Three Individuals Honored with FTA President’s Award

As I kick off this announcement each year, I feel it’s important to remind everyone that the FTA President’s Award has been bestowed on a very diverse group of people since its inception in 1991.

Admittedly, the criteria are very loose. This was a conscious decision made so that our team had the flexibility to recognize people for a wide variety of contributions they have made in all areas of our business. Reflecting on all of the past recipients, it confirms that the diversity of individual talent and the variety of contributions these people have made to the flexographic industry, through FTA, have certainly enhanced the organization’s value to its membership.

While I enjoy bestowing these awards on very deserving individuals every year, my biggest challenge is capturing the essence of what each recipient means to me personally and, more importantly, to the organization and flexographic community—all in a brief, 300-word statement. Well, here goes… I will do my best.

FTA President's Award Kim MadiganKim Madigan, director of corporate color management at Smyth Companies, is familiar to anyone who has been involved in the FIRST initiative over the years. She has been a very active participant within the program representing the printer membership within FTA and achieved her FIRST Prepress Operator Certification early on. In addition, her leadership has led to Smyth Companies’ Minneapolis and Green Bay locations earning the FIRST Company Certification designation as early adopters in the program.

Kim has also brought her leadership to the organization at the highest level, as she currently sits on the FTA Board of Directors and FFTA Board of Trustees, where she serves as the Board liaison to the FIRST Committee. As an expert judge in the FTA Excellence in Flexography Awards Competition, she brings years of experience in color management and quality printing to her judging team, which contributes to a smooth-running process and an effective execution of the entry evaluations. On our meetings front, earlier this year, when Ellen Farrell was forced to step back from her assignment as FORUM 2020 co-chair for medical reasons (no worries, she’s doing fine), on a moment’s notice, Kim graciously agreed to step up and fill the role for the remainder of the planning process.

FTA staff can always count on Kim to offer her assistance with any task, whether it’s loading boxes of award entries onto a truck, stuffing FORUM bags with all the sponsorship items or running print jobs to promote FIRST. Kim has been a good friend to many over the years and a staunch supporter of FTA on many levels. For that, we say thank you, Kim, not only for everything that you do, but also for the very positive approach you take in sharing your skills!

FTA President's Award Keith NagleKeith Nagle is global director of business development at Phoseon Technology, but if you’ve ever been to his LinkedIn page, you will see a more appropriate title—that of Print Enthusiast & Industry Ambassador. This fits the man to a “T.” Keith has been a passionate proponent both of FTA and TLMI, as well as directly to companies throughout the entire flexographic industry for many years. Anyone who attended Fall Conference 2019—which Keith chaired—witnessed an awesome example of someone bringing his acquired technical knowledge to a position and doing it with the composure and professionalism of Johnny Carson.

Documenting the acquisition of skills that he has attained during his career, Keith was another early adopter, as he not only earned his FIRST Implementation Specialist Certification, but also preached the “good word of FIRST” to any printer that would listen… and even to some that wouldn’t! Adding his expertise as an expert judge in the FTA Excellence in Flexography Awards Competition, he’s often been observed explaining how a print job was run and what made it so special to his fellow judges, FTA staff members or even someone on the hotel staff expressing an interest in the competition (I told you he’s passionate!).

Keith is a 2020 incoming member of the FTA Board of Directors and FFTA Board of Trustees, accepting the invitation almost before the words came out of my mouth. He also serves on the FTA Membership Committee, was a session chair on the FORUM Committee and has been a frequent program speaker on all levels. Another one to always offer his assistance with anything that is asked of him, Keith is one of the most upbeat individuals you will ever encounter. Thank you, Keith, for bringing your amazingly positive attitude to everything that you do for the benefit of others!

FTA President's Award Corey ArnoldCorey Arnold, president and CEO of Bars and Tone Media Productions, has been FTA’s audiovisual production partner for some 20 years. I will admit that his selection as a President’s Award recipient is a bit out of the ordinary—he is the very first person to receive this award who is not a member of the flexographic community—but that just goes to show you how much his services are valued by the management team and anyone who has ever worked with him as a program speaker or program chair over the years.

Corey and his production team have worked with FTA by providing professional expertise to coordinate the overall image and production value of the audiovisual presentations at FORUM and Fall Conference. Anyone who has been around FTA for a number of years can attest to the fact that the staging and production of FORUM and Fall Conference have progressed greatly from “the olden days.” On many occasions, speakers who are either new to FTA or regulars on the industry circuit have made the comment that, compared to other experiences, the work that goes into making the meeting production environment professional and reassuring is far better than what they are used to with other groups.

Much of that is the result of Corey’s work to bring a little “Hollywood” to the experience. As the organization’s lead audiovisual production advisor, his understanding of the state-of-the-art technology and equipment that is available to produce a program and his knowledge of what items should cost to rent (as opposed to the exorbitant amounts that vendors initially throw out at us) have easily saved FTA hundreds of thousands of dollars during the time he has represented the Association utilizing his keen negotiating skills.

Corey truly considers his efforts representing FTA as an independent contractor as if he’s a valued extension of our internal team… and that’s exactly what he his. Thanks for not only being a conscientious business partner, Corey, but also for being such a great friend to work with for so many years!