Home' FLEXO Magazine : March 2016 Contents 34 FLEXO | MARCH 2016
THE ELABORATE RUSE
Let me begin by stating that anyone can nominate anyone for consideration to join FTA's Flexo Hall of Fame. There is a one page form
requesting information like the person's name, company affiliations, industry contributions and FTA/FFTA positons and service. You
can get this form from any Hall of Fame member or the FTA staff.
Each year, the members of the Hall of Fame read all the nomination forms and select their first, second and third choices for induction
into the Hall of Fame. The votes are then tallied by the current Hall of Fame committee chair---me.
Members take the nomination and election process for induction into the Hall of Fame very seriously. We agonize over making sure
the candidate pool represents those individuals who have truly made a difference to the world of flexography. At the same time, we
do not want there to be any hint of cronyism. While you can nominate someone, you are not allowed to try and convince other mem-
bers of the committee that any particular person should receive the honor. The balloting is kept secret. In the end, the members of
the committee know who has been selected, but with the exception of the committee chair, no one knows who voted for whom. This
entire process is overseen by the president of the FTA to ensure complete transparency.
So, when I was handed a Hall of Fame nomination form for Mark Cisternino, there was an obvious problem. If Mark was watching
over the process, he could not know that he was nominated. After discussing this with other members of the Hall of Fame, it was de-
cided that the best solution was to create a fake nominee. That fake nominee had to be someone who was actually a valid candidate
and, at the same time, willing to be "used" for this purpose.
So, a nomination form for Joe Tuccitto was submitted for consideration. Every member of the Hall of Fame was contacted and made
aware that a vote for Joe was actually a vote for Mark. It was also made very clear that this was in no way a solicitation for Mark and that
everyone needed to vote his or her conscience. All they really needed to understand was that a vote for Joe, was really a vote for Mark.
• Initiation of industry leading FIRST Press Operator, Prepress
Operator, Implementation Specialist and Company Certification
• Evolution of INFO*FLEX from tabletop exhibition to first class
Writing for FTA's Golden Anniversary Commemorative Journal, re-
leased at the organization's 2008 Annual Forum, Mark reflected on his
experience with the people and programs of FTA.
"As I've been known to quote music lyrics at times in my monthly
column, I don't know which of these two would best reflect my senti-
ments as I reflect back on the Golden Anniversary of FTA, specifical-
ly, the 23 years I have been a member of the team: James Taylor's, 'The
secret of life is enjoying the passage of time,' or the Grateful Dead's,
'What a long, strange trip it's been!' I'm kidding of course. Truth be
told, through the good times, as well as the trying times, my tenure
on FTA's management team has been an awesome journey, one that
I wouldn't exchange for anything short of a starting spot on the New
York Jets' front line!"
He continued, "When I was hired as a part time mailroom assistant in
November 1984, my only concern was making a few extra bucks as I
completed my graduate degree... The world of graphic arts was one I
had never really paid much attention to. I'd like to say that my career
path is something that I had planned all of my life, but, like many I
turned a corner and bumped right into my future.
"It didn't take long for me to start picking up an interest in the
business dealings of FTA as I began to learn all about this printing
process with a funny name, as well as the tremendous opportunities
that existed in the marketplace as a direct result of the activities of
FTA. From very early on, I began to interact with member visitors to
the office---in Huntington Station at the time---and learn as much as
I could about this up and coming technology, as well as the amazing
possibilities for the future, given the then steep market growth curve
that the industry was experiencing."
Remembering still, he said, "As success is often described as opportu-
nity fulfilled, I thought, why not try to capitalize on what potentially
lay in front of me; so I worked hard to get noticed. One thing led to
another and before I knew it, a part time gig turned into a full time
career! The 1980s was a period of strong growth within the flexo
industry and, therefore, also for FTA, based on the intense hunger
for technical information and education. Over the years, much has
changed with respect to the technology and the key market drivers,
yet the principles on which FTA, and its sister educational foundation
FFTA, are built, have remained constant. To me, that is a direct result
of an organization with a clear, focused vision and strong leaders com-
mitted to seeing that vision through to reality."
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