Productivity and workforce issues to take spotlight at PPC Fall Meeting

This October, leaders in the folding carton industry will head to Atlanta’s stylish Buckhead neighborhood for the Paperboard Packaging Council’s (PPC) annual Fall Meeting and Leadership Conference. Taking place at the Whitley Hotel October 24-26, the meeting will help attendees to increase productivity and tackle workforce recruitment and retention issues that are crucial to the packaging industry’s future. Attendees will learn about two methods for increasing productivity at work – changing behaviour and harnessing technology.

Dr. Melissa Gratias

Keynote speaker Dr. Melissa Gratias will discuss everyday rituals that attendees can incorporate into their daily routines to take better control of their time. A productivity psychologist, author and coach, Gratias has helped thousands of business people to maximize focus and productivity. With her advice, attendees can bring structure to their busy work lives while maintaining the flexibility needed to keep up with the pace of change. She’ll also reveal how harnessing today’s technology can help business leaders become more productive and less stressed.

Beth Ziesenis.

Beth Ziesensis, a self-described “nerdy best friend,” will show PPC members how to take advantage of today’s best tech tools. She’ll share apps and programs that automate tasks, streamline communications, and eliminate overflowing email boxes. Many of these technologies come in the form of shortcuts and background functions that truly allow people to multitask and stay more productive.

“When curating content for our meetings, we like to choose topics that address some of our members’ top challenges,” said Ben Markens, PPC President. “Productivity is crucial to keeping paperboard manufacturers thriving, as is hiring and keeping the right employees.” Attendees will gain insights about their future workers from a professional who teaches and mentors them every day.

Nona Woolbright.

Nona Woolbright, Associate Professor and Graduate Coordinator at Clemson University’s Graphic Communications Department, will discuss workforce talent in the print industry. According to Woolbright, a major shift is occurring, both in the makeup of the print and packaging workforce as well as the ways manufacturers will need to attract and retain future workers. She’ll offer insights into where future workers are coming from, what they value, and how manufacturers can get the “cream of the crop” to work in their companies. Other speakers include print industry sales trainer Bill Farquharson, Emory University economist Jeff Rosensweig, and Andy Bolton, President and CEO of PaperWorks Industries, Inc.

Ben Markens.

Conference-goers can also attend: a banquet and awards ceremony announcing the winners of PPC’s 75th Annual North American Paperboard Packaging Competition; various committee and special-interest meetings; and a fun reception at the Painted Pin, a boutique bar, bowling, and entertainment venue in the heart of Buckhead’s Miami Circle. “We want attendees to have a great time and take away valuable information,” Markens added. “With a great speaker line-up and a celebration of our 75th Annual Packaging Competition, our Fall Meeting in Atlanta should be a big hit.” For more information about PPC’s 2018 Fall Meeting and Leadership Conference, please visit

Now in its 89th year, PPC is the North American association for converters of paperboard packaging and their suppliers. PPC works to grow, promote and protect the paperboard packaging industry while providing its members with resources and tools to compete successfully in the marketplace. For more information please visit


Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.