Meaningful connections are crucial to our professional lives. William “Bill” Codo, Vice President of Accord Carton, and Patrick “Pat” Shields, Design Director Americas – Consumer Packaging/Food and Beverage, at West- Rock, understand firsthand the significance of cultivating inspiring and transformative relationships within the paperboard packaging industry.
“Early in my career, when I began my internship at WestRock, at some point along the way, poor Pat, they stuck me in an office with him,” Bill chuckles.
It turns out that sharing that office space with Pat was a stroke of luck for Bill as he discovered Pat’s exceptional talent while having the opportunity to observe his work. Little did they know that their connection would have a lasting impact on their lives.
Life got in the way despite the initial bond, and the two lost contact for many years. However, a fortuitous encounter at a PPC meeting rekindled their connection and reignited their friendship.
A Lasting Impression
Bill fondly remembers working with Pat during his internship, recalling those early days. It was clear that Pat’s unwavering passion for creativity and his journey from the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) to agencies and eventually to WestRock had shaped him into the talented professional he is today.
Throughout their collaboration, Pat witnessed Bill’s leadership attributes, describing him as a lighthearted, intelligent, and eager individual who would take on any task, no matter the magnitude. These qualities have remained a defining part of Bill’s character.
“If you know Bill now, you knew him then. He’s virtually the same guy in so many ways. That kind of lighthearted, smart, engaging guy was the guy that showed up for an internship. Right out of the gate, he stood out because no job was too big or too small,” Pat emphasizes.
The power of connection shines through when Bill and Pat reconnect at PPC meetings.
“We hadn’t seen each other in years before we reconnected at a PPC meeting, and it was like picking up where we left off. He’s that solid of a guy.
“Obviously, he’s changed a lot, but in some respects, he hasn’t changed at all,” Pat reflects. The pair continues nurturing their friendship, attending PPC events together, and reminiscing about old times while appreciating their enduring bond.
PPC: Fostering Connections & Industry Advancement
For Bill, PPC represents more than a professional association. It symbolizes the true power of connection, helping individuals forge friendships, foster valuable business relationships, grow together, and advance the industry.
Through PPC, Bill has built a network of individuals he deeply respects.
“Meeting Pat was such a great experience at a formative time in my life. It’s been a real pleasure to reconnect after all these years and to see him so successful in his career,” Bill expresses.
“PPC continues to allow me to form industry connections and maintain career-long relationships with people I respect.”
Pat echoes this sentiment, emphasizing the efforts and solutions shared among PPC members. PPC meetings are a unique arena of support and encouragement where members applaud each other’s achievements, regardless of affiliation.
“It’s nice to realize that PPC members share many of the same struggles and ideas. I think having those dialogues keeps the fire lit.
“It keeps you striving for more because we cheer each other on when we’re together in those meetings. We can really recognize and applaud work that is well done, even by a competitor,” Pat acknowledges.
Empowering The Future: PPC’s Commitment To Growth
Pat recognizes PPC’s commitment to the next generation with dynamic programs that foster continued interest in our industry like the Student Design Challenge, saying, “The Student Design Challenge is a valuable way to get paperboard in the hands of college students who may not otherwise have considered it a path. It’s a great way to engage them early in their lives and careers.”
As the leading association for paperboard packaging converters and suppliers, PPC believes in the strength and alliances that arise from collaboration and common interest. By providing enriching networking opportunities that foster professional development and industry growth, we help cultivate strong connections like the one shared by Bill and Pat.
PPC nurtures its long-standing members and the next generation of paperboard packaging professionals, exemplifying the true power of collaboration.
Our Fall 2023 Meeting & Leadership Conference is approaching. Are you ready to grow your network and expand upon your professional relationships?
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