April Conference in Austin Brings TAPPI and FPA Together Again

April Conference in Austin Brings TAPPI and FPA Together Again
Digital Exclusive

The Flexible Packaging Association (FPA) is a media partner for TAPPI International’s upcoming 2022 FlexPack PLACE Conference next month in Austin, Texas, in a live, in-person event.  

“The FPA is pleased to be partnering with TAPPI’s FlexPack PLACE Conference again,” Alison Keane, FPA president and CEO, says about the event that runs April 10–13. “With the return of in-person meetings, FPA is on a quest to ‘Unite for Flexibles’ and this conference is a great opportunity to do so where brand owners, packaging converters, and suppliers come together to network and collaborate with an invested interest in the future of flexible packaging.”

Keane was referencing a FPA membership drive—Let’s Unite for Flexibles!—that the trade group kicked off earlier this year. FPA members will receive a discount on the registration fee and should contact communications@flexpack.org for the promotional code.

Conference organizers expect about 150 people to attend. “This is the first live meeting for the TAPPI International Flexible Packaging and Extrusion Division (IFPED) since 2018, and we are all looking forward to meeting face-to-face,” says Kristi Ledbetter, TAPPI director of events. “People are ready to meet in person again.”

TAPPI and FPA have many cross-over members and began a partnership in 2018, Ledbetter also says. “The original intent was to help promote each other’s conferences, but we have expanded that into sharing speakers,” she adds. “Many of our members collaborate with FPA members on projects and committees, and we believe that this helps to strengthen both associations and the industry.”

Several sponsorship options still are available, Ledbetter said, including the Conference kick-off Welcome Reception on Sunday night. The Dow Chemical Company is the top-level sponsor of the off-site networking event at the Banger Sausage House. Other sponsors include Chevron Phillips Chemical and Westlake Chemical, as well as Entec, Nordson, NOVA Chemicals, Mica Corporation, and LyondellBasell, she says.

The full agenda can be found at events.tappiflexible.org.

TAPPI International’s 2022 FlexPack PLACE in Austin, Texas, will include a panel discussion on the 2025 sustainability goals and initiatives on Monday, April 11. The panelists will include the following, from left to right: Todd Fayne, associate director, global snacks and research and development, PepsiCo;  Dan Felton, executive director, American Institute for Packaging and the Environment (AMERIPEN); Mika Härkönen, professor of practice, industrial chemistry and technology infrastructures, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland; Stephanie Hicks, materials sourcing manager, Trex Company; and Nate Miranda, director, innovation platforms and sustainability, TC Transcontinental Packaging.

The keynote speaker on April 11 will be Kathy Bolhous, chairperson and CEO of Charter Next Generation. Her topic is “State of the Flexible Packaging Industry.” Bolhous also is the chairperson of the FPA board of directors.

On April 12, Tom Lee, vice president of research and development at TC Transcontinental Packaging, will speak on “Sustainable Flexible Packaging: Perspectives and R&D Effort from Packaging Converters,” according to the website.

“In addition to the keynote speakers, we are most excited about the panel that will occur on Monday following the keynote address,” Ledbetter says. “The panelists will have insights on the 2025 sustainability goals and initiatives from different perspectives, and we expect a great discussion.”

Ledbetter says there will be two additional events produced by the IFPED Division this year.  

  • A three-day Extrusion Coating Course is scheduled for Aug. 15–17 in Neenah, Wisconsin.
  • And the European PLACE Conference will take place Oct. 10–12 in Bratislava, Slovakia.

Thomas A. Barstow is senior editor of FlexPack VOICE®.