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A smart, dedicated, world-class team of packaging, marketing, logistics, materials, design, sustainability and manufacturing leaders. Entrepreneurial, professional, well-connected and
a heck of a lot of fun to work with.
 

 

Ken Eskenazi is the CEO of Innovation To Industry (i2i). He started the company in 2008 to help businesses adopt environmentally sustainable, well-designed, cost effective packaging solutions. As a founding member of Connected Cos., Ken provides creative sustainability strategies, marketing communications and packaging solutions to corporations, communities and government agencies.

Eskenazi’s primary focus is Rapioli, his patented, resource-saving transport packaging system. As the only reusable plastic container (RPC) designed specifically to both ship and protect individual items, Rapioli is ideal for closed loop shipments within a company’s supply chain. Ken led the design effort that created the original award-winning concept – recognized for its innovation by FedEx, Amazon, MBDC and the US EPA. His team at i2i has refined Rapioli’s structural design and produced several sizes, all made entirely from recycled PET. Evaluation and testing are currently underway at large automotive, electronics and biotech corporations nationwide.

Ken cofounded Clean Agency, one of the first full-service marketing firms to view their clients’ business through a lens of sustainability, in 2002. During his tenure he led creative teams on integrated marketing campaigns (“Paper Tells A Story”, an exposé on the true cost of imported paper), brand revitalization programs (Ken put the “eco” in Safecoat) and packaging reduction solutions (Walmart Scorecard consulting and packaging structure and materials recommendations). Clean received national recognition for its efforts, including being named a U.S. Top 25 LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability) Agency in 2006, a sizable development grant from the California Department of Conservation and a Pasadena Recycler of the Year Award in 2007, and designation as a “Hot Business” by Entrepreneur Magazine in 2008.

Prior to Clean, Eskenazi’s 20 years experience as a creative director for ad/design agencies on both coasts allowed him to flex his managerial, business and creative muscles on branding, advertising, packaging, web and marketing. His wide range of past and current clients includes CAA, The City of Pasadena, Coca-Cola, Crystal Geyser, Disney, Goldman Sachs, GreenBiz.com, IdeaLab, McAfee, Mattel, the NBA, NewPage, Oracle, Princess Cruises, Reebok, Sega, Sony, the USGBC, Warner Bros. and many others – including countless startups.

Ken is an award-winning designer, and has work in the Library of Congress permanent collection. He lectures on sustainability topics at colleges, corporations and conferences and has spoken at the United Nations. He also enjoyed teaching graphic design at Art Center College of Design and sustainable packaging at UCLA. Eskenazi is an active alum of the inaugural cohort of the Executive Program for Sustainable Business Management at the Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco. Some years back, he also has also earned a BFA with honors in graphic design/packaging from the prestigious Art Center College of Design and a BA (cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) in French from Occidental College – though he missed President Barack “Barry” Obama by a year or two.


Heather King, Business Development
Heather has extensive strategic planning, sales and consulting experience. She has helped international corporations and non-profits build significant markets. King developed Apple's small business marketplace, their early online capabilities and more recently their iPhoto solution. For years, she was a management consultant developing and supporting new business ventures for Oracle, Disney, Scholastic and Discovery Media. Heather also has extensive experience in the environmental field. She is currently developing and deploying energy efficiency programs for a national network of 2500 non-profits. Heather has an MBA from the Amos Tuck School at Dartmouth and recently completed the executive program in Sustainable Business Management at the Presidio Graduate School. She is a board member of the Society for Environmental Journalists and a leading regional Land Trust.

Barent Roth, Industrial Design
Barent is the co-founder/co-principal of grow-design, a Sustainable to Restorative Industrial Design firm with offices in Los Angeles and Philadelphia, and the Director of Sustainable Works, a non-profit environmental education organization and a project of Community Partners, Santa Monica. Roth graduated with a BFA in Industrial Design from the University of Illinois, and later taught Industrial Design there for several years. After graduating with Honors from the Masters program in Industrial Design from The University of the Arts, Barent taught at UArts, where he created grow-design with fellow faculty member Anthony Guido in 2003. Barent continues to teach environmental material, most recently an Ecological Footprint course for SustainableLA, and Go Green LA.

Matt Minton, Packaging Systems

Matt is the owner of IPAC LLC (Innovated Packaging Automation Company) located in Thousand Oaks, California. IPAC specializes in identifying costly key manual manufacturing processes, then developing and implementing plans to migrate these processes toward automated or semi-automated functions to increase productivity and reduce manual labor. Minton has a strong background in mechanical engineering and printing operations enabling him to fill a niche market that requires the relevance of custom engineering applications combined with the technical knowledge and expertise of the print and apply packaging industry.


Rapioli Advisors

For 20 years, Joel Makower has been a well-respected voice on business, the environment, and the bottom line. He is executive editor of the acclaimed website GreenBiz.com and its sister sites, conferences, and research, all produced by Greener World Media, of which he is co-founder and chairman; he also serves as a senior strategist for GreenOrder, a sustainability management consultancy. Joel is author of more than a dozen books; his newest, Strategies for the Green Economy, was published in 2008 by McGraw-Hill. He also writes “Two Steps Forward” (www.readjoel.com), a popular blog on green business, clean technology, and green marketing. The Associated Press has called him “The guru of green business practices.”

Larry Koester is a chemical engineer with extensive experience in working with equipment and products in the areas of plastics, chemicals, packaging, recycled materials, and environmental products. As the Vice President of Communications, he is also a key member of the Environmental Division of Society of Plastics Engineers. He spearheaded the sales of post consumer, post industrial and virgin plastics both in the USA and in international markets. He has also been instrumental in coordinating marketing efforts of recycled PET beverage bottles and other products. Larry was responsible for licensing of production technology in Asia, and he effectively helped sell 100 million pounds of recycled PET per year into markets in the United States and overseas. Koester holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Nebraska.

Brad McCroskey is the President and CEO of Triple A Containers, Inc. Family owned and operated since 1957, TAC manufactures corrugated shipping containers. Brad has worked in the family business since graduating from USC with a B.S. in Business in 1977. In 2005, McCroskey entered into an agreement to manufacture patented corrugated pallets made from recycled product that is rackable up to 2,700 pounds. Walmart has expressed interest in replacing all of their current wood pallets with this patented recycled one. To give back to the community, Brad encourages his employees to volunteer up to 4 hour per month on company time. Today, Triple A Containers has over 100 employees in California and Mexico, and sales last year exceeded $25 million.

In 1992, Rob Ukropina founded Overnite Express with the idea of picking up after FedEx, UPS and DHL – 9pm – and delivering to California, Arizona and Nevada early the next morning. Overnite Express now provides a two-day service to Mexico. Overnite Express employs over 250 associates and delivers over two million packages annually.
Rob sits on various entrepreneurial business boards, including Whyrunout.com, Baggage Direct, C2 Reprographics, Red Roller, Allyance Communications Networks, United Document Storage, Oyshots, Black Diamond Ventures and the Entrepreneur Mentor Society.


 
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