Springfield, Mass. – The Paperboard Packaging Council (PPC) is pleased to welcome the new Chair of its Board of Directors, Brian Hunt, COO of Southern Champion Tray, LP. With 30 years in the packaging industry, 21 of which working for the 775-employee, multi-plant Southern Champion Tray, Hunt has a breadth of industry experience to help him lead the North American association for paperboard packaging manufacturers over the next two years.
During the induction ceremony at PPC’s recent virtual Fall Meeting, Hunt laid out his strategic direction for the association for 2021 and beyond.
“This could be a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity to promote paperboard as the packaging solution,” Hunt said, referring to several recent state-wide bans on single-use plastics and expanded polystyrene. As governments and eco-conscious consumers continue to champion sustainable solutions, Hunt noted that paperboard is well-positioned as a renewable and recyclable material. To this end, PPC aims to promote that messaging and align with other industry organizations to educate consumers and decision-makers.
Hunt’s second priority is to work toward transforming the industry through effective training. “Almost 10,000 baby boomers retire each day, leaving potential knowledge gaps in our industry,” said Hunt. In recent years, PPC has proven successful in offering technical and production training, expanding financial executive development, synchronizing human resource teaching, as well as hosting numerous other educational webinars—especially during the pandemic. For Hunt, it’s time to leverage these initiatives in a more expansive way in order to reach all PPC members and the industry at large.
“I’m honored to have the opportunity to help grow and shape PPC,” Hunt said. “Our industry association is crucial not only for sharing technical knowledge but also for networking and connecting members from different backgrounds and generations.”
Engaging the younger generation is Hunt’s third strategic goal. According to Hunt, the industry must become more agile and inclusive with the younger generation. It will be crucial to bridge the gap between current and future industry leaders. Offering educational content focusing on emerging leaders as well as expanding the industry’s Student Design Challenge are ideal places to start.
“Brian is a thoughtful leader, a consummate professional, and a great colleague,” said Ben Markens, President of PPC. “He served as Vice Chair for the past two years, so he’s already made an incredible impact on our association. I trust that his leadership will take us even further during his tenure as Chair.”
Currently residing with his wife in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Brian has held multiple leadership positions within his community, including various chamber groups, charitable organizations, and professional groups. He is the Leadership Council Chair for the Tennessee National Federation of Independent Businesses and serves on the Board for the Chattanooga Area Goodwill Industries. In a business advocate position, Tennessee’s Governor has appointed Brian to the State’s Advisory Council for Worker’s Compensation. He is also a Past President of the Chattanooga Kiwanis Club and Past Vice Chair for the Chattanooga Area Red Cross.
To learn more about PPC and get involved, visit paperbox.org.
Brian Hunt addresses PPC at a past conference.