At its inception in 1991, Excel Packaging was a fledgling manufacturer and distributor of poly-coated papers for food and industrial markets. A quarter century later, the company has expanded to become a powerhouse in the premium flexible packaging industry, having added pet, agricultural, chemical and medical to the markets it serves.
Excel attributes its remarkable, ongoing success to the passion and dedication of all its workers. Today, we’d like to welcome the latest addition to our executive team, Ed Wohlwender, who joined us as COO just this past September and has already hit the ground running.
“I joined a great team of a rapidly expanding company dedicated to great customers,” says Ed.
Mr. Wohlwender landed at Excel after a successful stint at Amazon, where he helped implement their Customer Excellence/LEAN initiative by co-authoring the manual used by Fulfillment Center Managers. He also served as a Start-up Project Manager, leading teams to open five new fulfillment centers within an 18-month period.
Prior to his time at Amazon, Ed served as CEO of POP Displays, which in 2007 was on the brink of collapse following the departure of three different CEOs in as many years. The manufacturer of point-of-purchase merchandising systems for major brands like L’Oréal, Maybelline, and retailers like Walmart and CVS, the company was one of the largest private employers in Yonkers, New York.
Upon taking the helm, Ed had to navigate an already embattled company, now owned by private equity investors, through the treacherous waters of the Great Recession. Fortunately, he had a vision:
“I had to put in a planning organization, re-organize to focus on servicing customers, and handle front-end design and engineering better. We had to restructure how work got done,” he says. His strategy also included executive team building, union agreements, multiple re-financing initiatives, lean manufacturing operations implementation, global supplier development, and an intensive campaign to establish and grow customer trust and loyalty through new product development and superior service.
At his direction, POP Displays executed an immensely successful five-year turnaround that saved jobs and increased profitability. Ed traces his leadership aptitude to his experience at the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he earned his Bachelor’s degree and served as Co-Captain of the West Point Wrestling Team. After six years as a U.S. Army Infantry Officer, Ed enrolled in Xavier University’s School of Business Administration where he received his MBA in Management.
Of all Ed’s achievements, he says nothing compares to the joy of being a family man. “I am perhaps most proud of being married to my wonderful wife, Rosanne, for over 32 years and our son, Tom, a Williams Graduate with his MBA.”
We at Excel are fortunate to welcome an accomplished executive leader with great vision and values. In his words, “This is a great match-up. Excel Packaging is poised to grow with some great customer-partners… I can bring a lot of experience from several industries to an already successful company. It is an exciting time of learning and growth for all of us!”
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves!