Board Converting News, January 18, 2021

Converter Outlook, Part 2 (CONT’D FROM PAGE 26)

a 54-year-old third-generation, family-owned and operat- ed sheet plant in Maine was on a positive trajectory of 11 straight years of sales growth. We had rarely discussed our streak until January of this year, when I decided to challenge my sales team to make it 12. I even distributed tee shirts to seal the deal. Less than four months later we were wondering if we would even be open by the end of the year. No one knew where a worldwide pandemic was going to lead. “I am sure many of BCN ’s readers can agree that 2020 was an interesting and exhausting year for all box plants. The year started off with a bang as our first quar- ter destroyed all records for January, February, and March. Then April and its economic shutdowns rocked us hard. A dismal May followed. We began considering significant cuts and even a restructuring of our business. However, to our pleasant surprise, June was a big improvement, July the same and in August we were flat compared to 2019. At the end of August, I promised my anxious banker that we would be ahead of our 2019 numbers by the end of the year and deliver yet another year of growth. I am certain that he saw our sales at that time and thought I had lost my mind. Fortunately, rather than recommend that the bank pull our loans, he simply replied, ‘Well, if you can pull that off, it would be a remarkable accomplishment.’ “With tourist-dependent businesses beginning to fail all around us, little relief from the pandemic in sight and an

facilities across the southeast to better service our cus- tomers. These additions include new warehouse locations in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Lafayette, Louisiana; a 25,000-square-foot expansion in Clarksville, Tennessee; and a new facility transition in Conyers, Georgia over the past year. The additional floor space and increased foot- print will allow for additional services for existing markets through JIT Warehousing and kitting operations, as well as service to new markets. “Through an unforeseen year of 2020, Rusken has kept service to new and existing customers at the fore- front with recent investments and will continue to adapt in the new year.” VOLK PACKAGING Biddeford, Maine: Derek Volk reports, “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. It was a remarkable year. This past year has cycled from good to bad and back again so many times it makes my head spin to think about it. Like most people, I still struggle to define 2020, but am relieved it is over! “Let me begin with a little back- ground. Heading into 2020, Volk Packaging Corporation, Derek Volk


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January 18, 2021

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