X-Rite Inc., the parent company of Pantone LLC and a global power in colour management technologies, is to be lead by Ron Voigt after Tom Vacchiano retires on March 1, 2013.

Vacchiano is to take on an advisory role after he officially retires to help with X-Rite’s leadership transition. Largely under Vacchiano’s leadership , X-Rite has become the world’s dominant player in colour imaging science and technology, first by acquiring Amazys, owners of Gretag–Macbeth, in 2006, and then Pantone Inc. in 2007.

X-Rite itself was purchased for approximately $625 million by Danaher Corporation in April 2012. Danaher is also the parent company of leading brands like Esko and Videojet. Today, Danaher employs over 59,000 associates working with customers in more than 125 countries. In 2011, the company generated $16.1 billion of revenue.

“Over the last several years, X-Rite and its subsidiary Pantone have become high performing businesses and global leaders in our industry,” said Vacchiano. “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time as part of this team, and now is the right moment for me to pursue a new course and let X-Rite grow with new leadership.”

Voigt has held global leadership positions at Danaher and Delphi over his 25-year career. He most recently served as President of Commercial and Services Operations at Tektronix. Prior to that, Voigt was President of Kollmorgen. Before joining Danaher, he held a number of leadership positions at Delphi including divisional leader, vice president, business unit leader and managing director of European Operations.

Voigt earned a master’s degree from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth and a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Kettering University. He is based in Kentwood, Michigan.

Mitchell Press of Burnaby, British Columbia, has appointed Anthony Clarke to the position of Director, Sales and Marketing. Clarke’s promotion comes after he joined the printing company in 2010. Mitchell Press describes itself as the largest commercial heat-set web printing facility in Western Canada.

In June 2012, Mitchell Press purchased the assets of nearby Teldon Print Media. Mitchell Press, now in its third generation of family ownership, was founded in 1928 by Howard Mitchell Sr. In 2008, the company moved from its Kitsilano facility in Vancouver, where it had operated for over 50 years, to a new, custom-built printing plant in south Burnaby.

“We are very pleased to have Mr. Clarke accept the role of Director, Sales and Marketing,” said David Mitchell, Co-Chief Operating Officer of Mitchell Press. “We are confident that Anthony will bring tremendous value to this new role as we continue to grow in a very competitive market.”

In addition to his time at Mitchell Press, Clarke has over 20 years of printing-industry experience. He previously worked with Quebecor World both in business development and on the Western Regional management team.

Monique Hanis joins the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc. (SFI) as Chief Operations Officer and Vice President of Marketing and Communications. SFI is a non-profit organization responsible for maintaining, overseeing and improving the internationally recognized Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) standard.

Hanis most recently served as Director of Communications for the Solar Energy Industries Association. She also held strategic roles at America's Community Bankers, the Mortgage Bankers Association, and Independent Community Bankers Association. She currently sits on the board of directors for the Washington, D.C.-metro chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators.

“As we work toward greater adoption and recognition of the SFI program, Monique’s extensive branding, strategic marketing and media relations experience brings valuable vision and leadership to our team," stated Kathy Abusow, SFI President and CEO. 

The SFI program recently hit a significant milestone as more than 200-million acres (81-million hectares) in North America are now certified to the SFI forest management standard.

“Typically, customers, governments and consumers prefer wood, paper and packaging products that are produced from responsibly managed forests and we have a critical role making sure these options are made widely available and visible,” stated Hanis.

In addition to her marketing roles, Hanis, as COO, also takes on the responsibilities of managing financial and administrative operations for the independent, non-profit organization.

Stéphane Fortin became the President of Technorol Inc., based in Granby, Quebec, in early January. He spent the previous 12 years with ACTEGA Kelstar, one of North America’s largest suppliers of coatings for the graphic arts industry.

Since 1995, Technorol has been providing and recovering rubber rollers for printing and industrial markets. The company also converts printing blankets and distributes a range of consumable products, such as inks and press chemistry.

Shortly after taking on his new position, Fortin appointed Real Gratton as a Technical Representative for Technorol in the Ontario region. Over the past 35 years, Gratton has worked for a number of printing-industry manufacturers, including AB Dick, Western Lithotech, Mitsubishi Chemicals, Lastra and Agfa.

Gratton’s previous roles ranged from Product Specialist to National Account Manager at those companies, while primarily working with commercial and newspaper printers.

Nancy Sobhy has been appointed by Unisource Canada as Senior Marketing Manager, Paper and Wide Format, for Canada and the USMA region.

With more than 10 years of product management and marketing experience, Sobhy most recently spent three years in Australia as a product manager for a global merchant. She previously worked within Canada’s printing industry focusing on printing ink and commercial production. She holds a Bachelor of Technology degree with a minor in Marketing from Ryerson University’s Graphics Communications Management program.

“We are excited to have Nancy Sobhy join our team,” said Stéphane Dagenais, Senior Director of Marketing. “Her expertise in brand management, lead generation and her understanding of the graphic arts and communications industry will be a great asset for Unisource and our customers.”

Gary Hughes, formerly the long-standing President of Muller Martini Canada, becomes Director of Global Packaging for Muller Martini, as the Swiss-based company – predominantly associated with high-end finishing solutions – continues to expand its presence in packaging.

In related news, Muller Martini also announced that Werner Naegeli, formerly President of Muller Martini USA, is now President of Muller Martini North America, which includes Muller Martini Canada. Muller states this announcement is part of its ongoing strategy to strengthen its international sales and service activities through regionalization. Muller Martini has established eight global sales and service centres to oversee Muller’s local sales and service locations.

Hughes, now operating in what is a newly created position, is to direct and coordinate Muller Martini’s global strategy within the flexible packaging industry. Muller initiated its commitment to packaging in 2009 when it acquired patents for the Variable Sleeve Offset Press (VSOP). Within the past five years, Muller has penetrated the packaging marketplace and now has over 100 presses operating in various packaging sectors.

“Muller’s continued successes within an intensely competitive packaging landscape have made a global strategy all the more critical,” stated Hughes. “The world’s most powerful brands are demanding innovative packaging solutions that can continue to evolve and change over time. As a global organization, Muller has the capabilities, technology, and resources that can expand our position – and our partnerships – within the packaging industry.”

Brian Gott has been promoted to the position of Chief Financial Officer for manroland Inc. and manroland Canada Inc.

“Brian has proved to be a dedicated manager and exceptionally resourceful while leading his team to perform in an exemplary manner by meeting or exceeding challenging schedules in order to accommodate stringent reporting schedules defined by our German parent,” stated manroland Inc.’s Managing Director, Michael Mugavero, who oversees the press maker’s North American operations.

Gott joined manroland Inc. in late 1999 as its Accounting Manager and most recently held the position of Controller. Prior to joining manroland, he held key accounting management positions with several manufacturing companies. Gott earned a BA from the University of Illinois and an MBA from Benedictine University.

In late-December, manroland’s parent company, manroland sheetfed GmbH in Germany, announced the delivery of its 100th press since the company began trading on February 9, 2012.

"We are delighted to have passed this first milestone, which was exactly our target for 2012 under the new organization,” said Dr. Peter Conrady, Head of Sales at manroland sheetfed GmbH. “Following the re-structuring that has taken place this year, the company is able to manage a small profit at this level, despite the factory is only operating at less than one third it’s maximum capacity, but with what we are seeing in the pipeline, I do expect this will increase in 2013.”

The Board of PaperlinX, based in Australia, confirmed David Allen as the company’s new Chief Executive Officer. He had been serving as Interim CEO since August 2012, during the paper distributor’s significant restructuring process.

Allen joined PaperlinX in 2004 and previously served as Managing Director of the Robert Horne Group in the UK and subsequently as Executive Vice President of PaperlinX with responsibility for the UK, Ireland and Canada.

“The board has complete confidence that Mr. Allen is the person who can continue this rapid restructuring and return PaperlinX to profitability in the shortest possible time,” stated Michael Barker, Chairman of PaperlinX. “Since Mr. Allen’s appointment as the Interim Chief Executive Officer, we have identified and are implementing A$15 million of cost saving initiatives.”

The PaperlinX board also announced Joost Smallenbroek has been promoted to the position of Chief Financial Officer. A resident of The Netherlands, he joined PaperlinX in 2004 and is currently Corporate Finance Director for PaperlinX Europe, leading Treasury, Tax and M&A functions in that area.

Andrew Price is to continue in his role as Executive Director to assist the Executive team in restructuring for the foreseeable future.

Marc Lautenbach, a 27-year veteran of IBM’s technology and business services industry, becomes President and Chief Executive Officer of Pitney Bowes, effective immediately. 

Lautenbach succeeds Murray Martin, who is retiring as the company’s Chairman, President and CEO. Martin has also resigned from the company's board of directors, but will continue to work with Pitney Bowes’ new CEO to help ease the leadership transition.

“I am proud to have been a part of Pitney Bowes' growth and evolution since joining the company in 1987. I believe Marc has the right background and experience to lead Pitney Bowes forward, and to execute on the initiatives necessary to drive future growth and value creation for shareholders,” said Martin.

The Pitney Bowes board also announced that Michael Roth, currently Lead Independent Director, has been appointed Non-Executive Chairman of the Board, effective immediately. Lautenbach has also been appointed to the company’s board, which is now comprised of 13 individuals, 12 of whom are independent.
At different stages of his 27-year career at IBM, Lautenbach oversaw the small- and medium-size (SMB) customer segment. As the executive responsible for sales in the Americas, he has also had experience in the enterprise and federal government segments. Most recently, Lautenbach served as Managing Partner of IBM North America Global Business Services. His other various senior management positions at IBM included: General Manager, IBM North America; General Manager, IBM Global Small and Medium Business; and Vice President, IBM Asia-Pacific Small and Medium Business.
“It is an honor to lead Pitney Bowes, a company with a long and proud history,” stated Lautenbach. “I view this as a time of great opportunity to build an even stronger future for the company with its valuable portfolio of innovative products and solutions, strong customer relationships and a team of deeply talented and devoted employees around the world.”

Hemlock Printers of Burnaby, British Columbia, among the largest commercial printing facilities in the Pacific Northwest, is to be led in its daily operations by Richard Kouwenhoven, who becomes President and General Manager.

Dick Kouwenhoven, Richard’s father, led Hemlock for 44 years and positioned the company as one of the most-respected printing operations in North America. He now becomes Chairman and CEO of Hemlock in a supportive role.

Richard Kouwenhoven, who has had a lifelong association with the family’s printing business, has been developing his career in the industry for more than 20 years. Over the past 12 years, he has worked in a number of roles at Hemlock, including Estimator, Production Coordinator and Digital Print Services Manager.

Most recently in the role of Senior Vice President of Customer Service, Richard Kouwenhoven has been responsible for the company’s customer service teams and its online development activities. He has been instrumental in Hemlock’s world-leading initiatives with environmentally progressive printing.

“I am proud to work for and contribute to a great company – one with a rich history for outstanding quality, technological innovation and community involvement,” said Richard Kouwenhoven. “The culture at Hemlock is the reason I choose a career here and continues to be my source for inspiration within the business. I’m excited to carry on these important traditions for our continued success.”

Dick Kouwenhoven immigrated to Vancouver in early 1965 after graduating from Rotterdam Graphic Arts College and working in a high-quality letterpress printing company in his hometown of Delft as a journeyman Typographer. He joined a small Burnaby storefront printing operation, called Hemlock, as its only employee in September of 1965 and became the majority shareholder in July of 1968. Eventually, Dick was joined in the business by his brothers John (deceased 1997) and Frits, Managing Partner in the United States.

“I feel privileged to have had this opportunity, to work with amazing people and wonderful clients for over four decades,” said Dick Kouwenhoven. “I have no doubt that Richard will bring a renewed, youthful energy to Hemlock for the benefit of all stakeholders.”

Julie Thompson becomes a Sales Representative for Unisource Canada’s Printing Papers Division, reporting to the company’s Regional Sales Director, Dave Jackson.

“We are delighted to have Julie Thompson at Unisource Canada,” said Jackson. “Her knowledge and experience in the industry is a great addition to our team. Her creative approach and use of solution-selling will be a valuable asset to our growing success.”
Thompson brings over 20 years of industry experience to Unisource, including an extensive background in specification and business development. Prior to joining Unisource, Thompson was at JTI Canada where she held a position as Trade Marketing Representative. She has also held positions with Cascades, Ariva and Coast Paper.

Vancouver printer Sam Hirji of Samco Printers Ltd. has been selected to receive the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal, which recognizes recipients for outstanding contributions to their communities.

In a story by The Province, Hirji said, "This is a great honour for me and my community. Printing has always been in my family, since the days of the British Raj in India."

Hirji was born in Uganda to Indian parents. He started Samco Printers with a $5,000 loan as a 500-square-foot, one-man operation in 1976.

The Diamond Jubilee Medal program was created as part of this year's celebration of Queen Elizabeth II's 60th year on the throne. Sixty thousand deserving Canadians will be recognized through a nomination process which continues to the end of the year. Recipients were named starting in February.

Read the full story on The Province Website.

Peter Nitchos, who has worked within Toronto’s commercial printing market for more than 30 years, becomes President of Mi5 Print and Digital Communications, based in Markham, Ontario.

Nitchos previously spent time in operational positions with Matthews Ingham & Lake, Quebecor MIL, Grafikom, and R.R. Donnelley MIL. He joins Mi5 after a fourth straight year of Mi5 Print and Digital Communications being recognized as one of Profit magazine's Top 100 Fastest Growing Companies.

“I look forward to working closely with CEO and Founder Derek McGeachie and the entire Mi5 team,” stated Nitchos. “This is a can-do company and has had the growth year over year to prove it. Mi5 takes tremendous pride in its work and partners closely with its clients to provide best of class printed material for both litho and digital platforms. Steve Tahk, our Vice President and General Manager, and his team have done an incredible job of staying ahead of the technology curve that keeps the sizzle alive in our print.”

Parker MacDonald, a technology sales veteran of Canada’s printing industry, joins Ernest Green & Son Ltd. as the company’s Regional Sales Manager for Central Canada.

Ernest Green & Son (EGS) is self-described as the largest independent distributor of graphic arts products and services in Canada.

“I am proud to join the EGS in this new role and I am looking forward to leading my sales team to drive our market share in Ontario,” stated MacDonald.

EGS, in business for over 55 years, is headquartered in the Greater Toronto Area, but has a sales and service presence across the country. The company distributes a range of technologies, from laminators and cutters to RIPs and liquid-coaters, while specializing in flexographic, offset printing, CTP, toner and inkjet wide-format products.

“We welcome Parker to the EGS family,” stated Doug Green, President and CEO of EGS. “Parker’s drive and ambition has already netted new business and I am looking forward to our success in 2013.”

Jeff Ekstein, owner and CEO of Willow Printing Group in Concord, Ontario, will continue to play a significant role on the 2013 Board of Directors for Printing Industries of America (PIA), which claims to be the world’s largest graphic arts trade association.

In 2013, Ekstein is to serve as the PIA’s First Vice Chairman. He previously served as the association's Second Vice Chairman, as an Executive Committee Member, a Premier Print Awards judge, and from 2009 to 2011 as the PIA's Education Committee Chairman.

Ekstein is also the current co-chair of Canadian Printing Industries Sector Council (CPISC), and has been a director of the Canadian Printing Industries Association (CPIA) for several years.

Timothy Burton of Burton & Mayer Inc. in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, is to serve as the PIA’s 2013 Chairman of the Board. He previously served as the association’s First Vice Chairman, working with the Association Relations Committee, Investment Committee, and Finance Committee.

The remaining 2013 PIA board appointments include: David Olberding of Phototype in Cincinnati, as Second Vice Chairman; Bradley Thompson of Inland Press in Detroit as Secretary to the Board; Michael Wurst of Henry Wurst Inc. in Kansas City as Treasurer; and Laura Lawton-Forsyth of Lawton Printing as Immediate Past Chair.

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