Blog - Polaris MEP


First Card Company is now First Card Packaging

New vision, more services and products, same commitment

East Providence, Rhode Island – September 6, 2017 – First Card Company, a family owned and operated packaging manufacturer located in East Providence, Rhode Island, announced today that it will now serve its customers as First Card Packaging. 


“Over the years our business has evolved from a jewelry display card manufacturer into a one-stop shop for branding and packaging needs,” said Bill Plunkett, Director of Operations. “The name change is part of an entirely new approach to engaging the market, and is meant to communicate the full spectrum of capabilities and products that First Card Packaging offers.”


In addition to the company’s rebranding initiatives, First Card Packaging will be launching a new website, and rolling out a newsletter. The company has also hired a new National Sales Manager, Merry Leclerc, who brings over a decade of experience in jewelry and retail packaging.


“Our sales force and customer service reps are focused on staying ahead of the trends,” said Merry. “Our team is design-focused, and this helps us to deliver innovative, customized branding and packaging for our diverse customer base.”


While First Card Packaging has historically been known for display cards and tags for jewelry and retail, the company has expanded its portfolio in recent years. Customers now have access to a full suite of graphic design services, as well as made-to-order boxes and other high-quality branding options.  In addition to jewelry manufacturers, First Card Packaging also serves markets such as apparel, accessories, and giftware.


“We want our customers to know that we’re their partner, not a vendor,” Merry continued.  “We know their needs are unique, and we tailor a solution to meet those unique needs in every situation. First Card Packaging will be the same, service-oriented company that we’ve been for over 25 years, committed to customer satisfaction and lasting relationships.  We will continue to provide our customers with high quality packaging, quick delivery, and innovation.”



First Card Packaging 79 Commercial Way, East Providence, RI 02914
Tel: 401-434-6140



First Card Packaging is proud to be a family owned and operated business, based in East Providence, RI. We have a responsive, customer focused team, coupled with the advantage of global and domestic production facilities. Whether your order is small or large, First Card Packaging is prepared to support your business. We welcome custom design runs, we’re flexible, and we will work with you to find the right solution, the first time…and every time, for your needs. We don’t answer to shareholders. We answer to our customers.


Rhode Island Manufacturing Leader Named to NIST MEP Advisory Board

Hope Global’s Leslie Taito Joins National Team Provide Providing Guidance to Help Small Manufacturers

PROVIDENCE, RI – Leslie Taito, Senior Vice President of Corporate Operations for Hope Global in Cumberland, RI, has been named to the National Institute of Standards and Technology Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Advisory Board ( The NIST MEP Advisory Board is a national board that is legislatively mandated and established under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA).

MEP is a public-private partnership with centers in all 50 states and Puerto Rico dedicated to serving small and medium-sized manufacturers. Last year, MEP centers interacted with 25,445 manufacturers leading to $9.3 billion in new and retained sales, $1.4 billion in cost savings, $3.5 billion in new client investments, and the creation and retention of more than 86,602 jobs.

Read more


Panel Discussing Federal Funding to Benefit Rhode Island Manufacturers Convened

Congressional Delegation and Local Manufacturers Discuss the Tangible Benefits to the MEP Program

PROVIDENCE, RI – At a panel discussion hosted by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and Representative David Cicilline, representatives from three Rhode Island manufacturers discussed how Polaris MEP, the Manufacturing Extension Partnership for Rhode Island, has impacted small manufacturing in Rhode Island.

The Honorable Sheldon Whitehouse, U.S. Senator, convened the panel on August 7. The Senate’s new budget provides $130 million in funding for the Manufacturing Extension Program (MEP), nationwide. Read more


Polaris MEP and The Phoenix Partnership Bring 21st Century Lean to Rhode Island

New Breakfast Series, Manufacturing Essentials Course and Executive Level Training for Manufacturers Offered

PROVIDENCE, RI – Polaris MEP (Manufacturing Extension Partnership) and the award-winning Phoenix Partnership will be providing local manufacturers with 21st Century Lean training in the coming months. The two organizations share a common purpose that is to help Rhode Island manufacturers become more efficient and profitable through continuous improvement and lean manufacturing methodologies. Read more


Partner’s Program Targeting Student Debt

Do you, or do your employees, have student loan debt? The Wavemaker Fellowship program may be for you!

Designed as a way to keep the best and brightest talent in Rhode Island, the Wavemaker Fellowship program provides up to 4 years of student debt relief to professionals who work in RI in a STEM or commercial design field. To find out if you are eligible, and to apply, please visit The application period for the Fellowship program is open, and applications will be accepted until Friday, June 23, 2017.

Contact with questions.


The Steel Yard Hosts Weld to Work Program

From May 1st through the 26th the Steel Yard ( will be hosting its 150-hour Weld to Work job training program. Weld to Work is the Steel Yard’s unique answer to a shortage of affordable and accessible vocational training and Rhode Island manufacturers’ hiring needs. It pays participants to learn to weld and fabricate by working on real contracts of artistic functional pieces, such as ornate fences, bike racks and trashcans. Participants either receive 30-hours or 150-hours of intensive training in which they learn to safely use all the tools common to a welding shop.

Read more


Out like a Lion

Well that was pretty incredible…  We’ve had some busy months since I started at Polaris MEP nearly 3 years ago, but nothing like March 2017!

Sure, September of 2015 was packed with the launch of the Rocket Program, our first All Access Bus Tour of Westrock and Spectrum Thermal, and one or two workshops, but March 2017 takes the cake!

Along with RIMA and Buy Local RI , and made possible by Commerce RI, we were able to pull off one of the largest (yet) RI Manufacturing focused trade shows. Thanks in part to a connection with RIPTAC’s DOD Matchmaker event, we hadover 400 attendees from over 250 companies from 15 states. 

We are excited to publish the information that we collected from the data request board so keep an eye out for that soon. Read more


Ted Nesi Interviews Polaris MEP’s Christian Cowan and Mearthane Product Corporation’s Peter Kaczmarek

Christian Cowan, center director of Polaris MEP joined Peter Kaczmarek, president and COO of Mearthane Products Corp. (MPC) of Cranston for a recent interview on Executive Suite with Ted Nesi. The three spoke about MPC’s innovative products, upcoming events (the RIMFGB2B as well as the state of manufacturing in Rhode Island in 2017.

Read more


NBC 10’s Frank Coletta Interview’s Polaris MEP

Polaris MEP (Manufacturing Extension Partnership) Center Director, Christian Cowan, was interviewed by NBC 10’s Frank Coletta about the new programs and events focused on Rhode Island Manufacturing.

Read more


Call for Exhibitors – 2017 Rhode Island Robot Block Party

 Is your company on the forefront of automation with robots? Or do you manufacture robots? The Rhode Island Robot Block Party, a free community event, is accepting applications to exhibit at the Sunday, April 30, 2017 expo at the Pizzitola Center at Brown University. Read more