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New SGP Board Members Bring Expertise to Promote Sustainability Through Printing Supply Chain

Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (SGP), through its development and execution of third-party verified certification, is a recognized leader to promote sustainability best practices in the printing industry. The organization’s new executive director and five new board members are focusing their efforts to extend the environmentally-friendly practice throughout the graphic arts supply chain, forming an even large community of sustainability partners.

Martine Padilla, the SGP’s new executive director, is a veteran SGP board member, but the five new board members—Lori Ashford, Marshall Atkinson, Dave Gens, Jonathan Graham, and Tim Bolton—are all newcomers, looking to bring their particular expertise to the organization.

MPR caught up with them to get to find out what they’re bringing to the sustainability table.

Martine Padilla, President of Sophizio

Padilla, president of Sophizio, a consultancy for Fortune 500 companies that analyzes print procurement methods, brings over 30 years of involvement with print to her position. Most recently, Martine developed a 10-Step Sustainability Road Map, towards advancing the sustainability-driven best practices of one of the world’s largest retailers. The Road Map included steps for delineating strategic sourcing and tactical procurement processes when making substrate selections based on Environmental Performance Indicators (EPI), which recognize manufacturing mill-level intensities and sustainability readiness.

“I am so excited for this tremendous opportunity to lead the Sustainable Green Printing Partnership into the future,” said Padillla. “Towards continuous improvement, I look forward to expanding the SGP community. I am aggressively seeking new SGP partnerships with printers and patrons, but also with elite corporate print buyers and NGOs leaders. Being a print buyer myself, I know SGP printers can help print buyers who are being challenged to bring more sustainable print solutions to their organization towards achieving CSR and specific sustainability goals. Assuring that we are addressing all of our sustainability challenges with a holistic approach, we are seeking alliances with NGOs who are interested in sharing their global insights and influence within our community.

To that end, Padilla invites all parties in engaging in forward-thinking sustainability conversations to contact her directly at martine@sgppartnership.org.

Lori Ashord, Quality and Continuous Process Team Lead, Robbie Fantastic Plastics

Lori Ashford of Robbie Fantastic Plastics holds a degree in industrial engineering from Kansas State University and has 24 years of printing and packaging experience.

At Robbie, where she’s worked for 18 years, Ashford leads the quality and continuous process improvement team, leading Robbie’s efforts to become the third flexo and 17th overall SGP-certified printer in March 2010. She continues to support sustainable business practices throughout the company.

Ashford dates her involvement with SGP back to a 2008 call for volunteers from the Flexographic Technical Association’s Doreen Monteleone, asking for volunteers to develop a new program on sustainability in the printing industry. “It sounded intriguing to myself and the leadership of Robbie,” says Ashford. “We decided that being involved in a new program, from ground floor development, would be beneficial in taking the lead in the packaging industry.”

Robbie, a leading flexible packaging supplier in the U.S., and a provider of printing, merchandising, and packaging solutions for customers in multiple markets, has gone through the certification process. “I can lend both myself and Robbie’s technical expertise on the aspects of the flexo printing in the packaging market that create sustainability innovation but also have defined challenges,” said Ashford.

Although SGP currently has 50 certified facilities, Ashford looks to contribute to SGP’s efforts to promote and attract new membership. “Education at the buyers’ level in the packaging market to create the expectation that printers having this certification stand above those who do not when looking to source a packaging,” said Ashford.

Marshall Atkinson, COO, Visual Impressions

Marshall Atkinson, who has been in the decorated apparel business for nearly 25 years, is currently COO of Visual Impressions, Inc. and Ink to the People, contract decorators that offer embroidery, digital, and screen printing decoration services to the ad specialty market. Atkinson’s interest in sustainability heightened following a seminar at a SGIA conference in 2007, Visual Impressions, too, is a SGP-certified facility.

“Our focus as a board will be to expand the relationships we have in our respective industries and involve more companies,” says Atkinson. “I’d like to see participation become the key driver of expansion, with growth established by involving our supply chain, academia, and marketing. Harnessing everyone’s experiences and stories can help drive more companies to become certified once they hear and understand the value it will bring them. A robust sustainability program always adds much needed margin to the bottom line, but leveraging sustainability certification can be a great offensive tool to bring in more business, as other companies want to associate themselves with a more sustainable supply chain.”

Tim Bolton, Director of Business Development, Hexacomb Corporation

Tim Bolton, director of business development for the Hexacomb Corporation, a platinum SGP patron, has over 15 years in the packaging industry. “My exposure to the print market comes from creating, green fielding and further refining eco-friendly rigid substrates,” says Bolton.

With years of experience and a high-level product development skill set, Bolton felt the need to participate in a group like SGP “to ensure I am staying relevant to changing trends, along with a fundamental desire to make the world I live in a better place.”

He is looking to “push the message to retail to ensure they are well informed to all the wonderful things SGP printers and patrons have to offer,” says Bolton.

Dave Gens, VP and General Manager, RPI

Dave Gens is currently VP and general manager at RPI, a leading provider of personalized printed products and services for businesses worldwide. Dave joined RPI in 2010 as chief financial officer. Previously, he served in senior executive positions at several other manufacturing and technology companies including Ivey Imaging, a graphics printing services company focused on large retail clients.

“I share SGP’s passion for sustainability and environmental responsibility in printing,” said Gens. “ Having led RPI’s SGP certification process in 2013, I became interested in the mission of the organization itself.”

Gens is bringing to the SGP board his financial expertise, having worked for more than 15 years as a senior executive in finance. “I am excited to grow the entire SGP community and expand recognition of SGP as the industry’s gold standard in sustainable green printing,” said Gens.

Jonathan Graham, WW Business Development Manager, HP

Jonathan Graham has more than 20 years of marketing and communications experience. Currently, worldwide business development manager at Hewlett-Packard, he oversees environmental marketing and communications, customer business development, and software and media/supplies partner programs and teams.

Graham first heard of SGP through HP customers who were certified by SGP. “I was impressed with the certification and the organization, and eventually was able to liaise with SGP through my position as HP GSB environmental marketing lead,” noted Graham.

At HP, Graham is involved with the corporate and divisional sustainability programs for HP to provide insights into consumer issues and regulatory challenges faced by one of the world`s largest IT companies. As a board member, he brings his passion for print and strategic marketing skills to SGP, where he will tap into his experience to focus on membership growth and expansion of SGP into new regions.

“SGP is in a growth phase, working to build the SGP certified printer network,” says Graham. “Look for news on new certified SGP printers and an expansion of programs for the print buying community.”

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