Jim DeFife, vice president of Pressure-Sensitive Materials – Multi-Color Corporation, won the prestigious R. Stanton Avery Global Achievement Award 2019 at the 16th edition of the annual Label Industry Global Awards on 5 June 2019 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 innovative ideas that have 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.
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 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, coming up with new filmic constructions. He subsequently led a global initiative for materials 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.
The confirmed finalists for the five other categories include Esko, Lenze, Lintec Europe (UK), Wink Stanzwerkzeuge GmbH & Co KG in the Award for Innovation (for companies with more than 300 employees) category sponsored by Xeikon. The finalists for the Award for Innovation (for companies with up to 300 employees) sponsored by Flint Group include GEW (EC), GMG GmbH & Co KG, Hybrid Software, Lake Image Systems, and Synia/Wizzcom.
The finalists for the Rising Star Award sponsored by the Label Academy and Avery Dennison for 2019 include Katie Davis, Bostik, Jesse Freitas, StickerGiant, Ahmed Lotfi Mansour, Bayan for Printing & Packaging, Robert Rae, GEW (EC), and Pawandeep Sahni, Weldon Celloplast.
The finalists for Environmental and Sustainability Award include Avery Dennison, Sleever International, and 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 not easy. However, the judging panel agreed that 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 the 40th anniversary 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, during which we will also be celebrating Labelexpo’s important milestone.”
The other members of the judging panel for this year’s awards were James Quirk, group managing editor, Labels & Labeling; Chris Ellison, president, FINAT; Craig Moreland, past chairman, TLMI; Steve Katz, editor, Label & Narrow Web; and Jean Poncet, editor-in-chief, MP Medias.
All winners and official presentations of the prizes will be announced during the first evening of Labelexpo Europe 2019 on 24 September 2019, at a 1,000 capacity gala event hosted at Brussels Expo. The event will also celebrate the 40th anniversary edition of Labelexpo. Tickets are available at the awards website.