Nice to meet you – James A Vangelos
Promat show is just around the corner and we are excited to put a spotlight on the professional team you’re about to meet at the show. Jim brings with him lots of knowledge and experience from the plastic industry, we set down with him for a short interview.
Tell us a little bit about your background and your perspective regarding the world of reusable plastic packaging solutions.
First, I’m very excited to join the Plasgad family that supplies innovative high quality returnable packaging solutions to many industries throughout the world. I have been in the returnable packaging industry for 25 plus years. I have had the privilege of launching the Chep Pallet and RPC programs in produce. I was the Chep’s VP of Produce and Wal Mart. I helped the Chep grow the produce segment from a start up to $100 plus million in less than 3 years in produce and Wal Mart. I launched Hays/Orbis RPCs in the US, as well as Polymer Logistics USA . I was the first employee and CEO at both companies, both were greenfield startups in the US. We generated $40 plus million in the first 4 years. My last project was with Arena Packaging LLC as GM produce developing a unique Banana RPC. The banana RPC is a highly innovative package that required years of development. I’m happy to say that it will be commercial in the USA soon. I was one of the founding members of the RPA (Returnable Packaging Association) in which via the RPA was directly involved in having the sales tax eliminated from returnable packaging in California, I started The Packaging Council for PMA with Ron McCormick than VP Wal Mart Produce (now IFPA), I’m currently on the Logistics and Sustainability councils at IFPA. In addition, I’m on the Cal Poly School of Business Packaging advisory board. My Family has been involved in the produce industry for 70 years. As far as my perspective about returnable packaging, it is the best solution for today’s environmentally challenged world. Eliminating solid waste, lowering the carbon footprint, and improving the supply chain are critical in today’s world, and for future generations. I strongly believe reusable packaging is a must, not an option as a solution for today’s packaging needs.
What are the main challenges reusable plastic packaging having? comparing to alternative packaging solutions. Returnable packaging must show a value in today’s supply chain beyond the environmental benefits.
Customers are looking for both an ROI and environmental benefit. They are looking for packaging/pallet/bin solutions that are unique to their supply chain. The one size fits all solution that the larger companies offer does not adequately address many customer’s needs. One way packaging is still viable, and well entrenched in today’s supply chain, but it’s not the future, it’s the past like the “horse and buggy”. The opportunity is to have a unique offering via Plasgad USA with versatile high-quality American made products that address todays evolving customers’ needs will ensure success in addressing today’s customer needs.
We are living in challenging and unexpected times, but still – what are your main challenges for the coming year?
Covid-19 is mostly over, while it created many challenges for the supply chain in produce and protein it also created a broader need for sustainable packaging solutions, My Goal is to help the industry meet this need, Plasgad USA has done an excellent job developing many different segments that use sustainable packaging, my focus will be specifically on produce and protein. Currently the produce/meat industry is dominated by several larger pooling and manufacturing companies, my goal is to introduce Plasgad USA via high quality products, innovative designs, and a company dedicated to meeting today’s customer’s needs lead by Ido Shifroni CEO USA.
What are the significant tools/elements that you believe will ensure growth in the areas under your responsibility?
Great High-quality products first, marketing support, value, flexibility, innovation, speed to market, customer service, and teamwork. I believe this will be critical to the success of my planned introduction and expansion into produce and protein markets.
Aside from your work and future challenges, how do you prefer to spend your free time?
My Family first, I have a wife of 20 years Ingrid and a daughter Isabella, 18, next my friends, then my hobbies. My main hobby/passion is horseback riding and showing Reined Cow Horses (NRCHA.COM) with my wife competitively (like in Yellowstone the show). My Hope one day is to ride under the Plasgad USA banner once I get my business established. We also raise cattle, goats and chickens as hobbies and I collect antique bottles. I live in an 1880’s converted schoolhouse in Arroyo Grande California on a few acres. I’m history and art enthusiast (especially impressionists). I come from a family of Six with lots of nieces and nephews. My Dad and Mom are still very active travelling all over the world at age 90, However right now most of my time will be devoted to developing Plasgad USA!