Yolanda Simonsis is a 38-year veteran of the packaging and converting industries. She has held past editorial positions with two former publications of Delta Communications and Cahners...more

Good-bye and Hello

After 40 long years in the packaging and converting industry, this blog post is my last.

I still remember applying for my first job on March 6, 1978, in the business-to-business publishing industry at Delta Communications, Chicago, IL, for a receptionist position where they published Packaging Digest. It was an ugly, snowy, messy, windy day as I attempted to cross the Michigan Ave. bridge when a taxi drove past and sprayed my one nice wheat-colored "dress coat" with dirty muck from head to toe. I had no idea that Delta's offices were located in the iconic Wrigley Building, and now covered so stylishly with slush, I knew I'd make a great impression.

Fortunately, just as I was about to enter the office door for my interview with president Bill D'Alexander, I spied a women's restroom where I could clean up. I removed my coat, folded it inside out, put on my most confident face, and entered. The rest is history—at least for me.

My mentors included Bill (now passed), Lloyd Ferguson, and Jack Daniels (with whom I still keep in contact) from the publishing side. From the editorial side, my mentors included Bob Heitzman (who hired me on to Packaging Digest as editorial assistant, then assistant editor, then in 1983 managing editor for Converting Magazine), Sarah Lee Garish, and Arnie Orloski (both passed). Jack saw my potential after one year on Converting Magazine and named me editor, then eventually as associate publisher/editor. In 1995 I moved to Paper, Film & Foil Converter to work with publisher Peter Rigney—who was actually hired by Bob Heitzman when Bob was editor of PFFC in the '70s. We say the publishing industry is incestuous, but there's more to this story.

In August 2011, Penton Business Media, publisher of PFFC at the time, decided to shut down the magazine. So, as I have repeated often, just as I was reaching for my severance package, I asked if I could acquire the assets of PFFC with the intention of starting a new media company (named YTC Media Inc.) with two partners and former co-workers: Tim Janes (VP online sales) and Claudia Hine (VP managing editor).

Having changed the business module for PFFC to being exclusively online, YTC Media was recently approached by Randy Green after his acquisition of IMS and forming RDG Media. He, too, has changed the format of several of his acquisitions, including Converting Solutions (formerly Converting Hotline), which is now a brand of the 91-year-old PFFC. RDG Media's corral of publications includes a full complement of printed and online resources serving a variety of industries—among them the packaging and converting industries. For full details, see RDG Media's press release announcing the acquisition by clicking HERE.

Welcome New PFFC Staff

Now I find myself in the peculiar position of having reached retirement age and an opportunity to enjoy it. Additionally, as luck would have it, PFFC finds itself in the fortunate position of being left in very capable hands with the following staffing:

  • Editor Sharon Spielman has been working as an editor in the B2B trade magazine industry for
    S. Spielman
    more than 25 years. She is currently the editor of Converting Solutions magazine, a PFFC brand, as well as She worked on Converting Magazine (I told you trade publishing is incestuous!) back in the late 1990s before starting a family. She also served as editor of In-Plant Printer and Instant & Small Commercial Printer magazines in the early 2000s. She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater with an English emphasis, poly-sci minor, and additional credits in journalism. She lives in a far north suburb of Chicago with her husband and two sons. You can reach her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 847-302-2648.
  • Elisabeth (Lis) Cuneo, production editor of PFFC's E-Clips e-newsletter, has
    E. Cuneo
    been writing about the packaging industry for the past eight years and is currently the editor of Packaging Technology Today. She has a bachelor's degree in journalism from Oakland University, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude. She lives in Metro Detroit with her husband and two daughters.
  • Deborah Donberg will continue as senior editor for She
    D. Donberg
    has been a writer and editor in the converting and packaging fields for almost 35 years, working for Packaging Digest, Converting Magazine, and Paper, Film & Foil Converter. She served as managing editor for PFFC for a number of years, during which time she edited all the content for the magazine. She will be an invaluable resource to both Sharon and Lis as they adjust to their new responsibilities on PFFC. You can reach her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
  • Tim Janes will also continue on PFFC but now has the expanded responsibilities for the
    T. Janes
    online, print magazine, and directory advertising on and Converting Solutions magazine, a PFFC brand. Prior to RDG Media Inc. he was a
    partner with YTC Media Inc. for seven years and prior to this worked for Penton Media for 10 years. He has worked in the consumer and B2B publishing industry for more than 20 years. Tim's a graduate of the University of Northern Colorado and lives in Evergreen, CO, outside Denver. In his free time he enjoys playing hockey, biking, hiking, tennis, and snowboarding. You can reach him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 303-674-0577.
  • Claudia Hine has served since 2000 on the PFFC staff—for the last seven years as partner with Tim and me at YTC Media Inc. and as's managing editor,
    Former YTC Media partners Claudia Hine, Tim Janes, and Yolanda Simonsis
    including the editing and production of E-Clips. Her tenure in the B2B publishing business spans 45+ years back when McLean Hunter still published PFFC. While Claudia is still listed on staff, she will be hanging up her red pen like me over a transition period. Claudia and I live only 3 miles from each other, so I expect in her role as president of her garden club to get some great gardening tips.

PFFC's website visitors, E-Clips subscribers, and advertisers should feel pleased with the option of both an online tool at and a printed option with Converting Solutions, a brand of PFFC. As for PFFC's new leaders, I must honestly admit, I took an instant liking to Sharon as we both came from similar editorial backgrounds, including time spent at Cahner's Publishing. We appear to share identical B2B publishing and editorial ethics, so I feel completely comfortable in handing over the reins to Sharon. I believe you'll enjoy her experienced leadership, too.

While this is my last blog, you can still write to me just to shoot the breeze. As for me, besides gardening and being available to my husband Bob and two grown daughters Becky and Katie, I plan to cross off a number of trips from my bucket list now that I have the time. Over the past 40 years, I've cultured many professional relationships that I consider personal friendships. Don't forget me. . . I can't forget you.

My friends call me


Write to me at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Subscribe to PFFC's EClips Newsletter