El Señor Luis Novaro, president of Distribuidora Gráfica Novaro, passed away in May.
Novaro, who was awarded the FTA President’s Award in 2017, was a supporter and longtime close friend of FTA, representing Latin American flexographers’ interests for many years.
As a recognized leader within the FTA Spanish-speaking flexographic community, Novaro provided a variety of educational opportunities—organizing seminars, translating and publishing training materials, and serving on the FTA Board of Directors and FFTA Board of Trustees as a conduit to create a strong bond between FTA member companies in the US and those in Mexico, Central and South America.
Novaro was an organizing partner of numerous educational FTA co-sponsored seminar programs in Mexico. He was especially focused on communicating the principles espoused in Flexographic Image Reproduction Specifications & Tolerances (FIRST), and assumed the responsibility (and cost) of translating and publishing multiple versions of FIRST into Spanish. He was dedicated to improving flexographic print quality and enhancing the stature of the Latin American community within the FTA membership.
Novaro was always a supporter of FTA initiatives, which included serving on the Editorial Advisory Board for FLEXO Español while also authoring several articles, and partnering on the development of a unique educational software training program.
FTA President Mark Cisternino says Novaro was soft-spoken and admired by all, and that he will be remembered as a true international ambassador whose enduring impact will live on for years to come. As a key industry figure representing the flexographic business community in México, Luis’ career was spent building a well-respected company that served many important customers and helped to grow the industry through his astute management expertise, Cisternino notes.
“As essential as that is in remembering his lifelong contributions, I was more drawn to his unpretentious commitment to the universal education of the people who benefited as a result of his actions,” recalls Cisternino. “For as long as I knew Luis, he remained focused on creating opportunities to help everyone improve themselves through the development of learning initiatives, including his employees, his customers and even his competitors.”
Over the years, FTA Hall of Fame Member Mark Mazur spent many hours with Novaro. Whether it was at a seminar, with customers, trying to resolve problems or simply enjoying dinner, Mazur notes that Novaro was always the “consummate, unflappable, professional.”
“Because of that, probably my finest memory of Luis is the one time I actually saw him lose control, though only slightly,” says Mazur. “It was at the 1995 FTA FORUM in Orlando. Because of the location, there was a large number of people for whom Spanish was their native language. Luis agreed to do simultaneous translation from English to Spanish for anyone at the conference. As an attendee, you simply put on a set of headphones and Luis sat in a small booth broadcasting the translation. In case you did not know, when you translate from English to Spanish, there are about a third more words in Spanish than in English. Well, Mark Samworth had a 20-minute time slot with 107 slides. About five minutes into the presentation, Luis put down his headset, stood up and walked away, just shaking his head. We have laughed about that for the past 25 years.”
But the exception proves the rule: Mazur believes that if you look up the word “gentleman” in the dictionary, you will find a picture of Luis Novaro. “He was that rare individual who sincerely cared about the industry and the people around him. He was always willing to devote both his time and his money toward advancing flexography… He was tireless in his efforts to help everyone achieve excellence.”
Former FTA President Bill Dowdell says his relationship with Novaro began when he was with DuPont CYREL and Novaro was the company’s distributor in Mexico.
“Luis was one of a kind,” says Dowdell. “He was a charming man with wit and charisma, yet someone who marketed his product line as a friend to customers, colleagues and competitors. I never heard anyone say a bad word about Luis.”
Dowdell recalled how Novaro was astute and extremely knowledgeable about the industry, and knew how to present his needs that would result in the growth of the business in Mexico.
“His generosity of his time and treasure was in a quiet, but effective way. Working with him from my FTA position was more of the same, although I probably observed more of his generous spirit during that time period. The measure of Luis will be the many people he touched, the successful business he developed, and most of all, his loving family.”