The Power of Meeting the Right People

Feb. 28, 2017
Crest of City of Coquitlam

Associated Labels and Packaging is proud to announce our involvement in the Economic Development Advisory Committee with the City of Coquitlam. Last week city councillors voted unanimously to make Jay Ashworth (Marketing and Sustainability Manager) the twelfth member of the advisory committee.

Our company has always been involved in community work in one form or another. Last summer in order to create awareness regarding declining bee and pollinator populations, our company decided to install honey bees on site. Staff are encouraged to assist in taking care of the bees on their free time.

At the same time the City of Coquitlam was implementing a creek restoration project next to our company. Erin Gorby, who was heading the project suggested we join City of Coquitlam’s “Communities in Bloom” national competition. We agreed, and our honey bees and surrounding garden was a stop on the judge’s tour. The city ended up winning the national competition for their population group. Afterwards our company was asked to be on the board for the international competition next year; we happily accepted.

Furthermore when the restoration project was ready, our staff came out with shovels and gloves to help plant native plants. In addition, Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart and Councillor Bonita Zarrillo came by to help. We must give Bonita a big thank you! She pushed us in the right direction which created tremendous momentum.

Bonita recommended that our company join the local Tri-Cities, Chamber of Commerce which includes Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody. We happily joined, and soon after joined the Vancouver Board of Trade. Within the first six months our company was nominated for the Business Excellence Award for companies with 30+ employees. We were happy to make it all the way to the finalist group!

Associated Labels and Packaging was also invited to city hall for the Communities in Bloom award presentation and after party. It was at this after party that we met Eric Kalnins and David Munro, who work for the Department of Economic Development.

The two gentleman came down to our plant and toured the multiple buildings which house our Label, Digital, Flexible Packaging and Application Equipment Divisions.

With over 35 years of experience, our staff often overlook the intricacies of our facility when giving tours. They usually head straight to the largest of our state of the art presses, leaving visitors a few feet from the production entrance. Our guests are overwhelmed by what they see unfolding before them. In the massive warehouses, presses are lined up side by side, by side and spin label stock or film, which turns through a maze of cylinders. All the while colourful inks are being applied to plate material which makes impressions on the substrate. Our plant is truly the Willy Wonka of manufacturing!

After giving Eric and David a whirlwind tour, we started to speak about how our relationship with the city and community grow. We discussed a range of items including how we can continue to be one of the largest employers in the city, as well as new possibilities for expanding our company physically or through awareness. Another one of the values our company takes seriously is the environment. This is why we spent four years developing North America’s first Non-GMO, Backyard Compostable Stand-Up Pouch which is used for things like rice or quinoa. We wanted to offer alternative options to the conventional products seen on the market. David and Eric are such great people; cooperative and understanding.

During our meeting they said they wanted to put us in touch with Dennis Marsden (Councillor), to come and check out the plant as well. In the following weeks Dennis came down and was impressed with the facility, especially our in-house graphic designers.

He was recently working with other tech companies in the city. Dennis suggested we put our name forward to council and become the next member of the advisory committee.

So here we are full circle, in the power of meeting the right people who know where this committee group will take us. We are always looking for ways to connect and we encourage other companies to do the same. Conversations, collaborations and working with others in your industry keeps your company fresh and on it’s toes.

If your company wishes to connect with us, please feel free to do so!

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