George Fuchs with the MNYPIA Man of the Year Award.
George Fuchs, director – environmental affairs and technology for the National Association of Printing Ink Manufacturers (NAPIM), was honored with the Metro New York Printing Ink Association’s (MNYPIA) Man of the Year at its April 2011 dinner. Mr. Fuchs is a driving force in the ink industry, providing service and support in the fields of safety, health and environmental to the association’s member companies.
Mr. Fuchs began his career in the late 1970s, when he joined Allied Chemical Corporation in Morristown, NJ, where he headed up the laboratory safety area for Allied Chemical’s R&D labs at the corporate headquarters. Through the years, he has also worked at Pennwalt, ENI America and Kennecott Utah Copper Corporation in a variety of positions in the health, safety and compliance areas.
“I have been working for many years in the regulatory compliance field in the specialty chemicals market and knew that NAPIM had a strong effort in this area to support their membership,” said Mr. Fuchs. “I met with Jim Renson, Paul Volpe and Jimmy Sutphin in 1993 to discuss my interest in working for the association to manage their environmental, health and safety effort. At that time I had only a passing familiarity with printing ink, but because of my experience in the specialty chemicals area I was able to come up to speed pretty quickly.”
In 1993, Mr. Fuchs joined NAPIM as the manager of environmental affairs and information systems. Aside from his efforts on behalf of safety, health and environmental support and services, he is also collaterally responsible for the association’s information technology effort. Within this area, Mr. Fuchs played a key role in modernizing the association’s information technology resources for both their internal activities and web-based resources. He was also recently named director of environmental affairs and technology for NAPIM.
Mr. Fuchs has enjoyed his time working within the ink industry and noted that many in this industry were more than willing to help him learn the ropes.
“At least within the Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) area, there is a kind of a unique willingness within the printing ink industry to share information and work collaboratively to solve industry problems,” said Mr. Fuchs. “Most of the people with whom I’ve become acquainted in this area over the years are highly professional, honest and dedicated individuals. I had quite a steep learning curve early on, and many of the ‘old hands’ in the industry went out of their way to work with me to understand industry positions and programs. I am forever grateful to them.
“The ink industry is more like a family than any other industry in which I have worked,” Mr. Fuchs continued. “Maybe that’s because of the relative small size of the industry, but over the years I’ve noticed that the expression ‘ink in their blood’ has real meaning to many of the people I’ve met. Most of the people I’ve met in this industry truly believe in the unique value and importance of the role that printing ink plays in communication.”
Many people who have worked with Mr. Fuchs over the years attended the MNYPIA’s Man of the Year ceremony.
Paul Dudley, a representative of the Sun Chemical Corporate EHS Group acted, as master of ceremonies and presented the award to Mr. Fuchs.
“If you’ve ever used NAPIM as a resource, you’ve been in touch with George,” said Mr. Dudley. “If you don’t know George then you should really introduce yourself. He is a great person to have in your network. George is always my first source for information on regulatory issues in the ink industry. I count on George to keep me informed on the latest regulations.”
The ceremony featured a number of colleagues who spoke of Mr. Fuchs’ knowledge and professionalism.
“The first thing NAPIM members value is the assistance we provide on regulatory compliance,” said Jim Coleman, who recently retired as NAPIM’s executive director. “It is key for small- and medium-sized companies. George has been the ultimate professional in this area. During my tenure at NAPIM he has been an invaluable source of support. “
“Speaking from the customer side, I have to thank George for his sage advice,” said Dan Shevkun, director of manufacturing services at Superior Printing Ink and vice president of MNYPIA. “When I can’t find answers George is the go-to guy. There are few people who do that. He’s the best. George is a trusted source, the guy who will quickly find the answer for you if he doesn’t have it already. He has the gift of being able to translate technical issues into practical terms that everyone can understand.”
“George has a strong technical background and is a detail-oriented, hands-on executive with a clear understanding of the ink world,” said Brad Bergey, NAPIM’s new executive director. “Because of his technical orientation, he is able to quickly understand the many aspects of the materials used in the ink business as well as the EHS complexities that challenge the industry today. George is both a strong team leader as well as a participant, depending on the needs of the group. He also has a strong customer appreciation and works well with all levels within our member's organization. He is a pleasure to work with.”
Other ink industry professionals who were unable to attend the ceremony offered praise for Mr. Fuchs.
“When it comes to matters of health, safety and regulatory issues associated with the industry, no one is more knowledgeable than George Fuchs,” said George Sickinger, president and CEO, Color Resolutions International and the new president of NAPIM. “He is the go-to guy for NAPIM. George provided a great service to us when he audited CRI’s plant for health and safety. He gave us many helpful suggestions and left us with the confidence that we are going down the right path. George can be counted on for accurate and prompt answers to any questions a NAPIM member might pose.”
"George is a great resource to our industry and has a wealth of knowledge,” said John Copeland, division president of Toyo Ink America’s printing ink division as well as NAPIM’s vice president. “He is always willing to dig in and help anyone with needed information. Besides that, he is just a great guy."
“As NAPIM president, I got the opportunity to work closely with George, and I didn’t realize just how good he was on the environmental and technical side,” said Rick Clendenning, president and CEO of INX International Ink Co. and past president of NAPIM. “He is a really knowledgeable and conscientious guy, and I’m glad he was recognized by the MNYPIA.”
“George is great,” said Michael Gettis, general manager of Colorcon’s No-Tox Division and a former NAPIM president. “He has a wealth of experience in EHS. He’s always on top of new regulations and is not afraid to talk to government agencies. He works closely with our ink companies, and is very valuable to our industry.”
“I couldn’t be more thrilled that the MNYPIA honored George,” said Lisa Fine of Joules Angstrom UV Printing Inks. “I look up to George immensely for his knowledge and expertise. I really enjoy working with George. There is a need for his expertise, especially as regulatory pressures become more intense. He is so valuable, and it is always a pleasure to be able to call him.”
After being presented with the Man of the Year award, Mr. Fuchs expressed his gratitude in being recognized for his efforts by his peers.
“I really want to thank everyone for coming out tonight,” said Mr. Fuchs. “I also have to thank my lovely wife Jennifer and my daughters Katherine and Kristina. I couldn’t have done it without you. I’m humbled and awed by the process. When I first came into the ink industry I realized that printing ink is a highly engineered product. As I came into this industry I saw what goes into it. Printing ink does not get the recognition it deserves. It’s been my personal honor to work with the people I have in this industry.”