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Meet the Board: Evan Fischbein


Our newest Blog series we will be focusing on our hard working NJPEC Board Members. Each of these members volunteers their time to help keep this organization going. Our hope in this series is that you’ll learn a little more about who they are!

Evan Fischbein, Scholarship Chair

How long have you been active on the NJPEC Board: On board for 9 years, part of the club for 11.

Where do you work and what is your role there? VP of Operations at Just Packaging, Inc.

What is your favorite NJPEC Event & Why? Toss up between Package of the Year & Hall of Fame! Package of the Year is Amazing, however the recognition of Hall of Fame with scholarships is a great tie together.

What is your favorite part of being in the packaging industry? The people, all working together to achieve a common goal making our clients products perfect, on time and just as they imagined.

Tell us something about yourself that no one knows? I am a history buff. All types of history and I’m awesome 🙂

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Meet the Board: Steve Fischbein

Our newest Blog series we will be focusing on our hard working NJPEC Board Members. Each of these members volunteers their time to help keep this organization going. Our hope in this series is that you’ll learn a little more about who they are!

Steve Fischbein, Past President & Trustee

How long have you been active on the NJPEC Board: I been on the board for 14 years.

Where do you work and what is your role there? President at Just Packaging, Inc.

What is your favorite NJPEC Event & Why? Mentoring… it is a time when we get to interact with the next generation of packaging professionals.

What is your favorite part of being in the packaging industry? Working with my two grown sons everyday… and interacting within a industry that is exciting, interesting, collaborative and professional

Tell us something about yourself that no one knows? I’ve been involved in packaging for over 50 years (next year)!!!

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In Memorial – 2021

The NJPEC community morns in the loss of 4 of our long-time members: Tom F. Leahey Jr., Linda Buck, Don Kane and Matt Greco. We’d like to take this moment to honor them.

Tom F. Leahey Jr. – Written by immediate family members

Cosmetic Packaging Executive, Fisherman and Grandfather Extraordinaire

Thomas F. Leahey Jr., age 77, of Plainfield, NJ passed away peacefully on Tuesday, June 23rd, 2020 at home with his family by his side. Born in Bayonne, NJ to the late Thomas and Marie Leahey, he moved with his family to Cranford, NJ in 1949.

Mr. Leahey attended the Phoenix School of Design in NYC and graduated from San Francisco Art Institute with a BA in Painting and earned a MA in Fine Arts from Catholic University, along with an MBA from Fairleigh Dickinson University. He served in the US Marine Corps Reserve.

Tom very much enjoyed his sales career in the beauty packaging industry for over 50 years. He was a long-time active member of CIBS: Cosmetic Industry Buyers & Suppliers, NJPEC: New Jersey Packaging Executives Club and BIMS: Buyers, Importers, Manufacturers and Salesmen of New York.

Toms was also a world class fly fisherman, loved driving his 1959 MG midget, his Softaill HD motorcycle and was a NJ Devils season ticket holder. Always proud of his affiliation with the US Marine Corps, he was known to participate in their charity runs on his Harley. He will be remembered for many wonderful qualities, but most of all, his Irish eyes, storytelling and LOVE for his family and friends.

Surviving are his daughter and son, Jennifer Buckley (Barry) and Ryan Leahey: his two granddaughters, Katherine and Coralie; his sisters, Denise Buerck (Jack) and Joan O’Connor (Terry); his brother, Rich Leahey (Eileen) and his former wife Ellen Holland, along with his nieces and nephews, Liz, Grace, Connor and Sean.

In addition to his immediate family, surviving are his long-time parent and companion Mary Alonge; her children, Jeanne Venneri and Justin Venneri (Brooke); and Mary’s grandchildren, Luca, Lily and Leo.

A private ceremony for immediate family will be held presently and a celebration of life for friends and colleagues will be held next year (2022). Memorial contributions can be made to the American Cancer Society or Wounded Warrior Project.

Semper Fi dear Father, Pop-Pop, Brother, and Mate.

Linda Buck – Written by Judy Vincenty

I met Linda when I stumbled into this industry in 1996 knowing virtually nothing and absolutely no one. We met and became friends when our two companies had started a collaboration and she and I were partnered for the project.  The project ended, but our friendship never waned. Linda introduced me to people and industry groups that would be instrumental to my cosmetic packaging journey because Linda seemed to know everyone, and they all knew her.

Linda was like a ray of sunshine when she walked into a room and impossible to notice.  Tall, blond, and beautiful and perfectly put together. Just how she wanted it.  She had a thirst for life and made it her mission to enjoy every moment.  From spending time with her family and friends to traveling halfway around the world to explore and meet the unknown.  Like chartering a sailboat to circle the Greek Isles. Or hopping on a plane to a China she’d never met. To jaunts through Europe.  She embraced life with boundless passion, energy, and a curious sense of adventure.

Linda was a loyal and dedicated friend with decade long friendships.  I consider myself fortunate to have been one of them.  It is still difficult to fully accept the sad reality that she’s gone.  I can still close my eyes and hear her giggling across the table at an industry event or being silly with the rest of us at a girls-night-out.

For years Linda made us smile. Today she’s made us cry.  She will be forever in our hearts – definitely mine. RIP my friend!

Don Kane – Written by two of his closest colleagues – Joe Cicci and Karen Haddenwolf

The passing of Don Kane was a shock to many. Don was a great folding carton salesman, a great golfer, and someone that was always positive. He truly was a fun person to be with.

Don’s sales career spanned over 50 years supplying value added cartons to the cosmetic and toiletry arena with quality companies such as Lord Baltimore Press, Arkay Packaging, Alford Packaging, J & PB Meyers, Union Camp Folding Carton Division, Shorewood Packaging, Curtis Packaging and Color Optics.

Don was an active member of NJPEC and was inducted into the NJPEC Hall of Fame. He was also a member of Montclair Golf Club, CIBS, 21 Limited, the Coty “Prayer Group”, and BIMS where he was named BIM of the year.

Don Kane was truly an icon in the business and will be missed especially at NJPEC meetings and events.

I had the privilege of working with Don over the years as did many, and we will look back at our time together fondly

– Joe Cicci

Joe had a much longer history with Don.  However, anyone who knew Don, found him a person of interest, to say the least. –  I had the privilege of knowing Don, over the years and only worked with him when at Color Optics.  He will be and is missed.  He had a unique way about him, you instantly loved him and enjoyed listening to the many stories, and challenges of Don.  Fondly, Don you are a rare gem of a sales person, that will forever shine.

– Karen F. Hadden/Wolf

Matt Greco – Written by JoAnne Greco

It is with an extremely heavy heart we share news of Matt Greco’s passing. Surrounded by his loved ones, Matt passed peacefully in Florida on September 30th, 2021.
Matt was a former President of CIBS and was always genuinely interested in what was happening with CIBS and the industry, even after his retirement! He loved being a part of the CIBS organization and was so proud that his son Dave and Dave’s wife, JoAnne, were involved as well. He had a presence that was bigger than his over 6ft stature and you knew when Matt entered a room! Many of you may know him from his years at Tubed Products. We are incredibly thankful for his numerous contributions to the Packaging industry, and he will be missed dearly. 

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Recap: Luxepack 2021

Two Pink Compacts 3

By Christin Cupo

October 27th and 28th, 2021 – Jacob Javits Center, New York City, NY.

150 exhibitors listed and organized in a smaller venue across 6 rows.  According to the floorplan, 139 exhibitors were in attendance.

There were two specialty locations, one that offered hand’s on review of packaging, called the “Exploratorium” , and the other “Green” that had eco-friendly packaging presented in cases.  The hand’s on area was very engaging and had steady traffic on both days.  The highlight of featured items are photographed below.

This compact was featured from Golden Arrow.

Luxepack in the US is a mix of beauty and spirits.  Many of the booths were promoting either “Made in the USA” or “In-stock and available” which wasn’t new, but now is a focus.  Sustainability in either refillable packaging or mono material recyclable or using PCR was also a focus.

The attendees were an even mix of suppliers, consultants and customers.  Most in attendance were notably from the Tri-state area and were at the show to “catch up with friends / colleagues”. 

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Meet the Board: Kristyn Shaner

Kristyn Shaner

Our newest Blog series we will be focusing on our hard working NJPEC Board Members. Each of these members volunteers their time to help keep this organization going. Our hope in this series is that you’ll learn a little more about who they are!

Kristyn Shaner, Our Vice President

How long have you been active on the NJPEC Board: I have been on the board since 2018 and been a member since 2015.

Where do you work and what is your role there? I am the Regional Sales Representative for Wexler Packaging Products.

What is your favorite NJPEC Event & Why? I have two favorites… First Package of the Year because it truly is a fun night full of honoring all the hard work everyone has done through out the year. Second, our Scholarship awards ceremony. Whether this is done at a NJPEC event or at a college where students are receiving the scholarship, it really is awesome to get to give back.

What is your favorite part of being in the packaging industry? Friends and family always ask what I do… and there is no easy way to respond to that! I love that every day is different, the industries Wexler works in are new and exciting and that packaging really is a part of everything consumers buy.

Tell us something about yourself that no one knows? I played college soccer and coached for Lower Merion Soccer Club for 6 years. I miss it and hope to get back into it one day.

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Recap: Interphex 2021

By: Matthew Mulvey

Interphex

October 19th – 21st, Jacob Javits Center, New York City

Greetings from Day 1 of Interphex 2021 at the Jacob Javits Center in NYC. This is one of the first in-person trade shows on the East Coast since the pandemic started.  In spite of the pre-screening program (which was first class by-the-way) and NYC’s vaccination and mask mandates the show seems to be well attended by both exhibitors and visitors.  All evidence points to an opportunity-laden second act to last months Pack Expo in Las Vegas.

Exhibitors this year included CMOS/CDMOs to the life sciences, integrators of filling, packaging and end-of-line equipment, clean room and facilities companies, vision/inspection and robotics specialists.  However, my favorite booth, hands down, is definitely the manufacturer of automatic application and removal of shoe covers (booties).  Hey, the arthritic can dream!

I’ve seen some old friends (challenging because we’re all wearing masks!), met plenty of strategic new business contacts and sat with at least a dozen packaging equipment vendors…and I’m only halfway through the showroom floor.  If the turnout today is a precursor of trade shows to come then I am truly excited for EastPack and MDM East in December (back here at the Javits) and of course for Pack Expo in a Chicago next year. 

It’s great to be back!

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Meet the Board: Matt Cassano

Our newest Blog series we will be focusing on our hard working NJPEC Board Members. Each of these members volunteers their time to help keep this organization going. Our hope in this series is that you’ll learn a little more about who they are!

Matt Cassano, Our Treasurer

How long have you been active on the NJPEC Board: I have been on the board for 3 years.

Where do you work and what is your role there? Packaging Consultant at Victory Packaging

What is your favorite NJPEC Event & Why? My favorite event is Package of the Year because it is the Oscars of the packaging industry.

What is your favorite part of being in the packaging industry? Brining home folding cartons and bubble wrap for my kids to play with…oh and the people of course!

Tell us something about yourself that no one knows? I am a board certified behavior analyst. Before I got into packaging, I worked with adolescents with behavioral challenges in schools, correctional facilities and group homes.

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Meet the Board: Christin Cupo

Our newest Blog series we will be focusing on our hard working NJPEC Board Members. Each of these members volunteers their time to help keep this organization going. Our hope in this series is that you’ll learn a little more about who they are!

Christin Cupo, Our Secretary

How long have you been active on the NJPEC Board: I got involved in NJPEC actively in 2019, but have been a member since 2018. I have attended many club events throughout the years.

Where do you work and what is your role there? I am a Packaging Consultant currently working for Hunter Luxury on secondary packaging. My eventual goal is to get back on the customer side of the business.

What is your favorite NJPEC Event & Why? My favorite event is Package of the Year. Not only is it a great year end celebration with peers and longtime friends, but I have also had the privilege of winning awards with my customers a few years. Customers and suppliers alike feel this even is like the Oscars of the Industry!

What is your favorite part of being in the packaging industry? I love the satisfaction of seeing a product I assisted with in development, on the shelves or online for sale. I enjoy meeting new customers and helping them work through a program.

Tell us something about yourself that no one knows? I spent a little of a year learning the sport of curling. I did not like the sweeping part much, but did enjoy gliding the stones over the ice to the target.

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Recap: MakeUp New York 2021

By Chrstin Cupo

MakeUp New York         

September 22-23, Javits Center, New York City

After many, many months of postponements and cancellations, trade shows are back in NY.  To any that attended the MakeUp in New York show last week, it felt familiar yet very different than 2019 and pre-Covid.  The show itself was moved to a smaller venue within the Javits Center, and even then, the 30+ exhibitors seemed to be spaced social distance style to fill the area.   I arrived after 10am, and noticed immediately how light attendance was.  Traffic did pick up throughout the day, as former colleagues and customers caught up in person and met with suppliers for packaging and new formulations. 

Adrian Hook, VP of Sales for Brivaplast, thought the first day “Was well attended and a mix of indie and established larger brands.”  Eyes and brows are still the leading product categories in color cosmetics, and Brivaplast specializes in mascara and lip with a focus on specialty applicators. Brivaplast seemed to be busy most of the day, with 20+ visitors and a handful of meetings planned in advance. 

For the first trade show in nearly 2 years, I felt it was a comfortable start to get back in person.  I look forward to Luxepack NY also at the Javits Center, at the end of October.

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Meet the Board: Angela Hamilton

Angela Hamilton

Our newest Blog series we will be focusing on our hard working NJPEC Board Members. Each of these members volunteers their time to help keep this organization going. Our hope in this series is that you’ll learn a little more about who they are!

Angela Hamilton, Our Golf Co-Chair

How long have you been active on the NJPEC Board: Its been so long… I don’t know 🙂

Where do you work and what is your role there? Display Development Manager, Prestige Consumer Health Care

What is your favorite NJPEC Event & Why? Package of the Year is the BEST! Peter and Karen ensure a first class experience and it is the closest thing to the Annual Holiday Ball NJPEC use to have which was a blast.

What is your favorite part of being in the packaging industry? Comradery. You meet people from all parts of the industry and learn so much more than just your own portion of this business.

Tell us something about yourself that no one knows? I have trained and shown Old English Sheepdogs for 40 years in what little spare time my job allows. Two years ago I become a foster flunky for 2 rescue mix breeds and now switched gears to just dog training. Enjoying the lack of 8 hours of grooming each week since they are what we call a “Wash and wear” breed.