Signifying a 40-year career in the ink industry, Rick Westrom of INX International Ink Co. received a prestigious Printing Ink Pioneer Award from the National Association of Printing Ink Manufacturers. Westrom, Senior VP of Strategic Sourcing and Sr. VP, Research & Development Director, was honored at the awards reception and black tie dinner to conclude NAPIM’s 99th annual convention, which was held in San Diego on March 25.
A Chicago area native, Westrom began work at INX International in 1988. “Rick has done a tremendous job and has contributed in so many different areas within our organization and the industry,” remarked Rick Clendenning, President and CEO of INX International Ink Co.
“It was great to see him honored by accepting the Printing Ink Pioneer Award in front of so many people that he has known and worked with over the years. Rick’s knowledge, versatility and work ethic are all outstanding and he has played an integral role in INX International’s growth and success since he joined us over 25 years ago.”
Westrom career in the industry started while he was attending college in 1975 when he accepted a job at Borden Chemical in St. Charles, IL. He earned his first promotion the next year and later moved from Quality Control to the laboratory where he learned about color matching and formulation. By the time he left Borden, he had learned many facets about offset products while providing technical service that helped serve as a foundation for his career at INX International.
More promotions followed after he joined Midland Color in 1988. Hired to work in the offset laboratory, he quickly became Offset Lab Manager and soon progressed to Lab Director for both the offset and liquid divisions. In 1993 he shifted to Branch Manager in Elk Grove Village when Midland was acquired by INX. When INX became a divisional reporting company, he was named Operations VP for the Liquid division where he was responsible for six locations and helped establish the water-based dispersion line in 1995.
After being named Director of Purchasing in 2000 where he was able to share his technical knowledge with suppliers, Westrom excelled at that position until he was named Sr. VP of Strategic Sourcing. He added responsibilities as Sr. VP, Research & Development Director, in April 2013.
Westrom also currently sits on the INX Board of Directors since being elected in 2010. The well-deserved NAPIM honor follows his recognition as the 2011 Ink Person of the Year by the Chicago Printing Ink Production Club.