Sam Sheppard Fidler Receives R. David LeButt Award

The ISTA Educational Foundation (ISTAEF), a tax-exempt 501(C)3 charitable organization established by the International Safe Transit Association (ISTA), the leading industry developer of transit testing and design standards for packaged products, announced Sheppard Fidler as the recipient of this year’s R. David LeButt Award, which honors packaging professionals for their outstanding contributions to education in transport packaging.
Sheppard Fidler is vice president of Europe for Smithers, overseeing its Materials Science and Engineering Division and packaging, plastics and rubber expert teams and laboratories. He has over 25 years of experience in packaging, testing, laboratory management and business leadership. With an emphasis on customer satisfaction and fostering a growth-centric culture, Sheppard Fidler's broad knowledge of packaging materials, performance testing, and supply chain dynamics has propelled him as a leader in the industry. His technical knowledge is centered on the challenges associated with cost effectiveness and sustainability of shipping packaged products. Sheppard Fidler is also a past chair of the ISTA Global Board and past chair of the ISTA European Board. 
“Sam’s impact on our industry cannot be overstated,” said ISTA Global Board Director Emeritus Ed Church. “His dedication to educating others about the critical role of testing in packaging design has resonated globally, influencing professionals across sectors. Through his leadership and expertise, Sam has elevated the standards of packaging testing, emphasizing its importance in ensuring product safety and sustainability.”
Sheppard Fidler has conducted numerous projects addressing compliance, damage reduction, materials resource reduction, test method development and cost avoidance for leading global brands across sectors including consumer, personal care, medical, automotive and industrial. He has a degree in physics and chemistry from the University of Manchester and a diploma in packaging.
“For more than two decades, Sam has been an invaluable leader in our industry,” said A.J. Gruber, ISTAEF president. “His contributions have been instrumental in shaping industry standards and best practices, particularly in the European market. Sam's passion for education and his ability to communicate complex concepts have empowered countless professionals to prioritize testing in their packaging designs, ultimately enhancing product protection and minimizing environmental impact.”
The ISTA Educational Foundation established the R. David LeButt Award in 1999 after the untimely death of Dave LeButt, an ISTA officer who participated in — and realized — the importance of a packaging education. The award has been given to 23 other professionals since its creation.
“I consider myself very lucky to follow in the footsteps of such an outstanding group of prior recipients, who I respect and admire greatly for their expertise, warmth, leadership and contribution to our industry,” said Sheppard Fidler.  
Sheppard Fidler was recognized at the annual ISTA Forum, including TempPack and TransPack events, which was held April 22 - 24 at the Marriott Marquis in San Diego, California.