The Universal Legacy

Sal Guercio
UP's Background

The heartwarming story that is Universal Packaging Machinery Sales Corp., starts with one incredible and driven visionary. The late Sal Guercio was, to many, the most innovative mind to grace the beverage industry.

After serving in the U.S. Navy as a Lt. Commander during the Korean and receiving a Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of Maryland, Sal made a name for himself as a regional sales engineer for Crown Cork & Seal. Riding the wave of his fast growing reputation Sal partnered with Phil Connolly to start Universal Packaging Machinery Sale Corp., in 1960. For the next thirteen years Sal and Universal Packaging helped change and shape the bottling industry. Mr. Guercio not only ushered in new innovative designs for bottlers around the world, but also worked as a trusted representative to multiple suppliers in the bottling industry. Now known as a major driving force in the future of the bottling industry, Sal came to the conclusion it was time to take the next step. In 1973 he purchased his partners stock of the company, becoming owner and president. Later, in 1981 Sal started moving Universal Packaging to West Volusia, where the business in still in operation today.

Our Mission: Universal Packaging Machinery Corp. provides manufacturing solutions at a reasonable price to meet our customers' ever changing needs.

In the following years, through his dedication to providing the best possible customer service, Sal positioned Universal Packaging as the premier designer, representative, and consultants to clients around the globe. His influences reached from Hong Kong to South America and across the U.S. Through the seventies Sal was not only asked to speak at many industry summits and conferences but also features in multiple magazines and newspapers. Needless to say, Sal Guercio was the man to know for all filling needs.

In 1982 Sal unveiled a new and innovative product to his customers. This new product was Universal's highly efficient, high speed filling valves for the rotary bottling industry. Utilizing these new product customers could speed up bottling production and lower maintenance costs without having to purchase new costly filling machines.

But all of this is not what made Sal Guercio, who many have described as the best man they have ever known, so memorable. Sal believed that everyone that worked for Universal Packaging was a part of the family, and treated them as such. No matter the situation he was always willing to do whatever was needed to make sure every employee was excited to come to work and loved being a part of the Universal family. There are endless stories of how Sal's generosity, willingness to help others, and selflessness not only had a major impact on but changed people's lives. Many of the employees that were hired and trained by Sal are still working here today because Sal put his heart into his company, his family.

Today, Sal's legacy lives on through the lives he touched throughout his successful career. The current owners of Universal Packaging are all immediate family members with one of his daughters as president. Sal once said "A company's future can depend upon how it handles such new challenges"; even though the challenges and opportunities may have change over the years, Universal Packaging still believes that Sal's words ring true to this day. With Elihu Rivera as Universal Packaging's driving force in design and innovation we feel ready for any and all new challenges.

After completing his General engineering degree at the University of Illinois, Elihu was hired by Sal Guercio here at Universal Packaging in 1997. Over the years Sal personally trained Elihu in the business, taking him all over the world teaching him the technical, as well as, the business side of the industry. With the knowledge and experienced passed down from Sal, Elihu and the entire family here at Universal Packaging is excited to continue Sal's legacy for many years to come.