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FLEXO Magazine : Golden Anniversary Commemorative Journal
FTA CORNER M y years at DuPont began in the Graphic Arts Division, where my initial work with the FTA was minimal, as our Plate Division was the lead contact and participant. In 1984, I took over Plates, as Worldwide Business Director, which became known as Packaging Graphics-CYREL Division. I was fortunate enough to take an immediate position on the Board of Trustees of the Foundation of FTA, replacing my prede- cessor, Joe McConnell. From there, I was elected to serve two full terms on FTA's Board of Directors, all the while continu- ing my service on the Foundation Board. Eight years of sitting on FTA and FFTA Boards proved a tremendous experience for me personally, one which translated to a benefit for my and my firm's business objectives. The opportunity to chair many and various committees, conferences, and Forum programs was a challenge with time, logistics, and coordination efforts, but also a most positive experience. In fact, chairing the conference in Moscow, in which FTA President George Parisi had organized an international array of speakers-but no one spoke Russian-was truly a highlight of my travels. Translators were excellent, slide presentations were somewhat difficult, but the program went well. Hotel accom- modations, getting around the city with worthless rubles (but many cigarettes and dollar bills), and the late "calls" to our hotel rooms, made for an interesting venue. One program of which I was very proud was the Flexo Quality Consortium, which was initiated and managed by DuPont's Gwen Chen, CZ Ink's Dave Argent, and Praxair's Mike McPherron. We proved that companies within the supply chain (in- cluding competitors) could initiate specific process-of-use experiments and contribute FTA Memories... Member, Director, President-Friend... unselfishly with time, money, and materi- als that would truly benefit the industry as a whole. Overall, my interaction with FTA mem- bers was extremely enjoyable, especially during a time when the industry had evolved into a high growth and excit- ing business. "Normal" activities became pleasurable exchanges. Friendships were formed with many individuals within the Packaging Industry supply chain, which further enhanced the working environment. VOLUNTEERS + STAFF = HEART & SOUL When the opportunity to replace the retiring George Parisi arose, I retired from DuPont and was accepted by the FTA. I recall that my first challenge was to work on the Annual Forum in Dallas and our first Special Event at Billy Bob's Rodeo (an unbelievably good time). Industry sup- port on that and succeeding Special Events added a popular element to each Forum. We also began adding motivational speak- ers to the program and had some excep- tional presenters. Although many were memorable, Terry Bradshaw stands out as the most exciting (especially when he start- ed throwing footballs to raffle winners). Diane Euler, FFTA's meetings plan- ner, was a pleasure to work with on these Forums, as well as the many smaller conferences that we organized. While the Annual Forum consisted of many late nights and a myriad of details, working with our staff and industry volunteers was a most rewarding and enjoyable memory. As president, my objective was two-fold: manage and grow the organization with new value-added offerings; and specifically address the long-standing issue within our industry... train and educate the various production levels in the printing process. I always believed that the industry had a great deal of long-term growth and profit potential, particularly if cost and efficiency 72 FTA 50th Anniversary Journal of production issues were addressed. So, at FTA, we produced many state-of-the- art training aids-FIRST, the 5th edition of Flexography Principles 8( Practices, the FlexSys Simulator, several technical CDs, and others. When I joined FTA, the Flexo in High School program had already started, still I took pride in its acceleration, particularly working with industry people, such as Ron and Katherine Harper, who put their heart and soul into its success. Organizing and participating in semi- nars in Mexico and South America was of particular interest and enjoyment. I had traveled extensively in the area with DuPont, but my experience with orches- trating the two-day technical seminars was totally different. Working with FTA's Graciela Gilbride left minimal for me to do, so I was able to meet and talk with local industry people and a dedicated cadre of suppliers who developed presentations for the specific local owners and craftsmen. PEOPLE = MISSION ACCOMPLISHED In summary, I cannot imagine a better career than working for DuPont and the FTA. In analyzing why, I always came back to the type of people with whom I was working. Two people whom I considered great friends were Mark Cisternino and Dennis Quirk. Their contributions con- tinue to this day, but were invaluable to me. Bob Moran was another who would do anything in his power to make FLEXO Magazine successful for the members. And speaking of FLEXO, my reading of the periodical, indicates that FTA's mission: "to promote, develop, maintain and advance the art and science of flexographic print- ing," continues and progress is being made. Like anyone, I hope that I made a posi- tive impact on the industry in some small way. I certainly cannot envision a more enjoyable and fulfilling career. .
Flexo Sustainable Spring 2008