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Charlie Harlfinger, Harpak-ULMA Chairman of the Board, Retires

#automatedpackaging--With profound respect and gratitude, Harpak-ULMA announces the retirement of Charlie Harlfinger, long-time Chairman of the Board. Charlie's exceptional leadership and visionary co...

Business Wire

— Industry-esteemed Veteran imbued a legacy of Innovation and Leadership on those around him—

TAUNTON, Mass.: #automatedpackaging--With profound respect and gratitude, Harpak-ULMA announces the retirement of Charlie Harlfinger, long-time Chairman of the Board. Charlie's exceptional leadership and visionary contributions have been pivotal in shaping the packaging industry over the past six decades. Charlie served as President of Harpak-ULMA from 1998 to 2013 and as Chairman of the Board since the company’s founding. His leadership, wisdom, and relationship-building skills have been instrumental in forging enduring partnerships with customers and suppliers alike. Many key customers who are now part of the Harpak-ULMA family were brought in through Charlie’s efforts. His reputation for formulating transformative, customer-centric packaging solutions and high standards for customer collaboration helped to solidify his status as an industry icon.

Charlie's packaging career began when he founded Kutter Supplies in 1974. The company forged a new approach to packaging machines: rather than utilizing traditional relay controls, it utilized programmable logic controllers (PLCs) and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) controls – a first pass at digital transformation. After a merger with TW Foods, TW Kutter became a leader in both meat processing and medical packaging equipment, thanks in large part to those digital capabilities that supported product consistency, audit trails, as well as improved security and regulatory compliance. Charlie's pioneering spirit was evident again when they became the first to adopt on-demand digital printing for packaging, a groundbreaking solution that further solidified the company’s industry reputation for innovation.

In 1994, Charlie’s daughter Linda Harlfinger founded Harpak, which became Harpak-ULMA. Charlie joined as CEO, steering a significant collaboration with G. Mondini to improve the effectiveness of tray-sealed modified atmosphere packaging (MAP). An order of magnitude improvement in MAP Tray-seal results positioned Harpak-ULMA to capitalize on the meat industry’s shift to tray-sealed protein. The company’s dedication to high-quality packaging equipment, reliable performance, and innovative packaging techniques helped Charlie gain the trust of meat processors and retailers nationally. That commitment helped set new packaging quality standards and positioned the company as a leader in the meat/protein packaging sector.

Ms. Harlfinger shared a personal note: “My Dad has been my guide, mentor, and champion. More importantly, he led by example, encouraging an organizational commitment to excellence that made Harpak-ULMA what it is today. There are no words to thank him for all he has done for this company and for me. He set a tremendous example of how to run a business – not only management technique, but from the human perspective. He instilled in me the importance of collaborating with peers, employees, customers, and partners, as well as a solid work ethic, perseverance, and integrity.”

Charlie’s legacy and inspiration will be well-served as the company moves forward under the leadership of CEO Kevin Roach, who joined in 2018. As Kevin assumes the role of Chairman of the Board, his progressive vision for the age of smart manufacturing ensures that the values and principles instilled by Charlie will remain the cornerstone of the company’s culture and success.

Roach commented, “Charlie was my first, most important, and longest-standing mentor. He preached the importance of putting the customer first – and demonstrated that philosophy by focusing our decisions and investments around creating customer value. He challenged us to innovate using technology to benefit our customers. We learned as much from our failures as our successes – and it was that type of environment that helped shape this company’s innovation mindset. Charlie’s invaluable contributions and unwavering commitment helped make Harpak-ULMA a force to be reckoned with. It is with heartfelt appreciation that we wish him all the best in his well-deserved retirement.”

About Harpak-ULMA

Harpak-ULMA is the North American arm of ULMA, a $1B industry leader in complete packaging line solutions for Food, Medical, Bakery, and Industrial products. Harpak-ULMA provides smart, connected packaging systems utilizing Rockwell Automation's controls and information platforms to deliver greater efficiency, uptime, and throughput, as well as better package quality and reduced waste. Well-designed, reliable solutions reduce customers' total cost of ownership, help them overcome the challenges of an aging and evolving workforce, and improve control of maintenance expenses with competitive parts sourcing. In addition to offering ULMA primary packaging systems and comprehensive automation solutions, Harpak-ULMA is the exclusive North American distributor of G. Mondini tray sealers. Harpak-ULMA joined the Rockwell Automation Partner Network in 2018 as part of its initiative to build and deploy smart, connected packaging solutions.

Contact Joshua Allen at Joshuaallen@harpak-ulma.com

Fonte: Business Wire

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