Two Honored with 2021 FTA President’s Award

The FTA President’s Award is the one and only opportunity that the Association’s management team has on an annual basis to recognize outstanding individuals among the FTA membership.

All other recognitions are selected as a result of an industry peer evaluation process and rightfully so. Since 1991, a very distinct group of people have received this designation, and it’s safe to say that each and every one had a different track record within this organization.

Our membership is diverse, and individual members follow their own paths, based on their particular interests, along with the expertise and proficiency that they have acquired throughout their career. It is this diversity of talent and the variety of contributions these people have made to the flexographic industry through FTA that have certainly enhanced the organization’s value to its membership.

Unlike the Excellence in Flexography Awards Competition judging process, there is no formula or data collection in selecting recipients of this distinction annually. 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. That is not to say that this is a popularity contest! Although, I must say, that the people that rise to the top and are selected to receive this award are usually quite popular… among their peer industry associates. Our two very deserving President’s Award designees this year fit this mold to a “T.”

Our first recipient is PJ Fronczkiewicz, product manager with XSYS Global, a division of Flint Group. A proud Clemson University graduate, PJ is an ardent believer in sharing his knowledge and experience through many diverse avenues. Everyone that has been actively involved in FTA activities during their career can attest to the fact that activity equals commitment. Once you raise your hand to join a team, it normally is followed up with an array of assignments each having performance expectations that are above and beyond job responsibilities. Luckily, a unique group of people thrive on this process.

Currently, as chair of the FQC Plate Life Expectancy Project, PJ is demonstrating his research team leadership abilities on a subject near and dear to his heart. A frequent speaker on a number of FORUM and Fall Conference programs as well as online Membernars, PJ’s outstanding presentation skills and natural stage presence earn him excellent reviews from audience members of all experience levels. Currently serving on the FIRST Executive Committee, chairing the Prepress Section, he has been sharing his expertise through actively representing the flexographic plate market segment. Additionally, readers of FLEXO Magazine have consistently rated his articles as excellent for their content and writing style. Thank you, PJ (or as us friends often call him, Peej), for everything that you do to demonstrate your commitment to advancing the flexographic process in so many ways!

Our second honoree is Joe Riccardella, continuous improvement manager with ABX Innovative Packaging Solutions. Prior to its transition to ABX, Joe actively represented Berry Global over a number of years in a wide variety of areas within FTA’s programs, most notably the Flexo Quality Consortium. Serving on the FQC Executive Committee, as well as on its Opacity Committee, he has consistently committed his time and expertise, in addition to his company’s resources through providing press time for specific FQC research projects. On the FORUM 2019 program, Joe joined the members of FQC’s High Resolution Printing Project for wide web, to present the team’s findings comparing the impact of various technical approaches to higher resolution flexographic printing. A hands-on leader and forward thinker, he has stepped up once again this year by serving on the FORUM 2021 Committee as co-chair of the FQC Session.

When the topic is continuous improvement, there’s a very good chance you are going to hear from Joe! Validating his highly effective training and process improvement skills, he has achieved FIRST Certification as an Implementation Specialist, further demonstrating his proficiency in providing outstanding educational value to the FTA membership. Summarizing his feelings on “giving back,” Joe was once quoted as saying, “It’s really a wonderful feeling to know that your efforts do make a difference, even though you may not always realize it.” His steadfast commitment, along with his very personable ways, make Joe a valued member of the flexographic business community. Thank you, Joe, for always answering the call and committing yourself to continuous improvement within the flexographic industry!