Sameer is a Senior Manager of External Innovation within the Technology Ventures team at PepsiCo R&D. In this role, he manages PepsiCo’s open innovation platform and strategic partnerships to source external technologies that can impact the company’s wide portfolio of food and beverage products. These technologies can range from packaging materials, ingredients and processing to digital technologies and business model innovations.
Prior to his current role, Sameer held various roles within Packaging R&D at PepsiCo and before that at the Wm. WRIGLEY Jr. Company, successfully leading packaging development for commercial launches of new beverage, food and confectionary products as well as longer term development on new packaging materials and technologies. Sameer began his career in the materials industry working on polymer films and coatings as well as glass and fiberglass for GE Plastics and PPG Industries. He has a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Houston and B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Assistant Director, Global Sustainabilityat
Scott Byrne serves as the Assistant Director of Global Sustainability at Sonoco, a global packaging solutions leader, committed to improving the lives of customers, teammates and communities. With his extensive background in all aspects of environmental management and sustainability, Byrne helps ensure Sonoco is on the cutting edge of sustainability initiatives.
As the Vice President of the American Institute for Packaging and the Environment (AMERIPEN) Board of Directors, Byrne works to further the organization’s goal of leading the packaging industry through advocacy based on science. Prior to joining Sonoco, Byrne was the Market Sustainability Manager for the US and Canada at Tetra Pak, where he was responsible for the implementation of sustainability programs and driving positive stakeholder engagement as the Director of Government Affairs at the Carton Council of North America, a recycling-focused industry group.
Byrne holds a master’s degree in environmental management and sustainability from the Stuart School of Business, Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, as well as a Juris Doctor from the Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology. He is a member of the Florida Bar. Byrne received his bachelor’s degree in business economics and public policy from Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, in Bloomington, Indiana. When not working, Scott enjoys exploring the outdoors with his wife and son and their two miniature schnauzers.
Global Packaging Sustainability Managerat
Starbucks Coffee Company
Jane Tsilas is Global Packaging Sustainability Manager at Starbucks Coffee Company.
Global Director of Packagingat
Church and Dwight Co., Inc.
Rich McNabb has been the Global Director for Packaging at Church and Dwight Co. Inc. since 2015. He has worked in the Packaging Industry for over 30 years and is committed to driving Sustainability. Rich is responsible for Global Packaging Development and Sustainability strategy, working closely with the Church and Dwight Sustainability Council. Prior to Church and Dwight, Rich worked at Unilever in Europe and US, where he was a Global Director for Packaging. He has worked across a number of Global Brands and created packaging Innovations and Sustainability solutions over the course of many years.
Rich is a Mechanical Engineer, having been to university in his home town of Liverpool, UK. He is passionate about finding new innovations for consumers and for the planet and is proud of the great progress that he and his team have already made in support of Church and Dwight’s Sustainability goals.
Director, Sustainability, N.A. Packagingat
Jennifer McCracken is Director, Sustainability for HAVI’s N.A. Packaging service line. In her role, she is responsible for N.A. leadership for HAVI Sustainability, including strategy, alignment, and services.
In her thirteen-year tenure at HAVI, Jennifer has fostered positive impacts for client’s products and supply chain through integrating Sustainability into internal HAVI operations, partnership with Suppliers and industry collaborations. For example, she has initiated a sustainable fiber sourcing program, led the implementation of grease barrier coatings with an improved material health profile, and spearheaded environmental packaging regulatory compliance management. She also developed and implemented sustainability-related processes, tools and reporting to drive continuous improvement, such as ISO 14001.
Jennifer also participates on working groups focused on sustainability issues such as the Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC), where she served as an Executive Committee member (2005-2011), the Foodservice Packaging Institute’s Paperboard Recovery Alliance (FPI PRA) and AMERIPEN (board member 2012-present).
Jennifer holds a M.Sc. in Applied Environmental Economics from the University of London, a B.A. in Environmental Biology from the University of Colorado. Professional certifications achieved include ISSP Sustainability Associate (ISSP-SA), and Sustainable Business from the University of Vermont.
Project Manager - Packagingat
Blue Diamond Growers
Paul Earl-Torniainen is Project Manager - Packaging, at Blue Diamond Growers.
KoolEarth Solutions Inc., USA
Dr. Sandeep Kulkarni is the founder and President of KoolEarth Solutions Inc., a technical consulting and business development company focused on helping companies develop and commercialize new sustainable packaging solutions as well as to improve the sustainability footprint of existing packaging and to reduce/eliminate packaging waste. He is also VP, Plastics and Packaging at Ubuntoo (www.ubuntoo.com), a unique environmental solutions platform to address plastic waste, plastic litter, food waste, sustainable fashion and so on.
Sandeep has over 20 years of industry experience working for several large packaging companies, such as International Paper, Neenah Paper and Georgia Pacific. Most recently he worked for PepsiCo, in the area of sustainable beverage packaging. His diverse expertise includes recycling, bioplastics, paper based as well as molded fiber packaging. Sandeep has 7 granted patents as well as several publications in industry journals. He has also served on conference advisory boards and has delivered several invited presentations, at international conferences, on the topics of sustainability and sustainable packaging. Sandeep serves as an Adjunct Professor at The Packaging School (a spinoff from Clemson University) as well as the North Carolina State University. Recently he was elected to serve as member of the Executive Committee of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC) for 3 year term (2021-2024)
Kelly L. Helein
VP Strategic Accountsat
Kelly L. Helein brings 29 years of executive leadership in the capacity of sales, marketing and business development having worked for specialty paper companies, converters and manufacturers. A self-described highly motivated connector and collaborator, she has extensive experience in driving innovation and growth while working with leading consumer products companies. Passionate about sustainability and the impact of packaging on the global network, Kelly has championed change as the past Board President for the Paper Discovery Center and the Paper International Hall of Fame. She also serves on the advisory committee for Smithers Pira Sustain Pack Europe and US. Kelly previously worked as Vice President, Industrial for Coveris, now TC Transcontinental and now serves as Vice President, Strategic Accounts for Footprint.
Sustainable Packaging Managerat
The LEGO Group
Rose Shulman recently joined LEGO as the Sustainable Packaging Manager. Previously, Rose had been a Packaging Engineer at Hasbro since 2011. There, she is a member of the Sustainability Center of Excellence and helps lead the company’s packaging sustainability initiatives. She is passionate about making the world a better place by designing for the environment and innovating for the future. Prior to working at Hasbro, she was a Packaging Engineer at The Hershey Company. She has an Industrial Design degree from Rochester Institute of Technology.