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  • 13 Jun 2019

Global Achievement Award goes to Jim DeFife

Jim DeFife, vice president of pressure-sensitive materials at Multi-Color Corporation, has been chosen as the recipient of the R. Stanton Avery Global Achievement Award 2019.

Jim DeFife, vice president of pressure-sensitive materials at Multi-Color Corporation, has been chosen as the recipient of the R Stanton Avery Global Achievement Award 2019.

Judging for the annual Label Industry Global Awards, now in its 16thedition, took place on June 5 during the Finat European Label Forum in Copenhagen. The panel of international judges considered entries for a total of six award categories and drew up a shortlist.

Sponsored by Avery Dennison, the R Stanton Avery Global Achievement Award  recognizes an innovation or idea that has helped transform and progress the label industry across the world. Bestowed in memory of Stan Avery’s pioneering spirit and values, the award builds on the previously named R. Stanton Avery Pioneer Award to reflect the global nature of the industry and recognize the collective contributions of the many as well as individuals.

DeFife has been a driving force in the global label industry for almost 40 years, with a focus throughout his career on the development of technical solutions that have revolutionized and grown the pressure-sensitive market – firstly with Avery Dennison and then, for the past 17 years, with Spear and Multi-Color. 

During his 20 years with Avery Dennison he led the company’s specialty films division, developing new filmic constructions. He subsequently led a global initiative for material down-gauging at Spear, C-Flex and Multi-Color. 

DeFife has also been a long-term pioneer in thin film technology, adding wide-web coating into Spear’s facilities, including major work with the entire supply chain incorporating all the film/paper, adhesive and coating suppliers. He also developed the first plastic bottle recyclable PS label recognized by the APR.

Previous winners of this award include: Alex Knott, of Dow Chemical Company, Professor Tan Junqiao of PEIAC, Tomas Rink of Ritrama, Helmut Schreiner of Schreiner Group, Suzanne Zaccone of GSI Technologies, and Neil McDonough of Flexcon. 

The confirmed finalists (listed in alphabetical order) for the other categories include:

The Award for Innovation (for companies with more than 300 employeessponsored by Xeikon:

  • Esko
  • Lenze
  • Lintec Europe
  • Wink 

The Award for Innovation (for companies with up to 300 employees) sponsored by Flint Group:

  • GEW
  • GMG
  • Hybrid Software
  • Lake Image Systems
  • Synia/Wizzcom 

The Rising Star Award sponsored by the Label Academy and Avery Dennison, and new for 2019:

  • Katie Davis, Bostik  
  • Jesse Freitas, StickerGiant  
  • Ahmed Lotfi Mansour, Bayan for Printing & Packaging
  • Robert Rae, GEW
  • Pawandeep Sahni, Weldon Celloplast  

The Environmental & Sustainability Award:

  • Avery Dennison
  • Sleever International
  • Valmet

The finalists of the European Converter of the Year Award will be announced in July. 

Mike Fairley, founder of the Label Academy and chair of the judges, said: “As the highest accolade within the label and package printing industry, the quality of entries to the Label Industry Global Awards is always extremely high, so drawing up the finalists is no easy process. However, the judging panel agreed that Jim DeFife was the stand-out choice for this year’s R. Stanton Avery Global Achievement Award, with multiple recommendations from around the world. 

‘Beyond his technical ability, what also really stood out for us was his ability to gain and retain the respect of the industry throughout his career – from suppliers, his peers, and his customers.What better moment to celebrate his achievements from an incredible 40-year label career than 2019, the 40thanniversary year of Labelexpo. We look forward to honoring him and all our winners in person at a very special awards ceremony in Brussels in September, at which we will also be celebrating Labelexpo’s important milestone.’

The other members of the judging panel for this year’s awards were: Chris Ellison, president, Finat; Craig Moreland, past chairman, TLMI; James Quirk, group managing editor, Labels & Labeling; Steve Katz, editor, Label & Narrow Web; and Jean Poncet, editor-in-chief, MP Medias.

Presentations of the awards will take place during the first evening of Labelexpo Europe 2019, 24 September, at a 1,000-capacity gala event hosted at Brussels Expo.  

The event will also celebrate the 40thanniversary edition of Labelexpo. Tickets are available to purchase at the awards website.


The Labels & Labeling global editorial team covers every corner of the world from Europe and the Americas, to India, Asia, Southeast Asia and Australasia with all the latest news from the label and package printing market.

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