Packaging Program Hosts WestPak Expo, 2023

By Jacqueline J. BergmanSan José State University’s (SJSU) packaging program recently hosted the WestPak Expo, a two-day event featuring speakers from the packaging industry. The event, which was fully funded by industry sponsors, drew approximately 60 attendees, including packaging students from SJSU.

The event featured several notable speakers, including Mark Doutt, packaging director at Meta (Facebook) and founder of Apple’s packaging team; Paul Russell, retired from Amazon and founder of HP’s packaging team; JJ Wang, packaging manager at Google; and Nora Crivello, CEO of WestPak and longtime supporter of SJSU’s packaging program.

Abby Chan, president of the Student Packaging Association at SJSU, spoke highly of the event, saying, “Westpak Expo is an amazing opportunity that is given to SJSU students. We are able to listen to packaging professionals in different industries [giving] us personal insight into their work and experiences. This event also gives us a chance to share a meal with these professionals, to network, and ask them any questions we want. Westpak Expo provides a unique experience that most students aren’t able to come by. Westpak Expo is my favorite event to attend as an SJSU packaging student.”

The event included several panel discussions covering topics such as sustainability in packaging, packaging automation, and the future of e-commerce packaging. Attendees also had the opportunity to network with professionals in the packaging industry.

One unique aspect of the event was the large number of SJSU alumni who served as speakers. Of the 27 speakers at the event, 15 were SJSU alumni from the packaging department.

The WestPak Expo, set to be held at SJSU every spring, presents an exceptional opportunity for packaging students to immerse themselves in a transformative experience, learning from and networking with esteemed industry professionals. However, the benefits extend far beyond the students, as the WestPak Expo acts as a catalyst for faculty and industry growth. For faculty members, it serves as a prominent platform to showcase their expertise, establish invaluable connections, and remain at the forefront of industry advancements.

This event sparks collaborations, fuels research partnerships, and opens doors for consulting engagements and talent acquisition. Simultaneously, industry professionals gain exclusive access to a targeted audience, enabling them to share their knowledge, showcase innovative solutions, and elevate brand recognition. In essence, the WestPak Expo acts as a powerful bridge, fostering collaboration, driving knowledge exchange, and propelling both faculty and the industry towards unparalleled professional growth.

For more information about the Department of Nutrition, Food Science, and Packaging’s Packaging Program or WestPak Expo please contact:

Dr. Ashwini Wagle
408-924-3100 /

Packaging Program Director and Advisor:
Edmund Tang /

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