Kloss Distributing, Gurnee, Ill., kicked off 2021 by going solar. The beer distributor partnered with General Energy Corp. (GEC) to provide a turnkey solar solution that covered 100 percent of the company’s electric needs. The company designed and installed the 700 kilowatt solar system, managed the connection to the electric grid, and helped the distributor apply for incentives through state and federal renewable energy programs. In business since 1973, the Kloss family expects the solar installation to save the company $70,000 a year in electric costs while making its operations of moving more than 4 million cases of beer, wine and soft drinks to 1,500 locations across Lake Country much more sustainable. As President Mike Kloss put it, “It’s a good business decision and great for the environment.”

During January’s National Human Trafficking Prevention Month, San Antonio, Texas-based Silver Eagle Beverages, one of the nation’s largest Anheuser-Busch wholesalers, partnered with the National Beer Wholesalers Association for an awareness training to educate employees on recognizing and reporting the warning signs of human trafficking. Silver Eagle Beverages’ efforts are part of a nationwide campaign to help combat human trafficking in communities across the United States.

Reusable Packaging Association (RPA), Tampa, Fla., announced its new board leadership for 2021. After serving his term as chairman of the board, Michael Wasson, chief operating officer at Tosca, passed the gavel to Ben Stoller, executive manager member and global chief executive officer of the Paxxal Group, as the new chairman of the executive committee. Kevin Mazula, chief executive officer of RM2, now is vice chairman, and Samantha Goetz, marketing communications manager of ORBIS, is secretary-treasurer. The annual RPA election also resulted in four new board members and three returning directors starting a two-year term. The following are those members: Graham Connor, senior vice president of sales and customer support at iGPS Logistics; Aubree Duncan, director of food safety at Tosca; Paul Kamholz, vice president of sales and marketing at Schoeller Allibert; Leslie LeMair, vice president of sales and marketing at Georg Utz; Andy Schumacher, vice president of packaging systems division at SSI Schaefer; Bryan Tate, vice president of product and category development at IFCO Systems; and Ben Waterman, manager of business development at Monoflo International.

Southampton, Pa.-based NewAge Industries, manufacturer of AdvantaPure, BrewSavor and Verigenics products, announced the promotions of Lawrence Morano and Sean Lynch. Responsible for growing the company’s high purity AdvantaPure products during the past six years, Morano began his tenure with NewAge as a regional sales manager and has been promoted to the newly created position of executive director of sales, marketing and product development. A five-year team member, Lynch has assumed the director of product development post. In this capacity, he will lead teams responsible for developing new stock and custom products, applications engineering, tooling design, process engineering, testing and prototyping to address customers’ challenging fluid transfer applications.

Blue Box Partners, an alliance of VPK Group, Klingele Paper and Packaging Group, Hinojosa and Cart-One, have launched ECOGRIP, a corrugated alternative to shrink wrap for the multi-packing of a wide range of bottles that builds on the growing consumer demand for sustainable packaging. Designed to replace single-use shrink-wrap plastic for bottles between 330 ml and 1.5 liters, ECOGRIP provides a recyclable and biodegradable corrugate solution for multi-packs of four, six or eight bottles. It also is adaptable to the many different bottle styles on the market regardless of diameter, giving brands, retailers and consumers a sustainable multi-packing solution for four, six or eight bottles, the company says.

Raleigh, N.C.-based Tompkins Robotics named Mike Futch as its new chief executive officer (CEO). Since 2017, Futch served as the company’s president, and will retain that position and continue to lead the design and forward movement of Tompkins Robotics and its core system, the t-Sort autonomous mobile robot (AMR) solution. In less than four years, he has taken Tompkins Robotics from a small startup to a global contender in the robotics market, with its award-winning t-Sort system now used by some of the world’s top retailers and shippers, which together represent more than $1 trillion in annual revenue and include retail, eCommerce, 3PL and package/postal channels, the company says. The CEO also manages the company’s relationships with key integration partners to grow its overall offering with the goal of providing dock to dock robotic automation in logistics facilities.