As the nature of printing evolves and economic and regulatory pressures continue, ink manufacturers are facing numerous challenges. The National Association of Printing Ink Manufacturers (NAPIM) is one of the key resources to help ink companies navigate these difficult times.
Mr. Bergey is no stranger to the ink industry. A 27-year veteran of the ink industry, he spent his ink career at Sun Chemical, joining GPI as an operations coordinator in 1978 and ultimately rising to president of the Kohl & Madden division before leaving the industry in 2006. Most recently, he has been national accounts manager with Oystar Jones & Co. working with large packaging companies including P&G, Kimberly Clark, Georgia Pacific and others, before joining NAPIM on Feb. 7, 2011.
During his tenure at Sun Chemical, Mr. Bergey was active in NAPIM. He was the chairman of NAPIM’s Management Information Committee, which is responsible for analyzing and presenting the annual State of the Industry Report, for four years, and served on the committee for nine years. He was also active in the scholarship funding programs of the Gravure Education Foundation and the Flexographic Technical Association and represented the printing ink industry in the Illinois Manufacturers Association.
Mr. Bergey’s efforts on behalf of Sun Chemical and NAPIM earned him the prestigious Printing Ink Pioneer Award from NAPIM in 2004. He said the opportunity to work with his friends in the industry was a key reason for his decision to join NAPIM.
“I have stayed in touch with Jim Coleman, and he asked if I was interested in coming back to the ink industry and working for NAPIM,” Mr. Bergey said. “It enticed me to be back with the people I worked with for 27 years.”
Mr. Bergey will be facing plenty of challenges as he takes over NAPIM’s leadership. As a result of the recession as well as higher raw material costs, ink manufacturers are under financial pressure, and Mr. Bergey sees NAPIM playing a role in helping members in these tough times.
“I think NAPIM as an industry association does a good job of understanding what the needs of the ink industry are and communicating those needs,” Mr. Bergey said. “Going forward, we need to engage current issues such as we are doing with food packaging, ASTM, GHS and other topics that are affecting our members and to help our members understand these issues. I would like to reinvigorate our committees, and get more companies involved in areas such as Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) and sustainability.
“We need to help our members tell their customers what is happening with raw materials,” Mr. Bergey added. “Our responsibility is to support the industry, and raw material pricing and availability is a major concern.”
Mr. Bergey said that working closely with allied trade associations can benefit the ink industry.
“We need to strengthen our ties with industry groups such as EuPIA and the BCF and other allied organizations such as RadTech and NAPL,” Mr. Bergey noted.
Above all, Mr. Bergey is focusing his efforts on meeting with members and potential members alike, to see how NAPIM can best serve them. He is also looking forward to working with George Fuchs, NAPIM’s director – environmental affairs and technology, whose expertise can be invaluable for ink manufacturers.
“One area that I will be focusing on is meeting with our new members and learning what their needs are,” Mr. Bergey said. “NAPIM can help address the future, and help all our members including the ink members, allied supplier members and our customers alike understand the challenges that are facing the industry. For example, George and I are looking to address the issues that are coming, such as the use of mineral oil in Europe and the new MSDS sheets, as well as the proposals by OSHA for the integration of GHS into the Hazard Communication Standard. George has a tremendous wealth of knowledge.
“My short-term goals are introducing myself to as many members as possible and set out to meet potential new ink and Technical Associate Members (TAM),” Mr. Bergey added. “Long term, we need to reevaluate what we can bring to other markets such as screen and digital inks. I want to see our association grow its membership in both the ink and supply base.
“It’s good to be back in the business,” Mr. Bergey concluded. “People say that I have ink in my blood. I’m excited - it’s a good group of people.”