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FLEXO Magazine : Golden Anniversary Commemorative Journal
HEARD FROM THE HALL The first program I personally participated in was one of the Saturday morning workshops many years ago in Milwaukee. It had to be in the late 1960s or early 1970s. HARPER: In 1962, there was no other source for flexo educa- tion. As an inexperienced, young anilox roll salesman, I needed all the help I could get. My boss at Consolidated Engravers sug- gested I attend the FTA seminars and the Annual Forum. I was especially interested in the Saturday workshops. There were 16 each year in different cities scattered around the u.S. and they provided most of my early flexo education and training. Eventually, I became Workshop Chair. The various breakout pro- grams at the Annual Forums also offered much of what I needed to advance my role in the industry. SHAPIRO: As Chief Industrial Engineer for Equitable Bag Co., in 1962, I was approached by Henry Steinitz, Printing Supervisor, and Henry Salmaggi to talk about Quality Control at a workshop in New York City. Quite frankly, I did not know anything about flexo. There was a small book in the library, which I took out and combined with my conversations with Henry Steinitz, and work we were doing in the plant, I gave the talk before a large crowd. The response was wonderful! Flexo was in its adolescent years and there was much to do to bring quality and image up to its printing partners in gravure and litho. I started to get calls from companies, some of them very large, asking me technical questions about flexo, so I made my decision to join FTA and to be active. I enjoyed seeing product come off the press and was hooked immediately. MCGEE: Fresh out of college in 1973, I joined DuPont Company and went through its printing systems sales training program. I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to partici- pate in additional sales and technical training for what would become a new printing plate venture for DuPont-the CYREL product line of flexographic printing plates-that has helped shape the flexo industry over the past 35 years. I had some great people I worked with in those early days at DuPont, they realized the importance of participation in industry trade associations like the FTA and encouraged my participation. My first live, in-person exposure to the Association, was in Montreal, Canada, in the mid 1970s. George Wilfling, of what was then the America Can Company, was inducted into the FTA Hall of Fame at that 1977 Forum meeting. In fact, it was George who took me under his wing to share his knowledge and encourage me to learn and move forward in flexo printing. RIDDELL: My first serious exposure to FTA was in 1979, when I attended my first workshop. This was the first time I had seen the industry believe in itself beyond the "rubber stamp" im- age, so named by the lithography, gra- vure and letterpress print processes. I was quickly asked to chair a Wide-Web Workshop and was exposed to some of the great pioneers who had moved the industry forward. I felt then, and still believe, that those workshops enabled our industry to move past its poor reputation as a stamp printer. Then I was asked to join a committee to develop the first Wide-Web training module. Active involvement in FTA became a way of life for me, just as it had for so many before me. JACKSON: When I entered the business at Union Carbide in the early 1980s, FTA was the only place to go. You had to be there! My initial exposure to the association and its activities came through a series of regional workshops that were targeted for pressmen and press teams. The first one I went to was in Cincinnati, and it was followed quickly thereafter by St. Louis. Concurrent programs were organized into wide-web, narrow-web and corrugated. Time spent-a full Saturday morning-was well worth it. From web-based workshops, FTA moved on to market segment based workshops. And they too, proved enlightening. What programs, projects, events brought you the greatest personal satisfaction and why? NARD: Regional Workshops, like the one I chaired in Chicago on Nov. 13, 1965, stand out in my mind, as FTA's most ambitious and effective programs. They provided high- caliber educational training in an informal setting, followed effective agendas, and were both fast paced and frequent. They were something to experience, starting from the very first FTA workshop, held in Dallas, TX, in 1959. SHIELD S: As Vice Chairman of FFTA's Solicitations Committee in 1983, we developed the concept of an auction to raise money for the young scholarship program. With the help of donations of supplies and equip- ment from FTA supplier members, we were able to raise $68,000 for scholarships to deserving college stu- dents who had an interest in a career FTA 50th Anniversary Journal 29
Flexo Sustainable Spring 2008