ProPrint Power 50 2020 Top Ten winners: what they said

The 2020 ProPrint Power 50 were unveiled last week and in accepting their trophies each member of the Top Ten made very insightful comments about the industry and its resilience.

Below is a rundown of what they said which shows why the Power 50 is important in recognising the industry’s leaders who set the bar on industry standards.

COVID-19 travel restrictions relaxed just in time to enable each member of the Top 10 to be in Sydney for the hybrid physical and virtual event held last Wednesday night at the Shangri-la Hotel in the CBD.

Congratulations to all Power 50 and Emerging 50 nominees from the team at ProPrint magazine.

The event was made possible due to gold sponsorship from Konica Minolta, silver sponsorship from HP, bronze sponsorship from printIQ and partner sponsor support from Durst and Screen.

The Emerging 50 is supported by Foundation Partner Media Super and sponsors Cactus Imaging, Pozitive, Starleaton and Visual Connections. 

So here they are from 1-10:

  1. Kellie Northwood, CEO, The Real Media Collective:

    “Thank you, it is good to have a woman finally standing here. This industry is filled with wonderful, talented gentlemen but I am loving the diversity we are seeing also in the Emerging 50 and the diversity in the room tonight.”Often it is Kellie Northwood that people see but The Real Media Collective is a team, not just my direct team – Charles Watson is here tonight also as GM of IR, policy and governance – but also our members, our executive committee, our sponsors.”I’m looking at all the sponsors logos tonight and they are also sponsors of our activities for our industry. They make the Collective a true voice for the industry which is what we have worked really hard on this year because all of you needed a voice. You all needed clarity on what the government policy means for our industry and I think we gave that which I am really proud of the team for leading that and providing that voice for you.”Industry associations are your diplomats, we are your voice – while you are very focused on your businesses. We bring everyone in, if you are a producer, a designer, a client, a retailer, an agency or a supplier, you are welcome because our industry is not just printers, suppliers or paper guys – it is a Collective and I couldn’t be prouder to be part of that.”

    Kellie Northwood accepts her award
  2. Geoff Selig, executive chairman, IVE Group:“Good evening everyone and thank you again to ProPrint – congratulations on your 10th year of hosting this event and well done for putting it on.”I’ve been very fortunate my whole working career to work with the most amazing group of people and as Cliff said before we are not a family business anymore because we listed on the ASX five years ago but we have the most amazing group and a lot of the traits of what was a family business from all those years ago.”Matt Aitken who was here just before me took on the role of CEO in August of last year and has done an absolutely amazing job leading our business over the last 12 months and in particular over the last eight months.”Next year we will celebrate our 100th anniversary, or centenary, of our business. My grandfather started a newspaper in Balmain in 1921 when he got back from the First World War. I really hope that next year will be an easier year for our anniversary than this year has been.”3. Matt Aitken, CEO, IVE Group“Congratulations Sheree, Carmen and James for this awesome event. They do it every year and this year it is even better again coming out of COVID. Also to the sponsors Sue Threlfo and the team from Konica Minolta and (Yohei) Konaka-san coming from Japan.

    “To the Emerging 50 congratulations and welcome to our industry. This is an absolutely awesome industry and I am really proud that we’ve got one of our team here tonight who was part of the Emerging 50 last year. She has just taken on a promotion within our business and I think that Ashleigh Boyling is a fantastic example of rising stars in our industry and congratulations to all of those that were part of the Emerging 50.

    “This is a massive shout-out to everyone who is part of our industry. It is not a print industry and a supplier industry – it is one industry and we are all in it together.

    “We are a very resilient industry and we do awesome things. We have very cool clients and we have even better staff that work for us and I am very proud to be captain of a team of 1700 people at IVE Group who have moved heaven and earth for our company, our customers, our staff and our shareholders particularly over the last eight months.”

    4. Lachlan Finch, co-director, Rawson Print Co.

    “I am amongst the company of some pretty amazing people and in fact everyone in this room I would like to congratulate you all for what’s been a super tough year in a tough industry.

    “I love this industry. I have been in it all my life, I was born in this industry. From two years of age I was playing around in the bales in Rawson Graphics. I love what we do and I am very passionate about it.

    5. Debbie Burgess, co-director, Bright Print Group

    “It is an honour to be up here and I do thank you on behalf of John (Bright) and I and the rest of the team at Bright Print Group. It has certainly been a very interesting year and I think all of us need to be congratulated for still being able to sit here in this room.

    “I would also like to thank the ProPrint team for still going ahead with an event that very well could have not gone ahead a month ago so it has certainly been a year of considerable uncertainty.

    “As an industry we have always had to deal with a lot of challenging times with technology and this shows we are a very adaptable industry and we are a very resilient industry. Resilience is certainly something we have all had to have in spades this year so congratulations to everybody and well done to the Emerging 50.

    “We certainly do need a lot of newer faces in the industry. We are all starting to get a little bit jaded so it is great to see new people coming through and for all of us that are I guess all we can hope for is that next year is going to be a much better year.”

    6. Kirsten Taylor, creative art director, Taylor’d Press

    “Thank you to ProPrint – James, Sheree and Carmen for putting on this great event. Thank you to the sponsors for getting behind it and congratulations to all the Emerging 50.

    “This year has not only shown a need for grit and determination but it has also shown a need for vulnerability and honesty and a need to be united and collaborate. Our industry was hit hard and continues to hurt but it is a strong industry and our passion will drive its greatness.

    “Our willingness to invest our time to promote and attract new talent and our work to ensure we keep work here in Australia and the need to support one another in our diverse businesses.

    “We are talented, we are diverse and we are strong and it doesn’t just take me but each and every one of us in this room so thank you.”

    7. Kenneth Beck & Peter Musarra, co-directors, Carbon8

    Peter Musarra: “This is very humbling indeed for a couple of blokes who did fall in love with print and love the creative side of it. To the Emerging 50 – it is all about team. Kalani (Hohlein) was one of our Emerging 50 nominees and she is amazing.

    “Our team did manage to pull off a small miracle this year. We were in the wrong place initially and that turned out to be the right place. We were up against it, like most of us here were. We have always been innovative and creative and we’ve had the pleasure of working with some of the most brilliant minds in the industry from agencies to creative houses.

    “COVID, wow what a year. We had one of our team, again it is all about team, who came to us and said we’ve got a business that is about to be in trouble and there’s a shortage of PPE.

    “Fast forward … the idea was great so let’s do it … we managed to get some prototypes built and I started cold calling for the first time in my life. We struck a chord with a fantastic guy who couldn’t get product. Here we were with a factory of 25 staff with state of the art machinery. Over 10 days from when I spoke to this gentleman we got an order for 500,000 face shields for NSW Health and we turned our operation into a business that employed an additional 9 to 10 casuals. All of them are still employed today and we are now coming back to do what we do best which is traditional print.

    “We have amazing people in our team and their brilliance shines through when you are up against it. I want to thank our team.

    Kenneth Beck: “I just would like to acknowledge that this Number 7 is really flattering for us. It is all a result of the PPE and it’s got nothing to do with anything else because we are amongst people now that we really don’t rank with.

    “I want to put a shout-out to our brothers and sisters in Melbourne and Victoria who took it face on and did it for the rest of the country. I think we have a debt of gratitude to Victorians, they ruined our business with the PPE but I am so happy they ruined it because it is good for the country and we are now back to doing what we want to do. Well done Victoria and well done Melbourne.”

    8. Steven Gamble, founder, Man Anchor

    “I am passionate about print. I started out in this industry when I was 16 so I am passionate about print and the people who work in print. I am very fortunate to have so many role models some are in this room and some are not. But as leaders we all need to look after our people because people in print is print so thank you.”

    9. Cliff Brigstocke, CEO – Production & Distribution, IVE Group

    “Keith has made it very easy for so I just get to thank Keith because mate you taught me a lot, you certainly taught me a lot about big printing. Can I also just repeat my congratuations to the the Emerging 50 – it is so fabulous to see the switch from us old fellas and old girls to what will be the future of the industry. It is something that I think we can all be proud of. Yes, this year has been one that will hopefully be designated to the history book without a lot of repeat.

    “I would like to thank the team from IVE Group. We have got a family culture and one that was welcome in terms of getting through this year so we pulled together, it was tough and challenging but I think what we managed to pull off was outstanding.”

    10. Keith Ferrel, general manager – operations, Cactus Imaging

    “It is an absolute privilege to be involved with this and finally after about 90 years reach the top 10. It is an absolute privilege to be held in the same regard as the people that follow me and the people that are previous to me.

    “But a special word to the Emerging 50. You are involved in such a great industry and you’ve got the world at your feet, it is the future. You have probably seen the worst year in history and it can only get better from here.

    “I would also like to mention a good friend of mine Cliff Brigstocke, he taught me a hell of a lot while he was at Cactus, so Cliff this is for us mate, thank you.”

A full gallery of the professional photos from the night will be available in the coming days.

For a full list of the 2020 Power 50 please click here.

Full a full list of the 2020 Emerging 50 please click here.

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