Board Converting News, December 7, 2020

Opus Packaging. (CONT’D FROM PAGE 1 )

years” watching their fathers succeed in the corrugated business and after enjoying successful careers in the in- dustry themselves, decided to join forces: in 2001, the two acquired Action Packaging in western Michigan, an area in which they grew up and were eager to return. Both Safeway and Action enjoyed record growth from 2000 to 2010, when the cousins established joint owner- ship of both companies to take advantage of the synergies created by being commonly owned. In 2013, they bought an existing box maker in Jackson, Michigan, and formed Opus Packaging as the holding company for the three lo- cations. Growth continued in March of 2019 with the pur- chase of Wabash Container Corporation in Mount Carm- el, Illinois, and in August 2019, with the investment in the greenfield operation in Whitestown. Manor and Stoner de- cided that as joint owners of five facilities, they would re- brand under one name, Opus Packaging. The company’s five wholly owned entities are Opus Packaging – Grand Rapids in Caledonia, Michigan, company headquarters; Opus Packaging – New Bremen in New Bremen, Ohio; Opus Packaging – Jackson in Jackson, Michigan; Opus Packaging – Wabash in Mt. Carmel, Illinois; and Opus Packaging – Indianapolis in Whitestown, Indiana. “Our fathers taught us that customer service is at the heart of everything we do,” says Manor. “As a single-source packaging partner, we’ll do whatever it takes to ensure our customers’ packaging and distribution needs are met, to-

much-needed equipment, as well as key employees and the sales infrastructure for our new startup, while renew- ing the friendship between the companies and ultimately, maximizing our efficiencies.” Of the 30 employees now working at Opus Packaging – Whitestown, ten are from Arvco, which is seven miles from the Arvco Indianapolis facility. Several of Arvco’s tem- porary workers may also be joining the company. Opus brought in two of Arvco’s sales staff, including one full-time outside salesperson. The second is an inside salesperson, who doubles as a designer. Both brought “a good book of business” that will now be serviced by a company with a long history of providing stellar customer service. A Family Business The origins of Opus Packaging began in the mid-1940s after World War II, when Robert Manor and Ralph Stoner started their respective corrugated box careers at River Raisin Paper Co., which was later acquired by Union Camp. Robert Manor was married to Stoner’s sister, Virginia. Stoner moved on in 1967 to co-found Michigan Packaging Company, a corrugated sheet supplier. Manor established Safeway Packaging in 1984 to manufacture corrugated packaging, which his son, Kevin Manor, took over in 1994 after Robert’s untimely death. Butch Stoner worked for his father at Michigan Packaging as President until 2000. As cousins, Kevin and Butch spent their “formative



December 7, 2020

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