The flexographic industry must adapt as our world evolves and new challenges emerge. Moderated by Rory Marsoun and Marek Skrzynski, listen to a panel of forward-thinking experts from different parts of the packaging development cycle as they bring their visions of how today’s technologies will reshape flexography into the ultra-efficient, fully integrated, and automated industry of the future.
While remembering our past and recognizing today’s challenges, we identify emerging trends and explore thought-provoking ideas that may soon become our reality.
CEO at Cornerstone Strategic Branding Inc
About Jill: Jill Tapia is the CEO of New York package design firm Cornerstone Strategic Branding Inc (CSB). A self-taught production artist and devoted CSB employee of 25 years, Jill took the reins at the company three years ago, right before the pandemic hit the US. Building on CSB’s 30 years of packaging experience and expertise, as well as a stacked legacy client list, including Nestlé, Blue Triton, Ferrero, Gorton’s, Labatt, Mrs. T’s, Coca-Cola, and Red Bull, Jill reinvigorated the company and her employees with new energy and a fresh perspective.
Jill has 34 years of experience in package design, much of which was spent as a production director (after eight years of hands-on experience as a production artist). At the start of her career, Jill worked on cosmetics and designer fragrances, which is where she developed her skills in specialty printing and finishing techniques. Jill is an expert in all types of printing processes and production techniques, with a focus on flexography.
Director of Technical Innovation – IC3D at Hybrid Software
About Heath: Heath Luethkens is an experienced technology and business manager with more than 25 years in the major printing and publishing markets. Heath has a key managerial role for Hybrid Software as director of technical innovation – IC3D. He is responsible for the company’s technological direction, new product developments, technical support strategies and market intelligence. Heath’s long-term specialism in color reproduction has led to ongoing executive roles for a wide range of industry standards and specification bodies, including ICC, CGATS, SNAP, GRACoL, SWOP and the Print Properties committee of Idealliance. Former positions of note were as director of technology at CGS, production manager at Time Inc, and corporate color analyst for Quad Graphics.
Manager of Technical Services at GMG Americas
About Birgit: Birgit Plautz is manager of technical services for GMG Americas, a German-headquartered company providing color management solutions. She represents GMG at industry events and organizations throughout North and Latin America. Before moving to the US in 2011, she spent five years in technical development at GMG headquarters.
Birgit started her career in the printing industry with seven years as a media designer in a global acting prepress house, where she also focused on packaging and catalog creations. Her following time in R&D for Heidelberg Printing Machines and her master’s work in printing technologies from Stuttgart Media University rounded out her education and provided a strong springboard into digital color management.
Applications Development & Lab Manager at MacDermid Graphics Solutions
About Brian: Brian Cook is applications development and lab manager for MacDermid Graphics Solutions. Brian has 27 years of experience in the packaging industry, most recently celebrating his 20-year anniversary at MacDermid. Focusing on prepress applications for flexographic photopolymer plates, Brian has spent his time assisting customers with new technology implementation, product development and root cause analysis.
Brian’s prior experience includes managing prepress for the tag and label industry. Brian also has experience working with brands and printers to achieve color consistency and uniformity across a range of products and processes.
Technical Support & Sales Manager at AV Flexologic bv
About Nathan: Nathan Rank has 26 years of experience in the flexographic industry. Nathan has a great understanding of the complete flexographic process, from design to plate manufacture to print. Having a strong support background in mechanical equipment and sleeve production, he also brings this knowledge to the industry in may training and support sessions through the country.
Sales Director at SOMA
About Garrett: Garrett Taylor, the sales director for SOMA in the US and Canada, has more than 25 years of experience in printing and packaging; specifically with flexographic printing. In that time, he has held assignments ranging from corporate accounts and technical sales representative/management to vice president with general management responsibilities. He plays a significant role in developing SOMA’s operations in North America, assuring SOMA´s commitment to bringing the latest flexographic technology to the US and Canada. He has also been involved overseeing SOMA’s partnership with MacDermid Graphics Solutions to help create the Flexo Xperience Center in Atlanta, GA.
Corrugated Sales Manager at Durst Image Technologies US LLC
About Chuck: With an extensive background in graphics/prepress, color management and corrugated manufacturing, Chuck is well-versed in single-pass digital printing. This work led him to his role with Durst Imaging Technologies. Chuck is responsible for educating companies on the features and benefits of the SPC130 and CorruJett products that were developed by the joint venture between Koenig Bauer and Durst.
For more than 60 years, FTA has been enabling flexographers to grow their skills, connect with likeminded individuals, expand their reachable market and drive flexography to package printing dominance.