Terry Fulwiler, CEO of WS Packaging Group, is the 2010 winner of the R. Stanton Avery Lifetime Achievement Award. He was selected as the overall winner by the international label industry judging panel at the FINAT Congress in Valencia, Spain. The award is sponsored by Avery Dennison.
Fulwiler joined his father’s company, Wisconsin Label Company, located in Algoma, WI, USA, in 1972 when there were 25 employees. He served in a variety of management positions leading to his promotion to CEO in 1987 upon his father’s retirement. He is credited with the decision in 2000 to take the company from a mid-size player in the tag and label industry to the next level with the merger of Wisconsin Label with Superior Label Systems, Mason, OH, USA, which then resulted in nine company acquisitions in the last nine years. Now employing nearly 1,800 people at 17 locations across the US and Mexico, the company produces high-quality printing, flexible packaging, and promotional products, as well as new and innovative products to the label and packaging industry.
Fulwiler says he believes in hiring good people and helping them to do their best by getting them to enjoy what they do. He believes in giving credible people a challenging job to do and then reward their success, thereby reducing employee turnover. WS Packaging Group, he says, continues to act as a family business, and has shared financials with employees since the early 1970s.
He believes strongly in new printing technology and business improvements, such as the latest proofing systems or press equipment and Lean Manufacturing, and continues to reinvest in the business with significant annual capital expenditures as part of his long-term business strategy. His leadership has driven label industry innovation through web-based ordering systems and customer interface management as well as through the development of RFID technology, which was expanded in a joint venture with European-based ASK Corporation.
Fulwiler is active in the Tag & Label Manufacturers Institute. He is chairman of the board for Bellin Hospital, on the board of directors for several businesses in Wisconsin, including the Green Bay Packers football team, and serves in an advisory capacity for various local organizations and groups.