior to joining Sealed Air, Erin was the senior vice president of strategy, insights, and planning for Lowe’s Companies. She holds an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management and a BA in Economics and German from the University of Michigan.

  • Nelson Switzer

    Vice President & Chief Sustainability Officer Loop Industries

    Nelson Switzer joined Loop Industries in 2018 as Chief Growth Officer and is responsible for the company’s growth and commercialization strategy. 

    In his role, Nelson oversees the company’s approach to growth through customer engagement, sales, marketing, corporate affairs, stakeholder engagement and feedstock management. He reports to the company’s Chief Executive Officer and is a member of the Executive Team. Nelson brings nearly 20 years of experience working in the public and private sectors at both the local and international level, specializing in sustainable development, business management and stakeholder engagement.

    Before joining Loop, Nelson was Chief Sustainability Officer of Nestlé Waters North America and the Sustainability Leader for Nestlé in the United States where his technical and business expertise coupled with his approach to relationship management supported one of the company’s most important areas of focus – securing and maintaining social license to grow.

    Prior to that, Nelson was Director and Leader of Sustainable Business Solutions at PwC where he designed and led a premium sustainability and stakeholder engagement management advisory practice across a wide range of industries. Nelson also has served as Head of Corporate Responsibility at Centrica plc NA, Senior Manager of Environmental Affairs at the Royal Bank of Canada and has held adjunct positions and executive in residence status at leading universities including the University of Waterloo and Ivey School of Business.

    Nelson holds a Master of Engineering from the University of Toronto, and a Bachelor of Science from the University of New Brunswick.  He lives in Toronto with his wife and two sons.

  • Sameer Talsania

    Technology Ventures PepsiCo R&D

    Sameer is a Senior Manager of Alliance Management within the Technology Ventures team at PepsiCo R&D. In this role, he manages PepsiCo’s open innovation platform and strategic partnerships to source external technologies that can impact the company’s wide portfolio of food and beverage products. These technologies can range from packaging materials, ingredients and processing to digital technologies and business model innovations.

    Prior to his current role, Sameer held various roles within Packaging R&D at PepsiCo and before that at the Wm. WRIGLEY Jr. Company, successfully leading packaging development for commercial launches of new beverage, food and confectionary products as well as longer term development on new packaging materials and technologies. Sameer began his career in the materials industry working on polymer films and coatings as well as glass and fiberglass for GE Plastics and PPG Industries. He has a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Houston and B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

  • Stephan Tanda

    President and Chief Executive Officer Aptar Group

    Stephan joined AptarGroup [NYSE: ATR] in February 2017. Headquartered in Crystal Lake, IL, near Chicago, Aptar is a global manufacturer of premium packaging and dispensing solutions for beauty, personal & home care, food & beverage and pharmaceutical products. Prior to joining Aptar, he served as Executive Managing Board Director at Royal DSM NV where he built the company’s global Nutrition business to a $ 5.5 bn industry leader over a 10-year period and oversaw DSM’s 2.5 bn Pharma joint ventures. Prior to DSM Stephan held leadership roles for DuPont and Freudenberg Nonwovens Group. Over his 28 year career he has focused on developing international talent, building organizations and businesses while successfully delivering increased sales and profits, both via organic growth and via acquisitions. He has lived and worked in seven countries.

    In addition to his directorship at Aptar, Stephan has been an Independent Director of Patheon NV [NYSE: PTHN, 2015 - 2017] through its successful IPO and the sale of the company to Thermo Fisher Scientific. He has also been an independent Director of Semperit AG [ATX: SEM, 2016 - 2017]. Stephan serves on the Executive Education Board of the Wharton Business School and on the Board of Governors of the Metropolitan Planning Council of Chicago.

    Stephan earned a degree in plastics engineering from the University of Leoben, Austria and a Master of Business Administration from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

  • Adrianne Tipton

    Sr. Vice President, Innovation Novolex

    20+ years in Innovation and R&D in high tech, CPG, and paper/poly manufacturing industries.

    Previously VP of New Product Development, Cenveo; VP- Consumer Vertical – ORC International Market Research firm,  Group Manager, R&D, Clorox.

    Joined Novolex in 2014.

    Postdoctoral fellowship:  Bio-Inorganic and Synthetic Organic Chemistry- Univ. of Minnesota

    PhD- Synthetic Organic Chemistry-Univ of Nevada, Reno

    Bachelor of Science, Chemistry (ACS certified)- Northern Arizona University

  • Carol Wingard

    Managing Director and Global Co-head of the Industrials Practice L.E.K. Consulting

    Carol Wingard is a Managing Director, Head of L.E.K. Consulting’s Industrials sector in the Americas, and Co-Head of the firm’s global Industrials sector. She is also Chairperson of the L.E.K. Partner Development Committee and leads the chemicals and industrial equipment practices.

    Based in Boston, Carol has more than 25 years of strategy consulting and business development experience working with clients to develop and implement growth strategies, and she brings a wealth of international experience through positions in the U.S., China, Southeast Asia and Japan. She was a founding partner of L.E.K. Consulting’s China practice and led that practice for many years, based in Shanghai.

    Carol was recognized in 2017 for her excellence in leadership and applying new thinking to client needs by Consulting magazine’s Women’s Leaders in Consulting Awards. Prior to joining L.E.K. in 1998, she served as director of Asia for a U.S. manufacturer where she directed the development of their sales and marketing and direct investment initiatives. Carol received a BA, magna cum laude, from Princeton University.

  • Roger Zellner

    Former Director, R&D Global Packaging Formerly With Mondelēz International, Inc. | Current Owner of Rogue Zebra Consulting & Coaching

    Roger Zellner was recently a global R&D Packaging Director at Mondelēz International, Inc. He led teams around the world developing packaging  on brands such as Oreo, LU biscuits, Cadbury and Milka chocolates, and Trident gum, among the company’s other billion-dollar and power brands.

    Roger is currently consulting within the consumer goods and packaging industry with over 100 consulting interactions over the past year with private equity investment firms, management consulting groups and public companies in the consumer goods and packaging industries.  He has spoken at several industry conferences with packaging and sustainability.

    His coaching focuses on helping scientists and engineers in both management and technology leadership roles be more impactful and influential in their professional and personal lives which is complemented by his several years of global R&D management experience.

    Roger is an industry veteran with more than 30 years’ experience serving Mondelēz International and its legacy companies. He managed teams and international industry groups focused on packaging for new product development, quality, productivity, and sustainability initiatives across the brand portfolios of Mondelēz International, Kraft Foods, General Foods and Oscar Mayer.

    Roger also served as an industry co-chair for the Global Protocols on Packaging Sustainability for the Consumer Goods Forum, which was created with brand owners and retailers from across the world. Over his career, he has spoken at several industry conferences and has been interviewed and quoted in various publications.

    Roger received his  MBA and chemical engineering degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Roger lives in the Chicago area with his wife, Natalie and leads “Rogue Zebra Consulting & Coaching”.