Recognized for Casting Light on Our Industry, Mark Cisternino is Inducted into Hall of Fame
The 2016 and 54th inductee into FTA’s Flexo Hall of Fame is Mark Cisternino, the organization’s long tenured president and one of the staunchest supporters of flexographic printing that can be found. He has made FTA’s interests his life’s work and is committed and dedicated to the organization’s success. As a result, his and the association’s names will forever be linked.
Careful planning and astute attention to detail are in his blood. It’s been his trademark ever since first entering the world of flexography 32 years ago. One moment he morphs into a leading advocate of print standards and skills certification; the next he steps up to become an MIS administrator, mentor, logistician, statistician, fund raiser, project manager, international Flexo ambassador, lecturer, author, arbitrator, facilitator, conference coordinator, navigator, negotiator, forecaster…
It seems, at one time or another, he has leant his talent to every committee and working group associated with FTA, from Forum to Awards; Supplier Leadership to Emerging Leadership; Hall of Fame to FIRST, FQC and FLEXO in High School. Also, committees like: Scholarship, Fall Conference, Membership and Marketing; as well as the Consumer Products Company Leadership Council, Corrugated Leadership Council, Latin American Committee, Project Evaluation Committee, Scholarship Committee, Solicitations Committee, Sustainability Committee—and of course, FTA’s Board of Directors and Board of Trustees, where he continues to hold seats.
Mark’s career began with a short part time stint in FTA’s mailroom, where as a graduate student attending Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY, working toward his MBA at age 24, he started looking at packaging very, very differently.
Stop number two on his FTA career ladder: associate editor, FLEXO Magazine, April 1986—Oct. 1986. His byline appears occasionally to this day. Next in progression, as he became FTA’s most familiar face:
- Marketing Manager, Oct. 1986—April 1988
- Director of Programs & Marketing April 1988-Nov. 1994
- Vice President, Nov. 1994-May 2001
- President, May 2001—Present
Suzy Cisternino, his wife of 28 years, confidently states, “Every year before the Forum, I ask Mark about the Hall of Fame recipient. He invariably tells me about an exceptional person and of his or her amazing accomplishments, dedication and passion. He has spoken about each and every one with the utmost respect and genuine admiration. For him to be inducted into the Hall of Fame and stand with those he holds in such high regards, will be the greatest moment of his career. He will be incredibly honored and overjoyed; and I am sure, overcome with emotion.”
INTEGRITY & PROFESSIONALISM
Paul Lancelle, who entered the Hall of Fame in 2015 expressed a warm welcome to the newest member. “Mark’s tenure of service and commitment to this association is both commendable and astonishing. He has steered this ship through some very rough waters at times, consistently maintaining and demonstrating the highest degree of integrity and professionalism along the way.
Mark Samworth, another member of the elite society, offers similar thoughts. “Mark deserves Hall of Fame status because of the success that the FTA has become through his leadership. In an era where most trade organizations are declining in size and relevance, FTA is breaking records.” On the list of FTA’s milestone moments that Mark Cisternino had a hand in:
- Initiation of new educational fundraising programs
- Establishment of the FQC
- Publication and revision of Flexographic Image Reproduction Specifications & Tolerances Workbooks
- FTA’s move into the electronic age, to include incorporation of email into daily activities, launch of the association web site. Establishment of an Internet edition of FLEXO and later an Internet Quarterly, plus launch of a Forum App, electronic show dailies, FTA Store, rollout of Twitter and Facebook presence
- Compilation of the first SourceBook
- Launch and execution of FTA’s Strategic Planning Initiative
- Founding the Sustainable Green Printing Partnership
- Sponsor of Flexible Packaging and FTA Brand Perception and Evaluation Survey
- Creation of a Technical Education Services Team
- Commemoration of FTA’s 50th or Golden Anniversary
- Development and evolution of a Virtual Campus
- Initiation of industry leading FIRST Flexo Press Operator, Prepress Operator, Implementation specialist and Company certification programs
- Evolution of INFO*FLEX from table top exhibition to first class networking event
Writing for FTA’s Golden Anniversary Commemorative Journal, released at the organization’s 2008 Annual Forum, Cisternino reflected on his experience with the people and programs of FTA. “Truth be told, through the good times, as well as the trying times, my tenure on FTA’s management team has been an awesome journey, one that I wouldn’t exchange for anything short of a starting spot on the New York Jets front line!”
He continued, “Over the years, the principles on which FTA, and its sister educational foundation FFTA, are built, have remained constant. To me, that is a direct result of an organization with a clear, focused vision and strong leaders committed to seeing that vision through to reality. Volunteer organizations, like FTA, are only as good as the people that keep them chugging along, and this industry has certainly had some of the very best! The dedication, enthusiasm and passion that our membership has demonstrated in FTA’s 50 years of existence is the main reason there’ll be a new generation of people honoring the organization on its 100-year anniversary in 2058. We’ve had, and continue to have, the very best industry volunteers lending their expertise for the common good of us all.”