Thank you very much for stopping in to visit us at Pack Expo in Las Vegas this year. I am doing my best to get in contact with you all.
I always love seeing our old friends, as well as meeting new ones at the shows. It can be pretty stressful in the days leading up to the show. This year we arrived only to be told that they had no record of our freight. I seriously thought you guys were going to walk up to booth S-8133 to see me sitting on a stool with an empty cup and a cardboard sign reading: “Freight lost. Need leads. Anything helps.” Everything always works out in the end though, and I hope you guys enjoyed our booth design. This is a really great industry to have been born into, and I consider myself lucky to be apart of it.
I was invited to be a part of the “Women’s Leadership Network” breakfast this year, and seeing a whole room full of women in the industry was fantastic. You see, I grew up with great role models in the form of my mother Cathy and two other System Builder presidents: WHM’s Joan Morgan and TNA’s Dana McGuirt. I was in grad school before I ever realized that there was a glass ceiling to be danced upon, in the words of the speaker. It was heartening to see so many other women, especially those just coming into packaging and automation careers forming those mentorships.
What many of you don’t know is that Rhett and Cathy, my parents, and two of the four founders of Flex-Line Automation have their wedding anniversary in late September. The Las Vegas show is always extra special because mom and I usually tag out on the last day so that they can spend an extra couple of days in Las Vegas and celebrate. They don’t get to vacation often (in fact most of my family vacations as a kid revolved around a Gameboy and a plant parking lot as they either made sales calls or worked on installs – but I digress), and it has turned into an extra special little ritual for them.
Unfortunately, this year they were staying at the Tropicana, and while they came out of the horror of the attack unscathed physically, they were both emotionally impacted by the gross tragedy that just took place. I don’t usually like to be public with these sorts of things but I feel that in this case it is right. I, on behalf of everyone here at Flex-Line, want to thank all the first responders and those who helped. We are all grateful that more lives weren’t lost, and saddened isn’t a strong enough word to convey how we feel for those who have passed and for their loved ones. I know it sounds very trite, but I mean it sincerely when I say you are all in our thoughts and prayers.
And that pretty much sums up Pack Expo 2017.