Thursday, November 13, 2014

Change is Good…

Every couple of years I like to change my hair style.  I don’t know why.  I just like the change.  I’m not talking subtle changes, I’m talking going from long to pixie cut and back again.  Now the back again always seems to take forever.  But if you do it with sort of funky style, the change seems to happen over a few months.  Believe me there are days when I curse my hairstylist and my crazy idea for change. 

Change is good, and at times necessary.   IPB has certainly changed a lot this past year.   Not only have we changed the face of IPB, but also our capabilities.  We have overcome many challenges.  New and great challenges….and the greatest part of all – I knew that our team was up for that Challenge!  We’ve all faced the change with own style and have made it our new normal. 

One year ago this coming week, we signed the deal with KBA to bring in a new Printing Press and I knew that would spark a chain reaction – a chain of changes.  We all looked at each other, held on and jumped in.  1 year later, I couldn’t be more proud!

Last week I wrote about winning an award from Ingersoll’s Chamber of Commerce.  I came back to the office with the award and was ready to present it to the team.  I got up in front of everyone and thought I would be able to keep it together.  I wanted to share with them how lovely the evening was, talk to them about what I said when I accepted the award on behalf of the team, I stood before the group of people that help bring my crazy ideas to life.  I was overwhelmed with emotion and started to cry – yes a girl moment!   I walked off the stage shaking my head wondering why is it when I have an emotional moment - I cry.  It wasn’t until the next day when I walked out into the plant to see what was happening that day, that people came up to me and gave me a hug and told me that they were proud to be a part of the IPB team that I understood it.  It’s ok to show your softer side – some emotion, and yes maybe show them your ugly crying face. 

I spend a lot of time with these people, and I consider them my family.  We celebrate together – and cry together (good or bad).  We are in this together for the long haul.

Last night I was invited to go to the Canadian Printing Awards.  An exciting night to celebrate and share what is happening in the printing industry.  Recipients received awards for lifetime achievements, up and coming leaders and innovation.   There were also a number of judged categories.  It was my first time at such an awards presentation.  But certainly re-affirmed the changes we have made and will continue to make in the year (s) to come!

I certainly walked away with a number of new ideas to add to my Vision Board.  I love change!  And a good challenge – don’t you?!?

Friday, October 31, 2014

And the Winner Is….

Ingersoll is a home that I have grown to love.  As a young adult, I could not wait to leave the town limits and move to the big city.  But, soon realized when it was time to raise a my own family, I couldn’t think of anywhere better to raise my children. 

Ingersoll offers the best of both worlds – we are a short drive to major cities, but can experience all the wonderful joys a small town as to offer.

Last night was a night that I will always remember - Ingersoll Chamber of Commerce hosted their Annual Awards of Excellence evening.  It is a night I always look forward to - where members nominate businesses and owners for different awards.  Ingersoll Paper Box Co. Limited was awarded the Industry of the Year for 2014.  What a proud moment!

But before the awards were handed out, our newly re-elected mayor spoke about all the great things happening here in our town.  We have one of the lowest unemployment rates in Ontario.   There are businesses expanding, and new opportunities coming to the community.  We have new parks building built, and wonderful festivals bringing people back into the community.  It’s encouraging to hear the town be spoken of in such a positive manner.  Because it’s way too often we get dragged down by the negative.

In addition to our award, there were four other awards presented.  Business of the Year (The Bakery CafĂ©), Business Person of the Year (Brenda Hendry), Youth Citizen of the Year (Sarah Cameron), and Citizen of the Year (Adam Funnel).  The award winders all exude what living in a small town means to us – they are giving back to the community each and every day.

It was a wonderful evening. What a nice way to be recognized for all our hard work - We have done so much this past year!  Added an Inspection machine, new proofing and prepress systems, had an office facelift, and installed our new KBA printing press!   

So much to be proud of…which makes receiving this award from our community so much more special.

Thursday, October 09, 2014


Translation: OH MY GOSH ARE YOU FOR REAL? Smiley face

Ok, so here is something to think about…

This past week found me in the great city of Chicago at an annual industry tradeshow.  Nice to get out of the office, see what’s new, make some new contacts, and catch up with some friends.  It is always interesting to see how the industry is evolving.  Where years ago, this show was multi leveled with huge machinery at every exhibit.  Now you see the digital world is in fact taking over.  With everything digital, you can add so many interesting FX to packaging.

You see what I just did there – FX = effects.  Acronyms are becoming such a common way of writing, advertising, and texting.  In dealing with many different industries over the years, you become accustomed to seeing acronyms that are specific to their own office or industry.  However, I have to admit reading some texts these days is starting to make my brain hurt.  Is this truly the way things are going?  I am such a “long winded texter”, must drive people nuts? 

Typically, I feel like I am pretty current with new trends, and kind of ‘in the know’ on sayings.  But when I was out with a friend having drinks after the show, waiting for another friend to join us, she texted – and ended it with – “LMK”.  We were stumped.  I know LOL, TTYL, BTW, LMAO, G8, ISO, and a few others, but LMK…???  She really had us stumped.   

It’s no different than being behind a vehicle with personalized license plates.  Some are real head scratchers but I love trying to figure them out, makes for a nice road trip game with the family.  LMK really made me think! 

We finally sorted it out – Let Me Know… It got us laughing at how 3 simple letters could be so difficult to understand.  But it also got us thinking - more making fun of ourselves.  It feels good to laugh at yourself, sometimes it’s needed. 

Is this really where things are going?  Have all our English classes gone to waste.  OMG – I sound old….or perhaps someone who just doesn’t want to lose the art of writing the language we speak.

This morning I got up and thought, there can’t be that many texting acronym’s– but nope, wrong again!  There is a whole dictionary on texting with acronym’s!  WTH!!!???

So I have included the links to the better sites I found.  Just to help keep you all current!  LOL!   Happy Reading.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Great Expectations

I was driving my son to his guitar lesson the other day when I casually asked if he practiced much in the past week.  I knew the answer – it was a rhetorical question.  I knew the guitar had sat in the exact same spot he left it after his last lesson.  I’m not sure what I was expecting to hear.

You see he saved up his money and bought the guitar himself.  I told him if he wanted to play guitar he could pay for the guitar, and I would pay for lessons.  I thought this would be a good compromise and would encourage him to work at it.  I figured by doing this, he would appreciate the value of the instrument and not want to waste his money.  I expected him to want to learn how to the play the guitar whole heartedly.  But he is 11.  And he loves life, sports, being outside on his bike, playing with his friends.  Not sitting inside playing his guitar.

So it lasted 3 weeks.  We are now into week 7.  The guitar is left alone, more than it is played - I understand that it is a busy time of year for an eleven-year-old, but is it not always.

I got a little upset about his lack of practicing.  And then I asked myself, what was I expecting?  Had I voiced my concerns to him?  Had we talked the whole thing through?  We started guitar lessons in the middle of summer!!!  What was I thinking?!?

Expectations are a funny thing aren’t they?   It is no different from making “assumptions” (remember; when you assume, you make and Ass out of U and Me).   An expression my grade 8 teacher reminded the class of repeatedly!  I looked up the word ‘expectation’ in the dictionary it means: a strong belief that something will happen or be the case in the future.  A belief that someone will or should achieve something.

And then I read something pretty profound:

When we let expectations rule our lives, we set ourselves up for disappointment.  And then we judge ourselves for it!

After thinking about this for a while, I couldn’t help but remember a funny story my parents had shared with me.  After their wedding and on their way to the honeymoon destination my father realized there was only one suitcase.  Surprised that all of their things could fit into one case he casually mentioned it to my Mom.  He had fully expected she was going to pack his things for their week away.  Funny how expectations can lead to disappointment….It must have been a great way to start their honeymoon!

It wasn’t too long ago, when I would often think people around me had their own expectations of what they wanted me to do and I didn’t want to disappoint them or myself.  So I stayed the course and didn’t do anything that would create too much unwanted attention.  However, I found myself struggling internally and constantly judging and feeling disappointed.   You see, at the time I thought it would be best if I were a wallflower type.  I always worried about how I would be judged if I broke the mold that people had set out for me.

In the last few years, I decided to chart my own course.  Break free from the chains of what people expected me to do, and jump in feet first.  I have learned (as corny as this sounds) the path of life is similar to that of a river; a constant stream that keeps moving.  Sometimes the current is strong and things move fast, other times, it is slow and steady.  And then there are times where you just need a break and you lay on the bank for a bit.  Dry out and get ready to jump back in.

I have learned that doing something like this requires trust.  Trusting that you can do it.  Trusting that letting go of the expectations and going with the flow just might bring things to the table you may have never have thought of or even imagined before.  Or ever had the guts to do!

We are at the 7 week mark of the guitar lessons, I have to remind myself that I cannot set expectations on a kid who has no idea what I am expecting of him.  So last night we sat and chatted about how we were going to move forward and how we can do this so he is prepared and I don’t feel like I am wasting money so he can re-learn the same chords over and over again!  

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

What is unique about you?

Each of us is unique in our own way.  Some of us like to show off our uniqueness and others like to keep it to themselves.  I asked some people at work what makes them ‘unique’.  Most people thought it was the hardest question they have been asked in a while.   While other’s smiled and had an answer straight away.  Here are some of the responses I received today:

“No matter where I go, I love to find a connection to someone I know already, you really get to know someone and then you have something to talk about!”

“I love to do woodworking in my spare time”

“I am probably the biggest neat freak you will ever meet and I married someone who is exactly the same way!”

“My laugh”

“My ability to help people through tough situations”

“I love to wear funky socks – the less they match my outfit, the better!”

Sometimes we forget that these unique abilities are what make us special.

What I was reminded of today was that we have a great team here at IPB - People who shine in their own special way.   What is our own unique ability? 

Don’t forget to embrace it, love it and share it!

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Good things are happening at “The Box”…

I sit here reflecting and am filled with such gratitude.

On June 19th 2014, IPB thew open the doors and welcomed customers and suppliers inside to see all of the great investments we have made in our workflow over the last 2 years.  June 19th is a day I will never forget.

I knew the day we purchased the KBA, that we needed to host an open for customers and suppliers.  Just looking at the new press in action is exciting - The KBA is a beast, and looks like a rocket ship – such a beautiful piece of machinery. Not only does the KBA look great, it does the most amazing stuff!  When we bought it, I knew the magnitude of what was coming and what it would do for us.  It was our time to shine and put IPB in the spotlight!

What started with just a concept very quickly turned into an extraordinary event.
On a plane ride home from a show in New York - Jess and I put the finishing touches on the invitations.  It was at the same show that we saw fancy coffee and tea served that we thought we should do the same thing at IPB with a ‘travelling Barista!’.  The ideas just started rolling and everyone was eager to get involved.  From one great idea to another- the event was starting to take shape.   My brother and sister-in-law offered to play swanky jazz music (live and in person!).  Everyone agreed we needed to design and do our own printed promo items to help show our guests just how incredible this new press is.  

A fellow print industry friend suggested we have a guest speaker and referred us to Eric Frank, VP of Marketing and Product Development at KBA. The theme of the day was VIP – Value in Packaging, Value in Partnership.  Eric’s talk during the day hit on both of those aspects.  He spoke of the investments IPB has made not only in KBA, but over the last 5 years, in our company, in the community and in our people.  He was truly an inspiration. 

During the planning process, one of our suppliers approached me because they had heard we were going to do something special in the coming months.  They wanted to help and be a part of it in some way.  I was blown away by the request and thought, “what a great way to get everyone involved!”  We asked other partners that we have worked with over the years to be a part of the day as well. What an overwhelming response we had.  Suppliers are a key component to running a successful business; and our suppliers have been a part of the day-to-day business at IPB for years, and what a great way for them to learn about what we have been doing!  And be a part of our success.

It was the positive response from our customers that really helped push this event forward!  We had close to 75 customers walk through the front doors during our open house event.  I was thrilled that they would make the time to drive to our facility and spend a couple of hours with us. 

It was 92 years ago that Ingersoll Paper Box Co. Limited was started.  We will never forget where we came from, and are always looking ahead to our future .   With great employees, customers and suppliers we have with us - I am again filled with such gratitude.

From the bottom of my heart – I wanted to say to thanks to everyone who joined us and helped make IPB what it is today. 

Thursday, May 01, 2014

My Own Breakfast of Champions

Over the years, I have sat down numerous times to write about something that I am sure has affected many of you. Mental Illness…Yup, you read that right.

Today I was at the Breakfast of Champions for the CMHA (Canadian Mental Health Assoc.).  I have been going for a couple of years now and it has always been an inspiring experience.  There are usually 5-10 nominations for the Champion of Mental Health Awards, the nominee can be for an individual person or groups of people who have contributed to promoting mental health awareness, have raised funds, or have helped those struggling and for those who struggle themselves.  In my eyes, all of the nominees are winners. 

The breakfast ends with a speaker, someone who has been affected by mental illness. Last year was Clara Hughes (Canadian Olympian), and this year it was Chantal Kreviazuk (singer/songwriter/performer).  Hard to compare the two, both were equally interesting to hear how mental health has affected them.

While listening to Chantal speak about how mental health has played a role in her life, I realized I didn't need to tell my story completely.  I just needed to put it out there that “everyone is dealing with something”.  We can all be our own Champion.  It’s up to us to decide the role it’s going to play in our lives

If we are honest with ourselves, in some way we are all affected by mental illness.  So when you really think about it, there is a good chance that the person walking by you on the sidewalk may be dealing with their own struggles, or know someone who has.  It certainly makes you look at everyone differently.  Most likely, they are having the same thoughts about it as you – it makes you feel "not so alone".

Everyone has a story - just know that I have been affected, been in pain and feel the heartache.  But at the same time I am so grateful for this learning experience and what wonderful things all of these people have brought into my life

Thursday, March 06, 2014


It was a few years ago when we received our first invitation to the Sleeping Children Around the World breakfast fundraiser at The Royal York in Toronto.  A customer sent us an invitation and we got a couple of tickets and headed to Toronto to check it out.

Not knowing what to expect – we listened to the presentation and boy were we surprised.  Our Sales Rep, Ryan Walker came back wondering how he or we could do more.

Sleeping Children Around the World (SCAW)is a not for profit organization that believes that all children deserve a peaceful nights sleep.  Started by Murray and Margaret Dryden (parents of the famous hockey players). 
After a long and successful career, the Dryden’s life took an interesting turn.  Murray had taken to travelling and had found himself in India.  After a long day of travel, he was looking for sleeping accommodations for the night, and as he walked along the street, he found himself tripping over something he didn’t even see.  When he realized he had fallen over a sleeping child in the street, it brought him back to the days of the depression in Prairie country in Canada, where he himself had to do without the comforts of a proper bed.

It was his passion for change and the support of his wife that an idea brought forth to the YMCA in India would see the organization start to take shape and their first trip to an orphanage to distribute ‘slumber kits’.  Their intention was that each child selected would receive a mattress, bedding items, some new clothes and some basic school supplies.  They also insisted that each bed kit would be made or bought from items with in the area of distribution. 

44 years later, SCAW has touched the hearts and hands of over 1 million children throughout 34 countries. **

It has been 3 years since that breakfast; we have been going every year and have personally purchased bedkits to send to the next distribution trip. However, what Ryan decided next would touch so many others lives.  He decided to sponsor his sister to go on a distribution trip.  After many interviews and a long waiting list, it was confirmed that she would be going to the Philippines this spring 2014. 

Ryan mentioned to me that his sister would be going on an upcoming trip and asked if we (IPB) would be interested in listening to her story and sponsoring her journey.  As we talked a little further, our team planned for a lunch time fundraiser, penny sale and raffle prizes.  IPBer’s are a very generous bunch of people and I was hoping that they would see the greatness that this organization does around the world.  Friends and families were invited and we had a packed house! 

We also invited another volunteer (Mike Foster) with SCAW to come to IPB and talk about what the organization does around the world.  It was when Mike said that a family receiving a bedkit was as if they were receiving gold - it dawned on me the impact of having these essential items in ones life really means.  In most of our homes, everyone has the warmth of a soft and cozy bed, but for many in other countries only a few can afford this luxury.  Or that children cannot go to school unless they had a school uniform, and the bedkits would include 2 sets of clothes (school uniform in most cases).  Most days I feel like it’s a fight to get my kids out the door to go to school! 

The words that were spoken touched so many of us, and our chilli lunch was an overwhelming success.  With just a few weeks to plan and put on the event, everyone chipped in and pulled off a great day.  It was one of those days that made us go home and think WOW! 

After the money had been counted IPBer’s raised whopping $1065!  I couldn’t have been more proud of our group.  And what adds to this is that Ingersoll Paper Box Co. Limited will be matching whatever was raised.  So in total we will be donating a total of   $2163.  This means we will be able to buy 60 bedkits to send with Sandy.

As I was lying in my warm bed that night thinking of the comments made by Mike, and Sandy it certainly put things into perspective.  There are some amazing people of out there doing amazing things with their lives and because they are spreading their message, we in Ingersoll will be affecting the lives of 60 families - Something to be proud of.

I feel that this is just the start of something greater we will be doing in our future!

** information taken from

For more information on Sleeping Children Around the World, or to make a donation, please visit their website

Thursday, January 23, 2014

It’s all in how you look at it.

To most people they would say who would dig such a big hole in your factory floor?  Well, we say why not! 
No, it’s not a new lap pool (however some would like that), nor a fishing pond for break time (a whole other crew would like that).  This is the future site of our new KBA Rapida 106.  Coming from the factory in Dresden Germany, this multi-million dollar investment is extremely exciting for Ingersoll Paper Box Co. Limited.
So, it’s all in how you look at it, some might see a big hole, some might see a lot of dirt, I see progress and everyone at IPB is pumped!
Stay tuned for more news on our latest upgrade at IPB!