Canadian Packaging

Virtual Event
Insights into the Future of Packaging Automation
March 7, 2023 at 11:00am ET

11:30am – 12:15pm
Roundtable Discussion

Join Canadian Packaging and our panel of experts for an exclusive, free-flowing discussion on how packaging automation can improve CPG companies’ productivity and profitability through accelerated adoption of robotic, AI, machine vision, sensor, pneumatics, IIoT and other cutting-edge technologies. In addition to some research insights from our partners at PMMI, the panel also discusses how such tech can help overcome significant labour shortages, as well as future-proof operations from future economic shocks and downturn. Finally, we focus on exploring ways for companies to use new automation capabilities to improve their environmental and sustainability performance. Learn more about our expert panelists below.


  • Tom Egan, VP Industry Services, PMMI. Co-host of event. Presenter of PMMI Business Intelligence Study on the Future of Packaging Automation
  • George Guidoni, Editor, Canadian Packaging
  • Doug Alexander, Vice-President Sustainability & Government Relations, Belmont Food Group (Div. Premium Brands Holdings)
  • Emilie Allen,  Vice president Projects & Logistics, Biscuits Leclerc Ltée.
  • Michael Butler, Robotics Product Owner, Syntegon Packaging Technology
  • Nicholas Taraborelli, Vice President of Paxiom.
  • Wes Garrett, Executive Director – Global Accounts, FANUC Canada Ltd.
  • Nicolas Fleuriot, Industry Segment Specialist Food & Packaging, Festo Canada.
  • Frank Latino, Global Product Manager, Electric Automation, Festo HQ / Americas

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Doug Alexander
Doug Alexander joined Premium Brands holdings as Vice President and General Manager- Leadbetter Foods, in early 2021 took on the role of Vice President Sustainability and Government Relations, Belmont Food Group, he also is a member of the Premium Brands ESG Committee.

Premium Brands is a Canadian food company consisting of 75 leading specialty food manufacturing and differentiated food distribution businesses with operations across North America. Servicing over 22,000 customers, the company and its family of brands and businesses have more than 15,000 employees.

Doug’s experience running food processing operations spans over 36 years of Meat Processing and other food processing sectors.

Currently serving as Chair of the board of directors of the Agricultural Adaptation Council board, and on boards of Food and Beverage Ontario board and the Meat and Poultry Ontario Board as well as Vice Chair IAC Canadian Food Innovation Network.

Doug has served in the past as Chair of the Agri-Food Management Institute, and the board of directors for Provision Coalition.

Doug has diplomas in Food Science as well as Industrial Engineering.

Emilie Allen
Emilie has a Bachelor degree in Chemical engineering. She has 20 years of experience in the pulp & paper industry ranging from Project Manager to Production Manager, Plant Manager and Multi-Site General Manager, and is now in charge of Projects & Logistics for Leclerc.

Michael Butler

Michael Butler is the Robotics Product Owner for Syntegon focusing on strategic development of robotics and automation technologies within the food packaging industry.  Based out of New Richmond, WI, he is primarily focused on the North American market and works as a bridge between customer needs and product development to ensure Syntegon is offering customers the best automation solutions within a constantly changing landscape.  Understanding the latest technological developments and how they create new possibilities within the packaging industry is core to Syntegon’s success.

The core product Michael is responsible for is Syntegon’s RPP (Robotic Pick and Place) platform.  This highly flexible, modular delta robot platform is designed to provide standard building blocks which can be used to address a vast array of packaging automation needs.  He is also responsible for developing the use of third-party robotic solutions for niche applications as well as machine vision capabilities across all platforms.  Through creating and implementing a strategic vision, he contributes to Syntegon being a leader in innovation and a partner with customers in building shared success through excellence in robotics and automation for packaging.

Michael holds a Master’s Degree in Systems Engineering from Purdue University and is nearing completion of a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Indiana University.  He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology as well.  Prior to joining Syntegon in 2021, he had worked as a controls engineer in a variety of industries including pharmaceutical packaging, medical device assembly, semiconductor fabrication, and chemical/gas production.  In these roles, he applied automation and robotics to solve a wide variety of applications, many of which had no previous method of automation.

Nicholas Taraborelli

Vice president of Paxiom, supplier of automated packaging systems and member of PMMI board of directors.

Wes Garrett

Nicolas Fleuriot
Passionate about automation, and always looking at smart ways to improve productivity by using the appropriate technologies.

Over 20 years of experience in industrial automation with 16 years in technical sales and applications engineering.

He started his career as a mechanical team lead in the Filling and plastic converting industry. Where he developed and implemented solutions in areas of industrial automation, from machine building to trouble shooting various automation technologies.

He then moved into a technical sales role with an industrial automation supplier where he specialized in the field of controls, assembly technology, pneumatics, and servo-electric machinery.

He has been with Festo for over 9 years, where he worked in several positions from applications and controls engineering, technical support, industry segment specialist food and packaging, and is now a business driver for electric automation in Ontario.

Nicolas is qualified in Mechanical Engineering from the Durban University of Technology.

Frank Latino
Frank Latino has over 30 years of industrial automation experience. He started his career as a Controls Engineer in the machine tool industry, developing systems for hydraulic and servo-electric machinery. He then moved to Project and Product Management in the AS/RS industry.

Frank has now been at Festo for over 25 years. He has held various positions in Engineering and Management, with increasing responsibilities in Product Management. His area of expertise is in network technologies and control systems for industrial automation. Frank is a member of several groups within ODVA and NFPA (National Fluid Power Association), and has contributed in the area of pneumatics, sensor, and network technologies. He is currently a Global Product Manager for Electric Automation with Festo. He is also responsible for other network and control initiatives within the Americas.

Frank has a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Electrical Engineering from Manhattan College and a Master of Science degree in Technological Systems Management from the State University of NY (SUNY) at Stony Brook. He holds two patents in the area of pneumatic valve control and diagnostics.