Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Have you met Dave?

Most people know Dave Skinner as a business man and anyone who does knows IPB is a big part of his life.  In fact, Ingersoll Paper Box has been his life for over 50 years.  He built this business by giving the customer exactly what they ask for, and by being honest and fair to everyone he meets.  I hate to sum it up like that but he is the most honest and fair person I know. 

Dave and I started working together when I was only 16.  At first it didn’t go well.  He had extremely high expectations, and I was a teenager.  Not a great combo.  But we persevered and got through my tough teenage years - he lowered his expectations (or maybe got rid of them all together!) and all these years later we still have our offices beside each other. 

I am sure the people in the office don’t love it when we get snippy with each other.  They may even find it uncomfortable at times!  But our relationship is a unique one. 

You see, Dave is my Dad.

I started calling him Dave when I was a teenager, not out of dis-respect - but out of respect for those around me at work.  Not everyone needs reminding that he is my Dad.  They all know it.  I don’t need to go around saying it – so now I call him Dave all the time in or out of the office!  Even my kids call him Dave!  Upon his request, he didn’t want Grampa or Poppa!

Dave is well known in our little community.  He is a father to 3 amazing kids, and Grandfather to 6 lovely grandchildren.  He has donated countless hours to coaching different teams, various committees and charities around our town. Marathon runner, speed biker, and general workout King.  Dave is a big proponent of healthy living.  He dedicates a lot of time to helping those living with addiction issues.  Dave is also a cancer survivor (almost 8 years cancer free).

What most people don’t know about Dave is that he is an amazing artist.   For years, I have always seen his little doodles on pieces of paper around his office or on the file folder he is carrying around with him.  But now he is putting his art out there for everyone to see!  Over the years he has used different types of media to showcase his talent, but his latest passion is painting - either with ink or paint, and his work is absolutely amazing. 

If you interested in seeing his work – keep an eye out for it at the Ingersoll Creative Arts Centre, and it’s currently for sale at a store in Toronto (The Arts Market on Queen Street East) – or better yet, drop in and visit him in his studio here at IPB.  We have converted a portion of the second story of our original building into an art studio.  (The rest of the space will be dedicated to a yoga studio/work out area very soon!).

Yes, Dave is my Dad.  Most people I meet wouldn’t have known this – unless of course we are standing beside one another.   

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

To Braille or Not to Braille

We have been providing Braille embossing on pharmaceutical cartons at IPB for many years, so many in fact that I can’t even remember when we started!

In the beginning, the braille was embossed directly on the diecutter.  We had developed a system to check the cartons and it was mostly done by eye. The operators had to be extremely careful during the manufacturing process.  The tooling costs were very high and the set up times were very long.  A lot has changed in our industry and the technology advancements are incredible. 

During my recent travel throughout Europe it was very evident that Braille is much more widely used in Europe than it is in America or Canada - But like most things, it takes a few more years for ideas to be implemented on this side of the pond.

The experience led me to start thinking about how we need to be more prepared for what is coming down the pipe. 2 years ago we purchased a new piece of equipment that brought braille embossing in line with the gluing process.  The system not only embosses our cartons but also checks each box after it has been embossed for 100% accuracy.  It offers a very low tooling cost and almost no extra set up costs are incurred.

So why not put Braille on all of your cartons?  It’s been a question that I have been asking myself for a while now.  There are currently over *1 million Canadians who have significant sight loss.  Having Braille on cartons could help them be more independent in their everyday life. 

Some people believe that Braille is becoming an obsolete form of communication because of technology - but the argument can also go the other way as well.  It is critically important to everyone to have the ability to read and write.  Braille opens the door to literacy, intellectual freedom, equal opportunity, and personal security.

By incorporating Braille as we have with modern technology, we can then provide the consumers with necessary knowledge of the product they are buying, without adding additional costs.

So the question remains, to Braille or not to Braille.  Please ask your IPB sales representative more about this service that we offer.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Latest and Greatest at IPB

Well it’s that time of year when the summer weather starts to cool off; the kids are back to school, and the fall season of tradeshows ramp up.   As much as I have a hard time being away from home and work, I do enjoy seeing the newest technology in the packaging industry.

This year our very own Jeff Brooks, Operations Manager and Brad Orchard, Diecutting and Finishing Area leader went to Chicago’s Print’13 show.  This was promising trip; we have been on the hunt for new quality enhancing equipment and Masterworks (Automatic Sheet Inspection Machine Manufacture) was going showcase their carton inspection system at the show.   Both Brad and Jeff were amazed at the functionality of the machine, and we decided to purchase it and have it delivered and installed at IPB by end of September.

As suppliers to the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries, we recognize that we need to upgrade our capacities in the inspection area and up until this year; there wasn’t anything on the market that would perform the way we needed it to.  But alas, the time has arrived and we are expecting the delivery of our newest inspection system.  The system will scan each box and compare it to our customer approved PDF.  It’s quite amazing!  This machine runs at a very high speed, separates the good product from the bad.  And from what we know, it’s a first for Canada!

As I write this blog today, I am sitting in an airport in Germany. We are here to look at new printing presses. We haven’t decided exactly what we are getting yet, but I am amazed at the technology that can be done during the printing process. I have met some brilliant and inspirational people on my travels – what makes this more exciting for me is that we are bringing all of this knowledge back to IPB to enhance our own facility.
Good things are a comin’!  I can hardly wait to announce the next purchase! 

Stay tuned for more information on these exciting new pieces of equipment.  

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

1st day Jitters…

Now that the first day of school is behind us we can start concentrating on getting ourselves back into the groove of things.  There were so many jitters on the first day that it almost seems surreal to be back in the classroom. 
“The first day of school” was certainly the focus of our dinner time talk last night…excited for meet our new teachers, meet new friends and catch up with old friends and what new expectations we had for the year.

It turns out that my oldest has the same teacher as last year - Which is what he wanted…But now he has come to realize that none of his old friends are in his class.  At first I thought that he was just bummed out about having to go back to school, as the night went on, it became clear that he was very disappointed to be without his friends from last year.

As a parent I struggle with this sometimes.  I understand his frustration and have a knot in my stomach just as he does.  I want to sit and cry too for him.  But I need to remind myself that as the parent, I should set an example and try to take an unfortunate circumstance and turn it into something positive.  Try really hard to swing this into a positive light.

As the night continued, he became more and more upset – typical 10 year old tunnel vision.  He could see that his sister got into a class with all of her friends, and his youngest brother starting for the first time in Kindergarten was hard to compare.

Finally bedtime rolled around. This is the time that I will sit or lay with each of the kids and rehash a little of the day together. They tell me things that normally wouldn’t be talked about at the dinner table. It could be something that happened earlier in the day and it bothered them, or embarrassed them – or just something on their mind. We usually get a lot out during these moments of togetherness and I knew that lying with my oldest this night would be difficult. I had been trying to think of a way to swing his sadness into something more positive.

We started talking about wants versus needs and how they can be very different at times. Sometimes what you want is the complete opposite from what you need. My son struggles in school, which is no secret. So we talked about his time in the classroom and how it will be easier for him to learn without anyone around to distract or bug him. Focusing on friends during recess and lunch and how he will have more fun with his friends in other classes. He is also a very social guy, and I am sure by the end of the week, he will have a whole new group of buddies. But the best part of his new school year was that he got to be with the teacher he really wanted in the first place - Which is a good thing.

Things happen for a reason - Sometimes it’s hard to see the reason when we are confronted with the situation at first, but soon afterwards it becomes clear why we were put into that situation in the first place.  This is a hard concept for my 10 year old to understand, but it sure does make me feel better knowing we talked it through. 

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

This is a question I have often pondered.  Sometimes it’s a hard question to admit the answer, other times it’s easy.  Recently, I was sitting in a potential clients meeting room and I looked up to see this very question on their wall.  I stopped to think about it for a moment…have you ever wondered?  
When I was about 8 or 9 years old my Dad bought me a poster for by bedroom wall.  It said “Dare to be Different”.  There were 20 apples in lines of 4.  All of them were red except for 1, it was green.  When I asked him what it meant he told me it was for me to always remember not be afraid - to be my own person - to make my own decisions, - to dare to be different from the rest.  This was difficult, as a young child my main goal in life was to “fit in”, be accepted, to almost blend in.  I would be horrified if I was pointed out of the crowd for any reason. 

But as I grew up, I began to realize the meaning behind it.  When I was 15, 18, 22 there were choices I needed to make - Choices that would affect the rest of my life.  I could choose to be like all the rest, or take a leap of faith and make my own choices. 

As a parent I see now why he put that poster in my room when he did.  Maybe he didn’t even know it at the time but it would be something that would stay with me for my life.  I have always chosen the path less travelled.  I got my drivers license on my 16th birthday (you could do that back then).  I left my home town for college as soon as I could muster the courage.  Travelled the world with my passport and a backpack and I loved every minute of it and wouldn’t change it for anything.

But as I sit here on my back deck, my husband beside me reading the paper, and 3 kids playing in the backyard, I can’t help but start to think.  ‘What would I do now if I wasn’t afraid?’

This made me think of a good friend who told me about a book she was reading.   Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg.  I had just read an interesting article about it a few days before and was thinking about doing some additional research.  I clicked onto her website, and the first thing I see on her page is the statement “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” 

Enough said, I am going to read this book.  I will tell you what I think of it.  Until then, tell me, what would YOU do now if you weren’t afraid?

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Daddy to The Rescue

This is a tribute to my husband and loving father to my 3 kids.  This is an honest to goodness true story.  It happened to me (us) this morning.

I was getting ready for the day, I could hear the kids downstairs eating their breakfast and getting their day started, everything seemed to be going smooth…until... I heard the very distinct sound of one of them crying.  I could tell it was my daughter without even seeing that it was her.

Moments later, she appears in my doorway, crying, blood dripping from her mouth.  She had a loose tooth.   So loose, that it is ready to come out.  She was sobbing at this point, probably reacting to my facial expression.  Loose teeth are not my thing.  I can be a good tooth fairy, explain to my kids why teeth need to fall out, help brush them (when they are in the mouth) - But show me a loose tooth and I’ll turn various shades of white…Especially when they are turned sideways and go almost horizontal. 

She begins to inform me that she couldn’t go to school like this – and for those of you who don’t know her, losing a tooth for my daughter is an all day ordeal.  We’ve been lucky so far, these types of days have so far landed on a weekend.  She sits in her room and cries about the impending tooth falling out.  As soon as it’s out, she can move on with her day – but truth be told, some have lasted an entire day.  But today was different, today is a school day and she didn’t want to miss out on learning (I kid you not).  So it (the tooth) needs to come out ASAP!  I come to this realization, and my stomach turns.  I knew she was going to ask to unthinkable - Mom needs to pull this one out. (…or do I)

She gives me some tissue and I try to pull. Trying to stay strong, I gave it tug - I have to say I didn’t pull as hard as I could.  I was afraid if I heard or felt that all too familiar pop sound, I may have thrown up.  I tried again, and again.  After the 4th try, she falls on the floor saying “only Daddy can do it, and he’s gone!”

At this point I run to the phone.  My husband works about a ½ hour drive away from home.  I looked at the clock, he would be almost there.  But I have nothing to lose at this point, right?  I give him a call and hope for the best.  He gets on the phone and I tell him what has happened so far.  He asked to talk to our daughter.  Now I have to tell you, my husband is not the kind of person who would normally turn around and come home.  He would usually try and convince me that this can be taken care of at the end of the day.  I only hear my daughter’s side on the conversation.  It’s full of, ‘Yes Daddy’, and ‘Oh Yeah Daddy’ and ‘Ok Daddy’.  She gives the phone to me and all I hear from him is ‘See you in 15 minutes’.

My husband comes home.  Well it actually looks like he is flying in with his cape waving behind him – superhero like.  With a tissue in hand and his little girl on the chair, out comes this tooth and a smile returns to her little face.

As he turns around to leave she runs up to him and gives him a huge hug - but not too long because our Super Hero needs to get to work and our daughter is already distracted with other thoughts...Like how much $ the tooth fairy is going to leaver her tonight.


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Getting Ready for NYC


The office is full of excitement this week as we are getting ready to send the sales team down to Interphex 2013 New York, the leading edge trade show for the pharmaceutical industry in North America.

We have packed our booth, and shined up our tools, and we are all set to see you at you there.

Another Morning – The Art of a Slow Start

Today was a rough start to the day.  We woke late and I knew when I looked at the clock we were going to miss the bus.  As I laid here checking my messages I thought this could go one of 2 ways…  I scream, yell and fight to get us on the bus, or take a deep breathe accept that we are late and drive the kids to school myself.  Not the end of the world…or so I thought, until I broke the news to my oldest who proceeds to tell me that riding the bus was one of his favorite things to do – all this as he stomped away.  Needless to say, I felt like a heel - but on we went.  Got the youngest one dropped off at the sitters, and off we went onto the ‘Big School’. 

As we entered the school it was evident that we were arriving during morning announcements.  Everyone was standing still listening intently.  The office was right in front us and I could see who was talking and what was going on inside.

As I looked through the window I saw a teacher holding up the sign with the words prepared, the principle was holding the microphone for the kids talking.  They were in Grade 1 and making an announcement for an upcoming fundraiser. You could tell it was organized chaos!  The girls were giddy with excitement, singing their songs and telling their stories.  The principle sat very patiently with them, whispering the harder words to them so that the whole school couldn’t hear him through the PA system.  The kindness and compassion shown by the teachers and principal just melted my heart.

It was nice to have a distraction from the all the negative in the world - and this little window of sunshine did wonders for my heart!

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Fun in the Snow

It has been crazy weather these last few weeks in Southern Ontario.  Rainy one day, snowy the next with the sun popping out once in a while.  Being a good Canadian I truly enjoy all 4 seasons.  Fall for its colours and warm cozy sweaters - Summer for the warm sun, long days, and a friends swimming pool! - Spring for all the freshness it brings and - Winter for all the cold snowy days when we wait out the storms snuggled in front of a warm fire, and then head out to the ski hill to enjoy the fresh snow. Those are my favourite times. 

All of my kids are enjoying the slopes this winter.  One sunny winter day, we all headed out for the nearby slopes.  My oldest son was snowboarding with a friend, my youngest son was learning how to ‘snow plow’ and my daughter and I were heading down the hill together.  Now I have to admit, I am not a great skier.  I can get down the hill, turn when I need to and stop almost on a dime!  I can even cut the snow under the ski and get that cool crunchy snow sound when I turn or stop.  For that my kids think I am the coolest. 

On this particular run we were heading down the hill, my daughter was in front of me.  For 7 years old, this girl is pretty brave; she has trick skis (I didn’t know what I had bought at the time) and likes to switch on the fly from going down frontwards to backwards.  As I was following along behind her, I saw that she had cut someone off and was about to do it again – So I had to yell out to her and try to get her attention.  She stopped dead in her tracks and turned to tell me she knew exactly what she was doing (7 going on 17).  As we were continuing on down the hill and talking about what had just happened, I totally wiped out.  This shocked the heck out of me.  I laid there, snow in my face and down my jacket, legs twisted and one ski managed to pop off.  My knee was sending a little yelp of pain (…help), but nothing too severe.  My daughter skied over as quickly as she could to see if I was ok.

I laid there wondering – “Am I too old for this?”  It was only a fleeting thought.  “How could I be too old?”  I am outside enjoying the fresh air with my whole family.  I pulled myself together made sure the chairlift wasn’t full of people laughing, checking out to see who else may have been witnessed my spill on the slopes, and continued on with the run.  What an amazing day with my family.  A little snow in the face is surely the perfect beginning to a lasting memory with my family and I wouldn’t change a thing!

Friday, January 11, 2013

The "Ugly" Christmas Sweater

It's almost tradition, every year at Christmas time the office gang has a lovely potluck lunch. Everyone brings their special dish, we all sit together and enjoy the great food and good laughs. This year I decided to wear my ‘Ugly Christmas Sweater’.
I wore it during breakfast at home with my kids - thinking they would get a kick out of it. To my surprise there was no reaction! Nothing! No funny look, no side glances… Nothing!
I walked into the office and it was laugh after laugh. ‘Where did you get that’ and ‘Did you really make it?’ Everyone had something to say about it.
Afterwards, I went directly from the office to my kid’s school for their Christmas Carol Sing. The children at the school didn't say anything about my crazy sweater, not one of them!
But all the parents and teachers had something to say or were giving me that funny look and side glance. I had to explain to everyone "what" I was wearing – even to people I didn’t know.
Later that evening, I asked my kids at dinner what they all thought of my special outfit. All 3 of them piped right up! Hands down, they all loved it! My daughter went into great detail about why she loved it so much. She thought it was especially beautiful because of the massive Santapicture on the front, with the "pink/purple puffball", but what really did it for her was the bright yellow fringe along the bottom.
You see, she didn't give me that funny look or side glance in the morning, because she loved it! Actually she has asked me to make her one very similar to it for next year.
I guess it's all in what you make of it, like they say -beauty is all in the eye of the beholder
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to All!