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Elsie Cross
Strategic Procurement Manager, Nestle

Elsie is the Strategic Procurement Manager for Contract Manufacturing for Nestle Canada. She is responsible for the end-to-end business relationship with co-manufacturers, as well as working directly with them to develop and produce products for Canada under the Nestle name. Elsie has a strong packaging and raw materials background to support her role at Nestle.


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Jim Downham
President & CEO, PAC Packaging Consortium

As the CEO & President of the non-profit, PAC Packaging Consortium, Jim Downham has been dedicated to advancing the packaging community agenda. He is a passionate circular economy, sustainability and brand package design leader. Under Jim's leadership PAC has created several packaging programs including the PAC GLOBAL LEADERSHIP AWARDS; PAC NEXT and PAC FOOD Sustainability Programs; PACed Certificate Program; the IFS PAC secure GFSI benchmarked food packaging safety standard; and intelliPACK, A Smart Packaging Innovation Catalyst. Jim is a former package manufacturing CEO & President and current industry non-profit CEO. He is Chairman of LeaderLinx, executive recruiter connecting leading companies with industry leaders. In 2014 Jim was inducted into the Packaging Hall of Fame.


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Thomas Pigeon
Founder & CEO, Pigeon Brands

Canadian Packaging Magazine recently referred to Thomas as "one of the country’s most knowledgeable and authoritative thought-leaders in the graphic package design and branding field.”


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Stuart Werle
President, Werle Design

Stuart Werle is the President and Creative Director for Werle Design, a packaging / branding design firm located in Toronto. Werle has over 40 years experience working with many Consumer Packaged Goods companies for which he has won numerous national and international design awards.Werle also is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Graphic Design at OCAD University. He teaches two levels of Packaging Design to third year and graduate students. Werle is also heavily involved with the PAC Consortium and has been for many years. He has been the Chair of the Brand Marketing category for the PAC Global Leadership Awards for the past five design competitions, is on the PAC Global Leadership Awards Steering Committee and has juried numerous Global Leadership Awards.



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Dennis Benoit
Creative Director, St. Joseph Communications Content

At St. Joseph Communications, since 2004 Dennis has been charged with development of award-winning national and private brand strategies in a client-facing role, providing design, photo direction and copy writing services for clients in food, beverage, haba (health and beauty aids), and hard goods. Dennis is fully bilingual and has worked in both of Canada's official languages, English and French. He is currently studying Spanish.



Kim Fearon
Director of Business Development, ASL Print FX

Kim Fearon, Director of Business Development at ASL Print FX has had 26 years’ experience in the print packaging industry. Working in both Canadian owned and Internationally owned companies , kim Graduated from York University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree, and also took the PAC Packaging Certificate Program including the Sustainability Module. She is looking forward to coming back and being a repeat judge for the Packaging Consortium as an expert in her field.


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Wendy Kufeldt
Managing Director, Anthem

With over 20 years experience driving integrated consumer and shopper engagement strategies for top 100 global brands, Wendy leads Anthem’s Canadian office, developing and activating brand solutions for client partners across North America.


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James Lee
Director, Innovation solution group, Jones Packaging
Co-Chair, intellipack leadership council

James is the Director, Technology and Innovation with Jones Packaging based in London Ontario, a leader in folding carton, labels and contract pharmaceutical filling. In his role, James focuses on new packaging technologies for tomorrow and their potential impact and outcomes for consumers, patients and brandowners. James has over 20 years of experience in prepress and print production with organizations such as TC and Southern Graphic Systems. With successful projects run under a varying set of global verticals throughout his career, James brings a diverse understanding of the packaging market with an eye for reproduction quality under differing print methods.


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Louis Lemaire
Vice President Sales and Marketing, Graphic Packaging International

Louis has been with Cascades and Graphic Packaging for over 24 years. In his tenure, he’s been involved in the containerboard, paperboard and folding carton industries. He’s also been heavily committed and passionate about sustainability and corporate social responsibility. In addition, Louis has been engaged in various industry associations, including PAC, the Recycled Paperboard Alliance, the Paperboard Packaging Council, the Recycled Paperboard Technical Association and the Foodservice Packaging Institute.



Jeff Mills
Design Manager, Cascades Containerboard Packaging - Bird

Jeff Mills is a Design Manager for Cascades Containerboard Packaging - Bird out of Guelph Ontario. He started with Domtar Packaging St.Marys in 1980 and throughout his 37 year career as Manager of Technical & Design Services he has had the opportunity to work with major customers from all over the world. Designing in several mediums,  from POP displays, foam, retail and automotive packaging, his experience as well as his ability to work in multiple substrates, allows him a great understanding of the packaging design industry.

Jeff has judged many packaging design competitions, and has been heavily involved in packaging programs at Mohawk, Humber and Conestoga College. He currently supports Conestoga College as a Professor, teaching multiple courses for the new Packaging Engineering Program that was introduced in 2015, and has introduced 3d and virtual reality technology in the schools ‘state of the art design lab


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Wally Petrac
President, Strategica

Wally has held various Management, Sales, and Design positions working with Fortune 500 companies. As the Marketing Manager for Smurfit-Stone, Canada, and later as VP of Sales at PearceWellwood, he has been responsible for developing Sales and Design talent. He has provided strategic merchandising and packaging expertise and has conducted print, retail and packaging seminars to 100’s of clients across Canada. He is also the Scholarship Director for PAC and is an Ontario Council Member supporting educational institutions focused on promoting packaging and merchandising courses.


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Claire Sand
Owner, Packaging Technology and Research

Claire Sand is an industry and academic leader who focuses on decreasing food waste with packaging, food engineering, and food science. Sand integrates material science, active and intelligent packaging, ingredient technology, and food processing strategies to launch new products and extend the shelf life of existing products. Dr. Claire Sand runs Packaging Technology and Research, where she provides project based strategy, technology, consulting and coaching services to food and packaging companies. Dr. Sand holds a doctorate degree in Food Science and Nutrition from the University of Minnesota and MS and BS in Packaging from Michigan State University.



Mirjana Suric
Manager of Graphics and Technology Training, Polytainers Inc.

Mirjana has 45 years’ of experience delivering outstanding quality, service and innovation across numerous dimensions of packaging for the food & dairy industry. This includes press & production operations, technology development, graphics development, sales & marketing and training. She has worked successfully with all levels of leadership and understands intimately how technology, process and people capabilities can be married with applied artistic design to deliver superior customer experiences.


sustainable judges

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Alan Blake
Director of PAC NEXT US and PAC FOOD, PAC Packaging Consortium

30 year career at Procter & Gamble with leadership roles in packaging R&D and sustainability. Followed by 4 years as PAC NEXT and PAC FOOD Waste Executive Director and PAC board member bringing industry together to find solutions to packaging and food waste challenges. Former board member of National Zero Waste Council and co-lead of the Product & Packaging working group.


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Martin Gooch
Co-Founder & COO, VCMI

Dr. Martin Gooch is co-founder and CEO of VCMI, a global consulting company headquartered in Oakville, Ontario. VCMI assists businesses, primarily in the agri-food and seafood industries, to enhance their long-term profitability and environmental sustainability. Two decades of analyzing businesses and value chains to identify where food and related waste occurs and why, and developing relationships with international initiatives designed to enable businesses to profit from reducing food waste, led to VCMI establishing the Cut Waste, GROW PROFIT™ initiative. Martin holds a PhD and Master's degree in agri-food management, and a Bachelor of International Business. In 2013 Martin received Bayer Inc.'s "Outstanding Canadian" award for his contribution to "Food Chain Partnerships," and was appointed Adjunct Professor at the College of Business and Economics, University of Guelph. In 2017, the Ontario Produce Marketing Association awarded Martin the Cory Clack-Streef "Produce Industry Person of the Year" award for assisting Ontario's produce industry to benefit from reducing food loss and waste.


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Dan Lantz
Principal, Crow’s Nest Environmental

Dan is Principal of Crow’s Nest Environmental, his newly formed environmental consulting company. Dan has 30 years of experience in the recycling industry, working over 20 years as a consultant for various consulting companies. He has done and continues to do extensive consulting work packaging/stewardship issues for businesses and industry associations. He also worked with Stewardship Ontario helping develop the Blue Box Program Plan, where he wrote the infamous Pay-In-Model calculating Stewards’ fees. Dan also has more than six years of recycling operations experience gained from working with Cascades Recovery Inc. and he was the COO for Green by Nature EPR, the agency responsible for the processing and marketing of all residentially generated materials collected from across the entire province of British Columbia, Canada. Dan just joined PAC Packaging Consortium as the Director of PAC NEXT.

Dan has his is M.Sc. from U. of Dundee, Scotland; MBA from U. of Toronto and is currently working on his doctoral thesis on the impact of EPR on packaging design. He is a Canadian Environmental Professional (EP) in Waste Management, and Sustainability, a UK Member of the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (MCIWM). Dan has written or presented more than 100 papers on diversion.


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Mike Richmond
Principal, PTIS

Dr. Michael Richmond is a strategic business and technical leader with 35 years of experience across PTIS, Kellogg, Kraft, and Michigan State University, where he was an assistant professor in the School of Packaging. Mike has numerous achievement awards and commendations and is past head of the Industrial Advisory Committee for the Center for Advanced Food Technology (CAFT) at Rutgers University. Mike was  inducted into the PMMI Packaging Hall of Fame and The MSU School of Packaging Hall of Fame. In 2013, He was also recognized as the outstanding alumnus in the College of Ag and Natural Resources at MSU. In addition Mike has served on various technology Boards and Councils over the past decade. Mike published “Creating Value Through Packaging: Unlocking a New Business and Management Strategy”. Mike lectures at both Michigan State University and Western Michigan University in their packaging and food marketing  programs.