Virtual Event 2020

 The 2020 AutoPack Summit went completely virtual due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The team was able to bring our audience 10 free presentations and webinars over Q4 of 2020. Our online events allowed many newcomers to attend the presentations and participate in virtual discussions from all over the world.


October 7 | Running Out of Floor Space? Solutions for Optimizing your Facility
Rob Schaftenaar
Diverse Global

October 8 | Optimizing Wheel and Battery Packaging
Dominic DiPilato and Nate Franck

October 13 | Incorporating Packaging Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) Into Packaging Design Selection
JJ Webb and William Murray
Cummins Inc.

October 15 | Driving Automotive Forward: Innovative Solutions and Customized Programs for the Automotive Industry
John Lasitter, Joseph Novak, Larry White, Travis Evans, Todd Meadows
IPS Packaging and Automation

October 16 | Systems Approach to the Design and Fabrication of Automatic Loaded Steel Racks
Werner Els
BMW South Africa
October 22 | Insights from the Bodyshop and Assembly Line
Scott Grooms, Paras Gudka, Amy-Catherine White
BMW North America

October 29 | Are High Gloss and Painted Parts Damage Increasing Rework Costs? Learn How the Super Microfilaments of Evolon Materials Extend Dunnage Life
Eva Welsh
Freudenberg Performance Materials

November 10 | The Future of Supply Chain: Integrated Real-Time Descision Support Systems (DSS)
Yash Bhatia
Datos Technologies

November 18 | Introducing Reusable Packaging: Considering All Angles
Itha Venter

December 15 | Supply Chain Management Today
Brenda Cox
Supply Chain Management Consultant

2020 Speakers, Presenters, and Panelists

JJ Webb

JJ is the Global Packaging Director for Cummins Inc. and holds a B.S. degree in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University.  

She has worked at Cummins for 25 years where she has enjoyed the opportunity to work across many business segments and locations globally.  Her experience developed through holding positions in Quality, Industrial Engineering, Manufacturing, Transportation, Warehousing, Materials and Account Management blended perfectly for the Packaging Leadership position she has been in for the last 5 years. JJ is working to establish the global Packaging Engineering function with a specific focus on integrating environmentally sustainable packaging design solutions and processes through the end to end supply chain. This has been some of the most challenging and rewarding work of her career.


Nate Franck

Nate Franck has been involved in the reusable packaging industry for nearly 20 years. He graduated from the University of Kansas with a BS in Mechanical Engineering. 

Over the last 10 years he has held various executive roles as head of New Product Development and as the CEO of a large injection molding company.  As the VP of Sales at Trienda, Nate and his team have launched an aggressive product development campaign to help find solutions for the automotive sector, especially to help develop new products to help safely ship batteries and securely ship many automotive components anywhere in the World.  Trienda’s latest suite of battery dunnage solutions will help change the way people think when it comes to helping companies reduce transportation costs, improve safety, and increase overall operational efficiencies.  


Brenda Cox-Sinclair

Brenda has worked in materials, electronics, and automotive industries for 42 years, the last 25 years at BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC. She began at BMW in 1993 as one of the first employees to begin in the new Plant.


Her department managed 700 suppliers and approximately 25,000 part numbers. Brenda graduated from Furman University in South Carolina with a BS degree followed by postgraduate studies in Materials’ Engineering at Clemson University. In previous assignments, Brenda maintained certifications in Quality Management, Quality Auditing, Lead Assessor ISO 9000 as well as serving on various boards and committees of the American Society for Metals, American Society for Quality and Society for Automotive Engineers. She has served on the Science Board at Furman University as well as their President’s Advisory Board and the Continuing Education Board at Clemson. In the past she lead the Diversity Initiative at BMW MC as well as mentoring high school students.


Dominic DiPilato

Domenic DiPilato recently joined TriEnda as the Director of Automotive Sales for its Material Handling division. 

For nearly 20 years, Domenic has been relentlessly focused on sales and supply chain management while developing reusable packaging solutions that help companies maximize operational efficiencies and lower transportation costs across a variety of industries including automotive, retail, and food service. Domenic’s diverse background will serve him well as TriEnda continues to challenge the status quo and design innovative material handling products that bring quantifiable value to automotive OEMs and tier suppliers worldwide.


Scott Grooms

Scott is a graduate of Clemson University Packaging Science with an emphasis in Distribution and Transportation. 

He has worked at a packaging supplier as well as two Automotive Manufactures. He is currently the interior packaging planning lead and packaging project lead at BMW in one of the assembly halls in Plant Spartanburg. He enjoys testing the waters for new ideas and innovations so that packaging damages, inefficiencies, and costs are minimized.


Rob Schaftenaar

Having practically been raised on the manufacturing floor, Rob has been around returnable packaging his entire life.

He graduated from Grand Valley State University with a Business Management degree in 2010, and has been with Diverse Global in his current role as Senior Account Manager for 5 years. His focus is to develop customer relationships and to help analyze their packaging needs, as well as to look for opportunities for customers to save money by implementing new packaging designs. One way he achieves that is to help those with space constraints optimize their facilities with the use of the newly patented RZR Rack.

Amy-Catherine White

Amy-Catherine graduated from the University of South Carolina Aiken with a Business Management Degree in 2000. 

She has been working in the automotive industry for 19 years at BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC. For the last 10 years she has been supporting the supply chain planning department with creating direct delivery concepts, managing parts, supporting evaluations, and leading projects.


Paras Gudka

Paras has 8+ years of experience in automotive packaging.

His work experience includes 5 years of work at an automotive packing supplier and 4+ years at BMW as a Packaging Engineer. He is currently working at BMW Manufacturing LLC for the Packing Planning Department.


Eva Welsh

Eva is a Market Manager with a 20+ year history of working in the textiles industry.


She graduated from North Carolina State with an undergraduate degree in Textile Engineering and an MBA in Innovation and Marketing. Today she is the North American Market Manager of Evolon and has been with Freudenberg Performance Materials for over 10 years.


Joseph Novak

Joe graduated with a B.S. in Packaging Science from Clemson University. He has over 3 years in the packaging engineering industry and has worked at IPS Packaging and Automation for over one year as a Packaging Engineer.


Travis Evans

Travis has a B.S. in Business Administration from The Citadel. He has over 18 years of packaging industry experience with IPS Packaging. He works today as their Equipment Division Manager.


John Lasitter

John graduated with a B.S. in Packaging Science from Clemson University. He has over 3 years of experience with IPS Packaging and Automation and over 7 years in the automotive packaging industry. Today he works at IPS as their Packaging Engineer Manager.


Todd Meadows

Todd is a graduate of Ferrum College in Virginia. He has over 14 years of experience in industrial sales and 9 years of experience at IPS Packaging and Automation. Today he works as the Division Sales Manager — Orangeburg, SC.


Larry White

Larry has over 8 years of experience working in the packaging industry and over 3 years at IPS Packaging and Automation. Larry works as the Division Sales Manager — Fountain Inn, SC. He is also a US Army Veteran.


Werner Els

Werner works for BMW South Africa as the Section Leader: SKD Program Planning, Production Control, and Long Term Planning. After working for BMW on an international scale, Werner is an expert in process efficiency. His presentation will walk through his 9-step approach to design and analysis and quality assurance processes.

Yash Bhatia

Yash founded Datos Technologies bringing years of expertise in data analytics and optimization technologies from having designed, implemented, and managed optimization projects for several Fortune 500 companies.


Yash has worked across a diverse set of industries with majority in automotive supply chain and logistics. He contributes his time to promote data science and technology through speaking engagements in events such as the 2019 SC Logistics and Aerospace Tech Talk,  2018 SC Logistics Warehousing and Distribution, and 2017 SC Supply Chain and Quality Conference organized by the SC Competitiveness Council. 


Itha Venter

Itha obtained a BSc degree in Mathematics and Statistics with a minor in Computer Science. 


She started her IT career contributing to software implementations in South Africa, the United States, and UK mainly in the Automotive industry. Process Improvement and Project Management consulting for manufacturing companies morphed into consulting for Logistics Service Providers with the opportunity to lead process and supply chain designs in the US and Southeast Asia. 


William Murray

William graduated from Clemson University in 2018 with a degree in Packaging Science. 

Since graduating, William has worked as a packaging engineer with Cummins, in which he is a member of the Cummins Global Packaging Team and supports the Cummins Fuel Systems Plant, and the Seymour Engine Plant. In his role, William has worked with Life-Cycle-Analysis programs to provide insight on packaging impacts to the environment.