Entrepreneurial Action: From Sustainable Packaging to Plastic Face Shields During a Global Pandemic

On March 7th New York state declared a state of emergency due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and faced with a chronic shortage of personal protective equipment for front-line workers, Connecticut based Curtis Packages started innovating.

Curtis’s management team met to evaluate the situation and plan for the changes needed to continue their operations without losing a single day of work, minimizing furloughs, and ensuring the safety and well-being of all. Curtis team was up for the challenge and energized to take charge.

For 175 years, Curtis has existed as a business-to-business supplier of packaging solutions. Within 2 months of the start of the health crisis, it had become a business-to-customer supplier of plastic face shields. By May 20th, the company had already received orders for 450,000 units and was in discussions with the U.S. government for millions of shields.

Leading the team at Curtis Packaging as President and CEO is UVM Alumni, Don Droppo Jr. Don graduated in 1996 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Marketing and Finance. Since joining the family business in 2003, Curtis Packaging has been listed among America’s top luxury sustainability packagers, is a proud winner of the 2018 UVM Multi-Generational U.S. Family Enterprise Award, and is a certified zero waste to landfill company.

To learn more about how Curtis Packaging shifted from sustainable packaging to plastic face shields in two weeks please read Grossman School of Business, Professor Pramadita (Dita) Sharma’s article at: https://www.stepresearch.org/fambizcovid19-learning-cases-curtis-packaging-from-sustainable-packaging-to-plastic-face-shields-in-two-weeks/