The WP Innova Story

WP Innova’s heritage is rooted in family. The Cunningham family established our mother company, Western Plastics, 40 years ago in Galway, Ireland. As family members moved to North America, they set up independent businesses in Georgia and California, as well as our own location founded in 1998 in Mississauga, Ontario by Bridget Cunningham-Clarke.

Our company started with 3 employees. In 20+ years we have grown to a diverse workforce of more than 60 employees who share our family values, work ethic and spirit of innovation. We have customers from coast to coast, warehouse and logistics operations in Vancouver and 80,000 square feet of dedicated manufacturing and warehouse space here in Mississauga, Ontario.

WP Innova and other Western Plastics companies operate in 7 locations including California, Florida, Georgia, British Columbia, Ontario, Ireland and Holland.

Our dedication to think differently and to reinvent, uncover and solve customer problems through materials science is unique in the packaging sector. We are passionate, incredibly inquisitive and push boundaries every day. Our practices are honest and trustworthy, which is something that has won us loyal customers. Our people deliver on promises and we stand behind our products 100%.

Innovation at work – precisionrapXL

Problem:

A grocery retail chain was experiencing higher levels of damaged product due to poor load containment; the result of inconsistent and poor manual pallet wrapping technique.

Solution:

We introduced our client to the precisionrapXL hand wrapping system.

Result:

A huge cut in damages due to load containment and improper wrapping technique; more consistency and quality across all warehouse operators.

Our Values

These are the things we value most:

Integrity, Innovation, Ownership, Passion and Trust.

The Team

Bridget Cunningham-Clarke

Founder and Director, WP Innova, BComm, MBA

Bridget leveraged over 30 years’ experience in the print and packaging industry both in Europe and the United States to found Western Plastics Canada, which now markets itself under the WP Innova brand name. She learned the family business in Galway, Ireland, and when the Cunninghams established their business in the USA, Bridget worked with her brothers, developing an understanding of the North American market. In the late 1990s, Bridget was faced with the choice of working at one of the big 5 consulting firms or launching her own company. She chose the latter, realizing that there was a distinct opportunity in offering unique and custom solutions in what then was strictly a commodity market. Bridget launched the business in Ontario, rolled up her sleeves and set to work. Her perseverance paid off, earning her respect and recognition in the industry. Outside of work, Bridget enjoys improving her fluency in, as well as studying the culture and history of the romance languages through travel with her young family.

Steven Picco

VP Sales & Marketing

Steven brings a wealth of sales and marketing experience to WP Innova, thanks to previous roles at Procter & Gamble, Workopolis, Microcell/Rogers and Campbell’s. Steven’s career hallmarks include bringing transformational change to companies’ sales and marketing capabilities through the introduction of technology-driven process standardization, and leading the transformation from product- to solution-driven customer-centricity. In his spare time, Steven enjoys exercise, health eating and indulging his passion for travel to exotic, far-flung destinations.

Robert Mackay

Business Operations, Western Canada

Rob joined WP Innova in 2008 after a 29-year career with Procter and Gamble. During his tenure at P&G Rob was involved with Product Supply leadership in several Pulp and Paper locations in Canada and the U.S. Following that, he formed part of the P&G Canadian Leadership Team for Health and Beauty Care, where he was Retail Supply Chain Manager. With WP Innova Rob started as operations leader in Mississauga and then transferred to the Vancouver area, where he is focused on growing Western Canada sales and supply chain excellence. On his own time, Rob is an artist and enjoys gardening and the many outdoor activities available in the Vancouver area.

Tom Clarke

President and Chief Innovator

Tom is WP Innova’s leader and Chief Innovator. He created Panacea Wrap and pioneered the AIR-FLOW product line, bringing much-needed innovation to the containment industry. After over two decades in the industry, Tom continues to come up with visionary ways to innovate and solve client problems. Prior to starting WP Innova, he hailed from Procter and Gamble, where he made his mark in Europe and North America. Since then, he has spent the last 13+ years specializing his skills in the breathable containment market, film laminations, metals industry and local containment segment. In his spare time, Tom is actively involved in coaching hockey and competes in Ironman Triathlons. His favourite aspect of triathlon is the shared outlook among the triathlete community: continually striving to be better today than yesterday.

Shirley Porjes

VP Finance & Admin, MBA

Shirley joined WP Innova after a productive career in Finance at Procter & Gamble. During her 26-year tenure at P&G she was involved in all facets of the business, with her most notable role being the Canadian Integration Leader for the acquisition of Gillette. Shirley now applies her broad financial and organizational experience to WP Innova, where she leads the Finance, IT and HR groups. When she is not working, Shirley enjoys spending time on the golf course or the curling rink. She also volunteers her time at the local high school. Shirley is married with 3 children.

Kamlie Yau

VP Business Operations, BComm, CGA, CPA, CA

Kamlie joined WP Innova because she believed that company management had the vision and ability to scale the organization. Today she is responsible for the company’s commercial operations, process improvement, supply chain, real estate and legal affairs. Before joining WP Innova as Financial Controller in 2006, Kamlie worked in public accountancy for 15 years, accumulating extensive knowledge in management, business controls, processes, financing, corporate taxes, personal taxes and business risks. Kamlie has a ‘make it happen’ attitude and relishes finding solutions to problems, a fact reflected in her career at WP Innova. After joining as Financial Controller in October 2006, she took on the role of Human Resource Manager (2011), then Assistant General Manager (2012) before assuming her current role of Vice President, Business Operations in May 2016. In her spare time, Kamlie volunteers at BLIA, an international organization serving the community from the Far East. She also provides real time live speech translation at events and meetings.

Wolfgang Gelhard

Director of Operations, Engineer, MBA

As WP Innova’s Director of Operations, Wolfgang manages the company’s key front line functions including manufacturing, quality, engineering, maintenance, shipping/receiving, planning, purchasing and distribution. Wolfgang brings 30 years of technical engineering and operational expertise to the team, having earned his stripes as an Engineer, Management Consultant, and Operations leader in the automotive, durable goods, office furniture and various other industries. For over 10 years Wolfgang was the Chairman of a CSA committee developing Canadian national safety standards, and for several years was an active member of two ANSI national standards committees in the USA.