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Big Changes at Tennessee's Jet Packaging Group

New Vision, Fresh Leadership, and a Partnership with Windmoeller & Hoelscher

Jet Packaging Group's Leadership Team l to r: Eric Teeter (EVP and Chief Financial Officer), Thomas Hazlette (CEO and majority owner), and Kate Carden (EVP of Sales). Missing: Pamela Butler (VP of Operations).

Jet Packaging Group, LLC, a privately-held manufacturer of flexible packaging (roll stock, pouches, and bags for the processed and frozen foods, fresh produce, pet food, and industrial non-food markets) has announced new ownership, a refreshed leadership team, and the acquisition of its first flexographic press from Windmoeller & Hoelscher – a 10c 67” VISTAFLEX II.

Thomas Hazlette, who became CEO and majority owner of Jet Packaging Group in 2023, joined from outside the packaging industry. With a military background and an eye for precision and efficiency, he recognized numerous areas for improvement and the company’s untapped potential. He bought the company 10 months ago and established a dynamic and experienced new leadership team with a clear vision.

Hazlette stated, "This investment in the VISTAFLEX II reflects the long-term vision of our new leadership team and sends a strong signal to the industry that we are serious and a force to be reckoned with. With Kate Carden as EVP of Sales, Pamela Butler as VP of Operations, and Eric Teeter as EVP and Chief Financial Officer, we are committed to investing in state-of-the-art technology and delivering the highest quality product and strong partnerships to our customers." In the coming month, the company plans to announce more news, including a name change.

The VISTAFLEX II will play a crucial role in driving their vision for the printing business, according to Hazlette, highlighting that the press's automation capabilities would help them better address labor market challenges and streamline training processes. The ability to prepare four additional jobs while the press is running ensures the company remains flexible for both short and long runs. He also emphasized the value of the RUBY IoT software, which will help pinpoint and resolve printing challenges with greater efficiency.

Kate Carden, EVP of Sales at Jet, joined the company in 2022 with over 15 years of experience in the flexible packaging industry, including roles at Berry Plastics and ABX. She remarked, "The VISTAFLEX symbolizes the direction we’re taking the company. I am excited to share this news about our market-leading technology, consistently excellent product quality, the flexibility to handle everything between ultra-short to ultra-long jobs, and our partnership with W&H with our customers and vendors. Thomas’ vision for the future and his passion are contagious, inspiring the entire team here.”

The VISTAFLEX II has a 67” working width with repeat lengths up to 49”. The press features EASY SET and EASY REG for automated impression and register setting, W&H VISION for web monitoring and defect detection, and TURBOCLEAN ADVANCED E—a resource-efficient, award-winning wash-up and inking system. It is also equipped with the FILMATIC II C winder. Installation is scheduled for April 2025.

“Thomas, Kate, and the rest of Jet’s management team are exactly the type of people that we love to welcome to the W&H family,” said Andrew Wheeler, President of W&H in North America, adding “We are looking forward to helping them grow their business and reach the goals that Thomas has set for them. Jet will be joining the strong and well-established W&H network of high-end film producers, printers, and converters, with all the advantages that come with it.”