ICG's Andy Willie Receives FLAG's Lifetime Achievement Award

Andy Willie and John McKay

The Independent Carton Group is pleased to announce that Andy Willie, one of its founding members and executive director emeritus, has been presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Flexo Label Advantage Group. During FLAG’s recent annual meeting in Toledo, Ohio, Willie was recognized with the award for the support and guidance he provided to FLAG president and founder John McKay.

McKay met Willie nearly two decades ago while serving as strategic development manager at Pitman Company, a graphic arts supplier, and Willie, then executive director of the ICG, was in the process of launching a group purchasing program. McKay was instrumental not only in establishing the relationship between the ICG and Pitman, but also in bringing Agfa Graphics to the table, as Pitman was an Agfa distributor at the time. Agfa and Pitman (later acquired by Agfa) were the ICG’s first suppliers, and Agfa Graphics remains the ICG’s oldest supplier today.

Through the partnership, McKay helped create a financial benefit for ICG members, who are all independent folding carton converters, and for Pitman and Agfa, as ICG suppliers. In 2010, after 25 years in the printing industry and armed with valuable buying group experience, McKay set out to bring group purchasing benefits to independent flexo label converters. Though the ICG and FLAG serve different groups within the printing industry, they share a mission of helping their members become stronger and more competitive without sacrificing their independence.

FLAG’s Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Willie for his support of McKay’s efforts in forming FLAG, his positive affect and influence, and the insight he provided over the years.

Willie’s career in the folding carton industry spans nearly six decades. In 1959, he joined Curtis Packaging in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, and spent 32 years there, including 10 years as co-owner and general manager. Curtis was one of the ICG’s five founding members, and Willie played key roles both in forming the ICG in 1982 and spearheading the group purchasing program in 1999.

“It’s an honor not only to accept this award, but also to know that what we’ve built in support of independent folding carton companies has been successfully replicated for independents in the label printing industry,” said Willie. “The ICG and FLAG were both founded on the premise that looking out for each other is good business, and over the years, particularly during times of economic uncertainty, we’ve seen that the whole really is greater than the sum of its parts.”

About the Author

Deborah Hamilton is the president of MediaMonde Inc., a full-service marketing and public relations firm established in 2002. Hamilton has written content across all marketing media, and she continues to hone her writing craft on a daily basis through the creation of compelling content for press releases, advertisements, sales literature, web sites, articles, direct mail, newsletters, white papers, social media, marketing plans and much more. Over the past 23 years, Hamilton has held senior marketing management positions and has served as a marketing and public relations consultant to businesses in diverse industries. She is posting for client, Independent Carton Group.

About Independent Carton Group

The ICG, an association of independently owned and operated folding carton companies, helps its members provide exceptional products, service and pricing to their customers through group purchasing, continuity assurance, and educational and networking programs. Members include Accord Carton, Accurate Box, All Packaging, Colbert Packaging, Curtis Packaging, 3C Packaging, Dee Packaging Solutions, Diamond Packaging, Disc Graphics, El Paso Paper Box, Frankston Packaging, Indiana Carton, Jones Packaging, Royal Paper Box, Sonderen Packaging, Vista Color, Wausau Container and Zumbiel Packaging. To learn more about membership benefits or how to become an ICG member, please call 203.270.7578 or visit www.independentcartongroup.com.