Bemis began in 1858. The company started as a cotton bag manufacturer. It later became known for being one of the first, if not the first, bag manufacturer that started printing company logos and other things on the bags. You probably have Bemis packaging in your house right now, but do not even know it. The company’s primary areas of focus are the food and medical industries. For years they have been one of the innovators in the packaging industry.

Bemis has treated our family very well. My wife went to work for them in September of 1989, in Minneapolis. She has worked for them ever since. My wife started as an internal auditor. She traveled seemingly all the time. After about 5 years she went to her boss, and told him that unless she could stop traveling she was going to quit. My wife explained that we wanted to start our family, and that was going to be impossible with the travel schedule. Bill, my wife’s boss, found an opening for an Assistant Controller, at one of the divisions in Oshkosh, WI. That was it. A few months later, the moving van brought us to North East Wisconsin. The place we would stay for the next 25 years.

Over the years, my wife worked at every division of Bemis except one. It seemed every couple of years she got a promotion, and about 10 years ago the company asked her to move to the headquarters. Where she eventually became the Assistant Controller for the entire company. The best thing about working for the company that neither of us appreciated until now; has been the ability to stay in one place. If she had worked for almost any other company, every promotion she got, would probably have meant a move. Bemis had all of their divisions centered around the Fox Valley; so every time my wife changed jobs, it only meant a 15 minute longer, or shorter drive. She got many chances to travel. I know the only two continents she hasn’t been on are Australia and Antarctica. We are both kind of hoping that the Australia status will change. You see the new company is very worldly. They are headquartered in Zurich, but they are actually an Australian company. They are bringing my wife along because she has the expertise with the Securities and Exchange Commission, because the company wants to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange. It is a true global economy. Don’t let anyone tell you any different!

So why am I writing about a company that most have never heard of? Well today marks the end of Bemis, and truly the official start of our next journey. My wife told me that at 9:00 AM there is a ceremony scheduled at the headquarters where the Bemis flag will be lowered, and the new Amcor flag will be raised. It is also kind of fitting that tomorrow, the movers show up. We have gone through all the belongings, separated what we want to see again, from stuff we donated or threw away. We have separated, what we want to see again, into stuff in storage versus things we are bringing to Switzerland. Even more, my wife pared down what we are moving, into 300 pounds of stuff being moved by air, so that it will arrive when she moves into the apartment, vs stuff being moved by sea. This stuff might arrive about the time I get to Switzerland, or we might get a Christmas present of our own things being delivered. We really don’t know. 🙂

THANK YOU, Bemis! It has been a great ride.

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