Michael Okoroafor, Ph.D.

Michael Okoroafor is currently the Vice President, Global Sustainability and Packaging Innovation.  In this role, he is responsible for the strategic direction, policies, development and execution of agricultural, ingredient, product and packaging sustainability, as well as packaging innovation capabilities globally. Prior to this role, he was VP, Global Packaging Innovation. He was responsible for creating an aligned global packaging function focused on execution of new platforms that drove both innovation and efficiency goals across all business units, and highlighting the importance of packaging as critical lever for growth. Most of this work culminated in McCormick being named as transformational company of the year by Packaging World.  Previously he was Vice President for Packaging R&D at H.J. Heinz Company. In that role, he was responsible for setting overall global strategy and direction for the packaging organization, as well as leading the External Innovation Organization across North America. Under his leadership,  Heinz launched several major packaging initiatives including; Dip N’ Squeeze, the first major change to the condiment pouch in the foodservice industry in over 40 years, which won the 2011 DuPont Award for Packaging Innovation.  He led Heinz strategic partnership with Coca Cola to launch PlantBottle™, a revolutionary plastic which is 30% derived from plant. This partnership between Coca Cola and Heinz continues to be a model for collaboration in the CPG industry.  His work also culminated in Heinz being named the 2011 Food Packager of the Year.

Dr. Okoroafor, who is one of the CPG industry's most prominent packaging experts on food & beverage, joined Heinz in 2008 from The Coca-Cola Company, where he held several key global leadership roles, including Global Director, External Technology Acquisition responsible for Open Innovation strategies & execution; and Director, Global Packaging R&D responsible for Packaging Technologies for Foodservice, Design & Decoration and Packaging Lab Services. 

Prior to joining Coca-Cola, Mike was the Associate Director, Research & Development for Optical Products at PPG Industries, Inc., where he directed the research team responsible for the development of new optical materials, coatings chemistry and process technologies in support of the Optical Products Business Group.  Under his leadership, Trivex™, the world’s first tri-performance lens material was commercialized.  He also served as a member of the Optical Products Business Leadership team and in that role, provided overall strategic technical direction for the business in support of SBU goals and strategic growth initiatives. 

Mike is a graduate of Executive Development Program at Kellogg Business School, Northwestern University. He also holds a B.S. degree in Chemistry from the University of Nigeria, a Masters in polymer chemistry from the University of Detroit, and a PhD in organic polymer chemistry from Michigan State University.

He is an inventor with over 40 patents, 35 technical publications and is a contributing author to the “Handbook of Plastic Foams.”  He is a member of the American Chemical Society, Institute of Packaging Professionals (IoPP) and Society of Plastics Engineers.  He lectures extensively across the globe and is a veteran keynote speaker at major global conferences.

Speaker Session See Full Agenda

February 6, 2017

1:30 PM

Room: TBA

A Global Approach to Driving Innovation & Sustainability

This keynote presentation will focus on how sustainability imperatives will shape the future of innovation in the CPG industry.  Special emphasis will be placed on discussing the efforts that support a circular economy and their implications on driving growth through sustainable innovation. The impact of realigned supply chains and e-commerce transformation of the packaging value chain will be discussed. Sustainability principles driven by McCormick core values and responsive leadership will form the basis for the address.