25+ years of shaping products and branding stories:
The Package Design & Supply legacy.
Package Design & Supply (PDS) was founded in Buffalo, New York by Keith and Christine Freeland with the aim of creating a packaging company that prioritized customer satisfaction and employee well-being. Keith’s prior experience in the packaging industry helped him to identify the gaps and shortcomings in the industry that he wanted to address through his own business.
In the early days, the company operated with only a few pieces of machinery, a small team, and a box truck. Despite these humble beginnings, Keith and Christine were determined to turn their vision into a reality. They believed in their ideas, and no matter how daunting they seemed, they were committed to making their company a success.
Keith had a unique philosophy that distinguished PDS from other packaging companies: he prioritized customer needs over profits. He believed that the key to success was in understanding and solving customer problems, not just selling boxes. This philosophy became the cornerstone of PDS and still holds true today.
Over the years, PDS grew into a thriving business with locations in Buffalo, Rochester, and Dunkirk, which were strategically placed to meet the needs of customers across Western New York and beyond. As the company entered its 25th year in business, the world was hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. However, PDS was an essential business, and its employees stepped up to the plate to ensure that the company manufactured the necessary products to support manufacturing and medical companies.
Sadly, as the world got closer to finding a cure for the virus, Covid-19 claimed the lives of PDS’s purchasing manager, Mike Bonesky, and the company’s founder, Keith Freeland, in December 2020. However, Keith’s children, Jeff and Julie, returned to Buffalo to take over the company and continue their father’s legacy. In August of 2021, the company was sold to Fairchild Capital Partners, a Buffalo-based private equity firm led by Ryan Martin. With their leadership, the company has received significant capital to fuel its growth and expansion efforts.
After the sale of the business, Jeff returned to Washington D.C. to continue his career on Capitol Hill, while Julie remained with the company as the Vice President of Sales & Marketing. Today, PDS remains committed to putting people first, from employees to customers, and continues to innovate and find new solutions to meet the needs of its customers.
Working together as a team, where every piece matters, we will remain the preferred Packaging Distributor in the Western, NY market. By keeping our Customers First, and providing them with the best Safety, Quality, OTIF, Innovation, and Value-Added Services, we will create virtuous cycles of mutual benefit, resulting in profitable returns for years to come.
Meet the Team
VP of Sales & Marketing
Chief Financial Officer
Sr. Sales Manager
Customer Service Manager
Customer Service Rep
Director of Operations
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Earl Wright is a seasoned professional who has taken on the role of CEO, as of February 1, 2023. He most recently served as Area General Manager, for Georgia-Pacific Corporation, where he was responsible for managing a large territory and diverse aspects of the corrugated industry.
Coincidentally, Earl’s career in the packaging industry started in 1996, around the same time that PDS opened its doors. He began his journey as a Quality Lab Technician in Bradford, PA, and gradually progressed to various roles in Environmental, Health and Safety, Package Design, Sales Management, and Plant Operations.
Throughout his career, Earl has forged strong relationships with various stakeholders in the packaging industry. He is known for his dedication, passion, and unwavering commitment to ensuring that the company’s customers and employees are taken care of.
Earl’s passion for the industry is evident in everything he does. He is a true enthusiast and is always looking for ways to innovate and improve the business. Earl inspires and motivates others, creating a sense of shared purpose and enthusiasm within Package Design & Supply.
Despite his impressive credentials, Earl is humble and approachable and takes the time to connect with those around him. His leadership style is characterized by honesty, empathy, and a willingness to listen and learn from others.
Earl is focused on creating a positive and nurturing work environment, where employees can thrive, and customers can receive the best possible service. With his passion, knowledge, and values-driven approach, he is well-equipped to drive the company toward greater heights of success.
Earl and his wife, Amanda, are active parents with their three kids in their local community, including sports teams, school, and church. When he is not cheering on the University of Michigan sports you can find him running and golfing.
Julie’s family roots in the packaging industry run deep. As the daughter of the founder of Package Design and Supply, Keith Freeland, she grew up immersed in the business and worked alongside many employees who are still with the company today. Her early exposure to the industry and hands-on experience gave her a solid foundation in packaging design, supply chain logistics, and customer service.
After her father’s passing in 2021, Julie returned to PDS to carry on her father’s legacy and take the company to the next level. As Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Julie brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the role. Her leadership and strategic vision have helped position PDS as a leading provider of custom packaging solutions, with a focus on innovation and sustainability.
Julie is passionate about building strong relationships with customers and ensuring that they receive the highest level of service and quality products. She is also committed to creating a positive work environment for employees and promoting a culture of collaboration, creativity, and excellence. Under Julie’s leadership, PDS continues to grow and evolve, staying ahead of industry trends and meeting the changing needs of customers.
If you stop in the office, you might find her rescue pup, Finn, by her side. When she is not taking Finn for a hike you will find Julie out on the ice rink or golf course.
Dan has a proven track record and employs a forward-looking, no-nonsense approach to solving real-life business problems. For 25+ years, he’s held several finance-related positions in various industries including Manufacturing, Distribution, Service and Retail. He has worked with a variety of owners, including private equity, and public and family-owned businesses. He holds a BS in Accounting/Finance from Rochester Institute of Technology.
When he’s not busy crunching numbers, you can find Dan taking a stroll on the trails with his wife, Amy, and their German Shorthaired Pointer, Boston.
With a wealth of experience spanning over three decades in the packaging industry, Gary is a trusted source for customers seeking solutions for their packaging needs. He has demonstrated his proficiency by creating custom corrugated packaging with both graphics and foam protection to cater to diverse client requirements. Additionally, his expertise in automated packaging equipment solutions is highly valued, particularly in flexible packaging for bagging, taping, wrapping, and palletizing various products. Gary has also played a vital role in coaching the new sales team.
When Gary is not with customers, he enjoys spending time with his family, hitting the golf course, and relishing his new role as a doting grandfather.
Sam is an experienced sales representative with over 40 years of experience. He is most knowledgeable in the corrugated box industry where he worked in production for several years before gaining experience in customer service, design, cost estimating and lastly, management. Sam played an important role in development training as well within the Leadership Development Training (LDT) for perspective management roles. Over the course of his many years, Sam practiced the importance of creating and maintaining strong relationships with his customers and their families.
When Sam isn’t working, he enjoys his time with his family and 10 grandchildren. He enjoys fishing, boating, and spending summers at his summer home in Chautauqua County.
Craig joins PDS after many years in the corrugated industry with Georgia Pacific and International Paper. Craig has an extensive successful track record of knowing what it takes to thrive in packaging. He is very customer-oriented and brings a sense of urgency to providing custom solutions to his clients daily. Adept at cultivating and leveraging client relationships, his passion to go above and beyond for his customers doesn’t go unnoticed.
Outside of work, Craig is an avid outdoorsman who enjoys spending time with his wife and three sons- either caddying for them down the fairways or navigating to the next best fishing hot spot. He frequents Bonita Springs, FL, and enjoys photography, podcasts, the stock market, and real estate investing.
The packaging industry is the right fit for Kyle Schultze. Equipped with a wealth of experience in customer service and an excellent eye for packaging solutions, he joins the Sales Team with a dynamic, high-energy approach and a positive outlook. As an ardent champion of customers, he is committed to fostering strong relationships and is a valuable point of contact for all your custom packaging supplies.
When he’s not selling, Kyle enjoys playing golf and traveling. He has a twin sister that resides in his hometown Albany, NY.
Karyn has over 25 years of experience in the Accounting field. Her in-depth knowledge of what our customers need from an accounting standpoint allows her to succeed in customer expectations and provide excellent service. She is passionate about developing and maintaining strong relationships centered on trust with each of our customers. Karyn also specializes in administrative technology and assists in educating employees on how to use various systems and applications, including accounting software, communication procedures, and other organizational apps. Karyn also assists Human Resources with various aspects of payroll, time off, and onboarding. Karyn uses her positive attitude and energy to encourage others to work tirelessly towards success.
When Karyn is not working, she enjoys spending time with her family, going to the Bills, Bandits, and Sabres games, traveling, cheering on her daughter at sporting events, and spoiling their dog.
Kasia Pancerz has been in the packaging business for 30-plus years. Her knowledge of foam & corrugated has been an asset to the company. Along with her experience, she has built a clientele who rely on her to get the job done & through her expertise, advises the customer on issues that may arise. Whether a new or existing customer, you can be sure Kasia will be there to guide you through.
When she is not working, Kasia will be behind the grill or oven cooking up one of her favorite dishes.
Trish is a seasoned customer service professional with purchasing and sourcing experience. She brings a friendly approach and cheerful disposition when interacting with customers and co-workers alike. Committed to building and maintaining positive relationships with customers.
Outside of work, Trish enjoys photography, word find puzzles, and reading historical and mystery books. She is also a Buffalo Sabres and Bisons fan.
John brought with him a significant background in Strategic Procurement and Operations when he joined PDS. His focus on global sourcing, resource management, and cost of goods management demonstrates his expertise in driving cost efficiencies and managing supply chain operations effectively. His extensive experience in the field enables him to make informed decisions that optimize the procurement process, resulting in enhanced operational performance and increased profitability.
Moreover, the Operations Team, which John oversees, is highly skilled in providing First-in-Class Fulfillment and Distribution Logistics services. This team’s commitment to delivering efficient, reliable, and cost-effective solutions enables them to meet and exceed customer expectations while maintaining operational excellence. With John’s leadership and the Operations Team’s expertise, the company can offer top-notch procurement and logistics services to its clients.
When away from Package Design and Supply, John enjoys traveling, cycling, tennis, soccer, and spending time with his family.
Brian became a valuable member of the team in 2022 and has played an integral role ever since. He is an experienced planning and procurement professional, with a decade of experience in the field. Brian possesses a wealth of knowledge in analytics, enabling him to manage the constantly evolving demands of the supply chain more effectively. He is committed to building and nurturing robust relationships with vendors, allowing him to respond promptly and adequately to customer needs and expectations.
During his leisure time, Brian finds joy in hiking and camping.
Greg was one of PDS first employees. Started out as a saw operator and worked his way up the ladder to Design Engineer. Greg has worked on a wide variety of projects, gaining insights into different industries, materials, and design approaches. With his extensive experience, he has developed a deep understanding of the various stages of the packaging design process, from taking the customer conceptualization to final production.
On Greg’s time off he enjoys camping, going down to the waterfront, and taking part in the events and festivities. He likes to learn about the history and architecture of Buffalo by going on tours of the buildings.
With over 40 years of Industrial and Packaging Engineering experience, Al Struski recently came out of retirement to assist Package Design to be a leader in the packaging industry. Al worked at Buffalo’s Trico Products Corp. and General Motors Corp. where he developed and designed many types of automotive-related shipping containers and purchased the appropriate equipment for both the aftermarket and OEM.
In Al’s spare time, you can find him in a trout stream, on the golf course, playing guitar, or spending time with family
Doug is responsible for ensuring that all incoming and outgoing shipments are handled efficiently and accurately. With years of experience in the field, he has developed a deep understanding of logistics, supply chain management, and inventory control, allowing him to effectively manage the movement of goods in and out of the PDS warehouse. Doug prides himself on attention to detail and commitment to quality, ensuring that every shipment is handled with care and arrives on time.
When Doug is not managing logistics, you can find him spending time with his young grandson.