Our History

The first RPMA trade show was held on March 2,1990. Before that, manufacturers and distributors of retail packaging products were limited in their ability to network and develop new business on a national level. The only opportunities that existed then were trade shows non-specific to the industry, i.e., industrial paper suppliers and commercial plastics.

The first show was billed, "Where Sun, Fun and Success are all Packaged Together", and was held in Hollywood, Florida at The Diplomat (since demolished).

According to the association's first promotional piece, "Just over a year ago in 1989, a group of prominent retail packaging manufacturers -- tired of exhibiting at shows where their products got lost in the crowd -- decided it was time to have a national show of their own!" Cost to attend was $10 per person or $25 per company! This fee included one industry seminar, "Degradable Plastics" and exhibitor booths numbered less than 40.

RPA Founders

Bob Bartz * Rudy Oswald * Michael Robertson * Ken Trottere * Richard Vogel

First Exhibitors in 1989

  • Berwick Industries
  • Boas Box Co.
  • Bonita Pioneer Packaging
  • BOXit Corp.
  • Climax Packaging
  • Coastline Packaging Inc.
  • The Crystal Tissue Co.
  • Duro Designer
  • El Pac Ltd.
  • Encore Products Inc.
  • Equality/Stribbons
  • Fashion -- Pak & Printing, Inc.
  • First Choice Packaging
  • Maryland Box Co.
  • Old Dominion Box Co., Inc.
  • PCL Packaging Pioneer Giftwrap
  • Plastic Packaging Corp.
  • Printwrap Sales
  • Regal Poly-Pak
  • Seaman Paper Co.
  • Shamrock Giftwrap
  • Shore Manufacturing Co.
  • Sydney Bag
  • St. Joseph Packaging Inc.
  • 3M
  • S. Walter Packaging Corp.
  • Webster Packaging
  • We Package It

 

RPA Conference History 

1990 – Where Sun, Fun and Success are all Packaged Together
Diplomat Hotel, Hollywood, FL - President, Rudy Oswald - Crystal Tissue

1991 – RPMA…The Complete Package
Diplomat Hotel, Hollywood, FL - President, Rudy Oswald - Crystal Tissue

1992
Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, NV - President, Rudy Oswald - Crystal Tissue

1993 – RPMA Has a Package Designed with Everyone in Mind
Buena Vista Palace, Orlando, FL - President, Michael Robertson - PCL Packaging

1994 - RPMA…1994 An Investment Not a Gamble            
Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, NV - President , Charlie Fetter - Shamrock Retail Packaging

1995 - The Magic of Leadership…RPMA
Buena Vista Palace, Orlando, FL - President, Charlie Fetter - Shamrock Retail Packaging

1996 - Navigators of Change     
Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, NV - President, Charlie Fetter - Shamrock Retail Packaging

1997 - In Tune for Tomorrow      
Opryland Hotel, Nashville, TN - President, Bob Nelson - 3M

1998 - Taking the Lead with a Tradition of Strength        
Anatole Hotel, Dallas, TX - President, Carol Sylvester - Liberty Carton

1999 - Success is No Surprise (Celebrated 10th Anniversary)
Disney World, Orlando, FL - President, Edward Miller - Crystal Tissue

2000 - Packaging the Millennium
Las Vegas Hilton, Las Vegas, NV - President, Steve Vance - Climax Manufacturing

2001 - Sell the Sizzle
Fontainebleau Hotel, Miami, FL - President, James Gallagher - Seaman Paper Company

2002 - Blueprint for Results
Rio Hotel, Las Vegas, NV - President, James Gallagher - Seaman Paper Company

2003 - The Power of the Future
Contemporary, Disney, Orlando, FL - President, Larry Edwards - PCL Packaging

2004 - Back to Basics
Rio Hotel, Las Vegas, NV - President, Gordon Summerfield - Summerfield Packaging

2005 - Get Connected
Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, NV - President, Gordon Summerfield - Summerfield Packaging

2006 - Packaging as Art
Rio Hotel, Las Vegas, NV - President, Gordon Summerfield - Summerfield Packaging

2007 - Packaging without Boundaries
Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, NV - President, Gordon Summerfield - Summerfield Packaging

2008 - On Target
Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, NV - President, Ron Watson - Howard Packaging

2009 - Picture This…
Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, NV - President, Joel Zaas - BOXit Corporation

2010 - Packaging & All That Jazz
New Orleans Convention Center, New Orleans, LA - President, Joel Zaas - BOXit Corporation

2011 - Best of Show
Sands/Venetian Hotel, Las Vegas, NV - President, Gregg Julien - Sipac LLC

2012 - Packaging in Paradise
Westin Hotel, Ft. Lauderdale, FL - President, Gregg Julien - Sipac LLC

2013 - Success is in Your Hand
Tropicana Hotel, Las Vegas, NV - President, Deborah Gage Schmitz - Gage & Gage, Inc.

2014 - Silver Memories, Golden Futures
Convention Center/Hyatt, Albuquerque, NM - President, Deborah Gage Schmitz - Gage & Gage, Inc.

2015 - A Winning Deal
Tropicana Hotel, Las Vegas, NV - President, Deborah Gage Schmitz - Gage & Gage, Inc.