EFIA appoints new chairman

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Neil Jones, Bobst UK & Ireland managing director, has been name as the new EFIA chairman

Flexo industry association EFIA has appointed Neil Jones, Bobst UK & Ireland managing director, as chairman of its board.

Jones has worked at Bobst for three decades, including as service manager in the UK and Ireland, and spells in Japan as general manager and president of Bobst’s operations in the country. He has been a member of EFIA’s board of directors since 2012 and previously acted as vice chairman. He will continue in his new role to develop the association’s online training academy and other educational programs, in addition to pursuing improved access to industry data and forums for sharing technical innovation.

He replaces Andy Young of DS Smith, who is stepping down from the position after four years.

Jones said: ‘I am extremely grateful to Andy for his leadership over the past years. The association is in a very strong position today as result of his efforts. I am honored to accept the position of chairman and excited about what the future holds.’

Also appointed is Andy Wilson, group color manager at Coveris UK Food & Consumer, who has been named vice chairman.

‘I couldn’t be leaving the association in safer hands than Neil and Andy,’ commented Young. ‘We’ve had a tremendous period of growth, change and investment during my tenure and I’m proud of what we’ve achieved as a board.

‘Neil has a vast amount of leadership experience at Bobst and understands, having been integrally involved in our relaunch of the EFIA Academy in the last year, what the association needs to further drive its value for our members in terms of networking, recognition, lobbying, training and education.’

Jones continued: ‘We are in a good financial position to begin investing in further training and education solutions, as well as market research to support our members, which has been requested on a number of occasions. We are also obviously looking forward to our upcoming awards and encourage our members to submit entries to the competition which is now open.’

The appointments were confirmed at the recent EFIA AGM, alongside Bob Drew of Lohmann Tapes being reappointed to the EFIA board and Steve Mulcahy of Contact Originators being added.

EFIA, the European Flexographic Industry Association, represents the interests of companies throughout the UK.

Jones concluded: ‘Training, talent retention and succession planning are vital for protecting the sector’s future prosperity, but such training is often difficult for flexo companies to access. EFIA’s training services provide this vital bridge to the next generation of print talent, so it is important to me as managing director of Bobst UK & Ireland to support its work. Bobst is committed to equipping employees with the skills and education needed to excel in their work and the EFIA connection will work hand-in-hand with our company objectives.

‘I am honored to take up this post and to steer EFIA’s strategic guidance and development. I am looking forward to securing greater levels of recognition for the valuable contribution made by the print industry to the national economy Exciting times lay ahead for 2018 and I am proud to be part of such an essential trade association.’

Debbie Waldron-Hoines, EFIA consultant managing director, added: ‘We are delighted with Neil Jones’ appointment as Chairman. His 36 years of experience in the sector are a valuable asset to the association and his strong leadership will be of great benefit as we negotiate Brexit’s impact on the industry next year.’

Read a Q&A with Debbie Waldron-Hoines in L&L issue 5, 2017, and here