Recipients of this prestigious award are selected by the Alumni Board of the School of Packaging for their support of the School and the University, career accomplishments and community service. The award was first given in 1964 and was known as the MSU Packaging Alumnus of the Year Award until 1995. Pierce is only the fourth woman in the history of the program to achieve this distinction. She was nominated by a distinguished group of alumni, all of whom already have their pictures on the Wall of Fame at MSU.
"The MSU Packaging Alumni Association is pleased to add Joan Pierce to our Hall of Fame, one of the highest honors we can bestow on our alumni. Joan's career demonstrates well the dedication to service, accomplishments, and commitment to high standards that we seek to inspire in our graduates," said Andy Saladin of Orbis, MSUPAA President. "As a recipient of the Hall of Fame Award, Joan will serve as a superb role model for our students and alumni."
Joan Pierce has 40 years of experience in the packaging industry. She was instrumental in the formation of AMERIPEN last year, and she helped set the initial strategic direction of the organization, both as a founding member and as the group's first president. When she retired from Colgate-Palmolive late in 2011, where she served as Vice President of Global Packaging and Vice President of Packaging Sustainability, she was replaced as AMERIPEN president by Gail Tavill of ConAgra Foods, Inc.; she was soon thereafter named AMERIPEN's first Executive Director. In this position, she works closely with AMERIPEN's Executive Committee to achieve the organization's goals, overseeing existing work streams and managing priorities.
Prior to Colgate-Palmolive, Pierce spent 20 years with Eastman Kodak Company, where she worked at the Kodak Apparatus Division, Distribution Division, Kodak Park and Ultra Technologies. She also spent a number of years in sales forecasting and supply chain management, she holds several patents for package design and work flow innovations, and she is APICS certified. Pierce's previous employers include Bausch & Lomb, the Dial Corporation and the Coca Cola Company.
Joan Pierce has served on the industry advisory boards of the MSU School of Packaging, Rutgers University's School of Engineering and the Packaging Science Department of Rochester Institute of Technology. She has been on the board of directors of the International Safe Transit Association (ISTA) for 15 years; she served as President for many years and as Chairman of the Board, 2009-2011. ISTA this year presented her with its highest honor, the R. David LeButt Packaging Education Award. Pierce also was a member of the U.S. delegation to the ISO Subcommittee on Packaging and the Environment.
The Michigan State University Packaging Alumnae Association (MSUPAA) is an active organization that works to stimulate continued interest in and financial support for the Michigan State University School of Packaging, to provide advice, mentoring and financial support to the students enrolled in the School of Packaging, to maintain connectivity for the School of Packaging with other constituencies, and to provide a framework for alumni and affiliates to meet for educational, professional and social purposes.
AMERIPEN welcomes new members to join in the collaborative process of developing the roadmap for a future where packaging is part of the solution to sustainable production, distribution and consumption. The organization's second Annual Meeting of Members will take place June 26-27 at the Waterview Conference Center in Arlington, Virginia. Only members as of April 30 can be accommodated at this meeting.