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RPA Presents educational session on fundamentals of reusable packaging at PACK EXPO

David Bellm

March 11, 2015

7 Min Read
RPA Presents educational session on fundamentals of reusable packaging at PACK EXPO

The Reusable Packaging Association (RPA) is hosting a workshop at PACK EXPO that will give attendees a comprehensive overview of the fundamentals of developing an effective reusable packaging strategy for their companies’ supply chains.

The educational session, “RPA’s Fundamentals of Reusable Packaging Workshop,” will be held Tuesday, Nov. 2, from 2 to 5 p.m. in McCormick Place South Building, Level 5, Meeting Room S-505b. The workshop presenters, comprised of RPA members, have firsthand experience with developing reusable packaging solutions for all types of businesses and markets. The workshop is targeted to serious packaging professionals and to persons charged with investigating cost-effective supply chain alternatives that can deliver bottom line results and provide sustainable business solutions.

“Experienced industry experts are presenting this workshop to help show attendees learn more about the value of switching to reusable solutions in their supply chain operations,” said Jon Kalin, RPA Chairman of the Board, and Sales and Marketing Manager for Rehrig Pacific. “The workshop will provide an in-depth look at the fundamentals of assessing whether reusable packaging is the right fit for a company’s financial, social and environmental sustainability efforts. This is the critical first step for building a case for the use of reusables.”

In addition to assessment, the workshop will cover the initial phase of implementing a reusable packaging strategy. This phase is referred to as “Concept Understanding” and includes basic definitions, reusable supply chain modeling, financing alternatives and asset management.

“Anyone who is serious about investigating cost-effective supply chain alternatives will benefit from the knowledge and practical experience that will be shared at this workshop,” said Jerry Welcome, President, RPA.

The workshop is complimentary; however attendees must register in order to attend.  More information about registration will be announced shortly. Also, participants can add their names to the registration list by sending an e-mail to [email protected].  Please include name, company, title and e-mail address so that RPA can confirm registration. Registered workshop attendees also will be invited to a special networking reception following the workshop.  Registered guests will receive a special invitation by e-mail with the registration confirmation. 


Jon Kalin, RPA Chairman of the Board; Sales and Marketing Manager for Rehrig Pacific,
Mr. Kalin will moderate the workshop. He began his career at Rehrig Pacific Company as a Plant Engineer in Los Angeles in 1988. His extensive career includes Plant Manager for Rehrig’s Raymond, New Hampshire facility, followed by a position as Design Engineer, and Design Engineering Manager in Rehrig’s Los Angeles, CA operation.  In 1995, Mr. Kalin joined the sales force first as the Food and Beverage representative in Los Angeles and then as European Sales Manager, living in Brussels, Belgium. In 1998, he became the first Division Manager at Rehrig’s newly opened Tracy, CA facility where his responsibilities included opening the plant and hiring the staff. As a result of the tremendous growth in the Returnable Plastic Carte (RPC) business, Mr. Kalin oversaw a 50,000-sq. ft. expansion of the Tracy facility.  Mr. Kalin became the business development manager for Rehrig Pacific’s Agriculture business group and now runs the Agriculture group.  He holds a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.

Bob Klimko, RPA Immediate Past Chairman of the Board, Ex Officio Member of the Executive Committee; Director of General Industrial Marketing, ORBIS Corporation
From 1989 to 2001, Mr. Klimko worked at ORBIS Corporation in various roles including Director of Business Development, Menasha Services, Director of Marketing, Director of Corporate Strategy and Product Manager. These roles provided Mr. Klimko with tremendous exposure to multiple industries in the reusable packaging market in both the industrial/assembly manufacturing industries as well as the perishable foods business (meat, poultry, produce, floral). He then joined Norseman Plastics, a provider of reusable packaging for multiple industries including beverage, bakery, food perishables, food, dry goods and others. In 2008, ORBIS acquired Norseman Plastics and Mr. Klimko once again joined forces with ORBIS.
Prior to working at Norseman, Mr. Klimko was the Director of Marketing & New Business Development for Wilbert Plastics, the world’s largest heavy gauge thermoformer and provider of custom plastic solutions. Mr. Klimko’s former association leadership roles include Vice Chair of the Material Handling Industry of America’s Reusable Plastic Container & Pallet Association, and co-chair of the Council of Logistics Management Reverse Logistics Committee. Mr. Klimko has an undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, and an MBA in marketing and personnel management from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Lyle Schmitt, RPA Membership End-User Committee; Manager, Worldwide Logistics Quality, John Deere & Company
 Mr. Schmitt has been with John Deere for 35 years. During his tenure at John Deere, he has served in various capacities – as a mechanical engineer; a construction engineer; and as an environmental engineer. He has also played a significant role in energy management and strategic planning. During the last eight years, his career has focused on Logistics, Quality & Packaging. Mr. Schmitt is responsible for specifying returnable packaging for raw material purchased by John Deere factories and for ensuring that finished products are not damaged during transit. He has a degree in Agricultural Engineering from Iowa State University.

Drew Merrill, RPA Vice Chairman; Vice President of Business Development & Strategic Planning, CAPS
Mr. Merrill is responsible for all of CAPS’ sales and marketing activities and has been an officer of the company since 2004. Since joining the company in 2003, Mr. Merrill’s solutions-based and client-centric approach has increased CAPS’ revenue by 73% while maintaining a 96% customer retention rate. Container and Pooling Solutions, Inc. (CAPS) is one of North America’s premier choices for renting and pooling liquid and dry containers for automotive, food, beverage, pharmaceutical, cosmetic, chemical and other industrial applications. CAPS has spent the past 12 years supporting some of the biggest and most progressive companies in their quest to ‘green’ their supply chains while reducing their overall packaging costs.

Prior to joining CAPS, Mr. Merrill successfully managed sales teams for services and high-technology companies including Productivity Point International and Synapsis Solutions. In addition, he was co-founder and CEO of a high-tech e-Learning services firm that grew to $4M in three years. Mr. Merrill has a B.A. from Northwestern University.

Lane Pence, RPA Board of Directors; Director, Growth Strategy, CHEP Americas
Mr. Pence joined CHEP in 1998 and has held roles in operations, global sourcing, sales, consulting and strategy. He leads a team that has executed platform-based supply chain consulting engagements around the world, with experience in new country entry, new product applications, new customer development and new channel entry. Mr. Pence was involved in pioneering RFID development, including the first successful test of RFID tags in pallets in 2002. He has worked with many reusable assets; including pallets, containers, reusable plastic containers, intermediate bulk containers and display ready platforms with small grocery manufacturers to some of the world’s largest manufacturers, distributors and retailers. Mr. Pence has held previous roles in marketing, business development and asset disposition with Enterprise Leasing. He is a Six Sigma greenbelt and holds a B.S. in Business from Miami University.

In addition to the workshop, the RPA is hosting its Reusable Packaging Pavilion at PACK EXPO. Reusable packaging service and packaging suppliers are exhibiting together within the RPA Reusable Packaging Pavilion to educate attendees about the economic and environmental benefits of integrating reusable packaging into their business-to-business supply chains. Together, the companies offer a wide range of services including asset management, tracking, cleaning, repair and others for handling and transporting commercial products, manufactured goods, produce, food and beverage products safely and economically.

The Pavilion will be located in rows 5000, 5100 and 5200 on the main level of Lakeside East Hall in Chicago’s McCormick Place. For more information about the Pavilion, exhibiting companies, or general information about the reusable packaging industry, visit the RPA website www.reusables.org.



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