TLMI Spells Success –Polischuk

This issue of packagePRINTING is focussed on the tag and label printing industry with the cover story on WS Packaging, a State of the Industry report, and a large section devoted to a comprehensive listing of capabilities for both supplier and converter members of the Tag and Label Manufacturers Institute (TLMI).

TLMI is a dynamic organization that is at the very heart of the North American tag and label industry. In many ways success in this industry can be spelled TLMI—for both supplier and converter members. Comments from current members tell some of the story.

Jan Lehigh, Jill Grunst of Alpine Packaging: “TLMI is a unique organization where members work together to find solutions in their businesses.”

Kyle Hoopingarner, sales manager for Seneca Tape and Label: “Simply having the TLMI logo and name represented on our marketing materials has added to our credibility and helped secure new accounts.”

Robert Parker, president of Label King: “Being a small converter I was a bit reluctant to join TLMI with all of the large national converters. As a business owner it is one of the best decisions that I have made.”

This last comment stood out to me mainly because packagePRINTING has the privilege of featuring WS Packaging as the cover story in this issue. WS Packaging is one of the giants in the label printing industry. Now led by CEO Rex Lane, the company has annual sales nearing $500 million, with about 2,000 employees operating more than 175 printing presses in 22 facilities across the U.S. and Mexico.

But just like Label King, WS Packaging was small once (actually small twice). It was formed from two family-run businesses that merged in 2000—Wisconsin Label Corp., founded in 1966, and Superior Label Systems, founded in 1970. At the time of the merger, Wisconsin Label was led by Terry Fulwiler and Superior Label Systems was led by Ken Kidd. These two met soon after Kidd joined TLMI in 1990, with TLMI being the springboard for their successful business relationship (and friendship, which is common in TLMI).

Not only did Fulwiler and Kidd achieve business success, but they both were recognized for their personal achievements by their peers at TLMI. Fulwiler was selected as TLMI Converter of the Year in 2000 and Kidd was likewise honored in 2011.

Label King (founded in 2002) is about 30 years junior to the companies that grew into WS Packaging, but Parker already knows that he made a good business decision by joining TLMI, and who knows what Label King will look like in 2030.

Tom Polischuk, Editor-in-Chief

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