Who are the most powerful people in print?

It is that time again – when we invite the industry to vote on those people who made the biggest impact on the Australia printing industry in the past year. Deciding won't be easy: it is hard to remember a more tumultuous year in the industry. Who can forget that this time last year, the 2012 Power 50 shortlist included three executives from Geon.

The fallen print giant is not the only absence on this year's 100-person shortlist. Many other respected figures bowed out of the industry over the past 12 months – albeit In less dramatic circumstances.

Last year's #14, former IPMG chief executive Stephen Anstice, retired from the group, as did his colleague, Hannanprint managing director Tony Dedda.

Last year's #17, Dudley Scott, the former boss of Perth's Scott Print, handed control to his son and nephew this year. The CEO of Salmat, Grant Harrod, who was #20 in the 2012 list, left the ASX-listed group.

There were also the sad stories. Who can forget that PagseSet, run by widely respected figure John Della, was brought down by bad debt in July – the three-time Power 50 entrant will be noticeably absent this year.

And it would be remiss of me not to mention Peter Gude, managing director of Melbourne stalwart Vega Press, which fell by the wayside earlier this year.  

They join plenty of Power 50 alumni to have retired or moved on to other pursuits.

What does all this mean? It means just one thing – the field is more open than ever before. This year's shortlist is filled with new names and fresh faces making big waves in the printing industry.

"Power" can be a misinterpreted term. For me, power might mean inspirational leadership. It might mean risk-taking on technology. It might mean unmatched customer service. It is just as likely to relate to the size of a multi-state company as to the reputation and respect held by a smaller company's leader.

We also recognise that every company is a team effort. While the Power 50 only selects one or sometimes a few individuals from each business, it is our intention that these people stand for the greater input of the rest of their team. 

Before you vote, I want to make sure you remember a few important points:

• The ultimate aim of the ProPrint Power 50 is to acknowledge the great and the good in print and to champion the industry.

• The ProPrint Power 50 is not a popularity contest. The public vote decides who gets into the 50 but the ProPrint team decides the order. The #1 is not necessarily the person with the most votes but the person we see as having had the greatest impact on the industry in the past 12 months.

• There are 100 people on the shortlist. Your vote will whittle these 100 esteemed individuals down to the final 50.

You can find more points to the methodology on the voting form. So head over there now and cast your vote.

Steven Kiernan is editor of ProPrint



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