United Packaging, Lee Usina
Lee Usina, Founder and Chairman of the Board
Lee Usina learned his trade in the chemical industry in almost 30 years spent with Monsanto, where he began his career as a plant laborer in 1956. Lee steadily rose through the ranks, acting over the years as a quality control technician and supervisor, a general and departmental foreman and a manufacturing supervisor. His extensive experience in the chemical industry showed him there was an open niche for a quality contract packaging company and copacker who could handle large quantities of dry bulk chemicals and other materials, taking the products from bulk vehicles like railroad cars and trucks and packaging them into bulk bags, super sacks, valve bags, fiber drums and Gaylord boxes. Recognizing the need in the industry for a top notch copacking and distribution company who could do toll manufacturing and bag packaging, Lee retired from Monsanto in 1985, and he and his partner, Keith Payne, took the risk of starting a company of their own called United Packaging Corporation. Ideally located in the St. Louis metropolitan area in the central United States, their plant soon took off and quickly rose to profitability. Lee’s strong background in manufacturing and plant operations was a key issue in the success of United Packaging, as he implemented tried and proven quality control systems and managed the packaging operations with maximum efficiency. Lee officially retired from United Packaging Corporation in the early 2000’s, although he still serves in an advisory capacity and as chairman of the board. His son, Flynt Usina, has assumed managerial control of the company and has continued on the successful path pioneered by his father.