Michael Podd – Flint Group

By David Savastano, Editor | 05.01.13

NAPIM honors Mr. Podd, who manages Flint Group's largest global account and leads the heatset and publication gravure businesses

After graduating from Penn State University in 1983 with his degree in chemical engineering, Michael Podd’s first job was as a sheetfed ink and varnish chemist with Kohl + Madden in Lodi, NJ. He has been in the printing ink business his entire 29-year career, including various assignments with K+M, BASF and Flint Group. 

As a result of his accomplishments, Mr. Podd, who manages Flint Group's largest global account and leads the heatset and publication gravure businesses, received the Printing Ink Pioneer Award at NAPIM’s 2013 annual convention.

“I feel like I graduated in some sense,” Mr. Podd said. “The award signaled a sense of accomplishment about the industry and the many people I have had the good fortune to work with and call my friends.”

Mr. Podd has held a number of key management roles over the years, including branch management, regional sales management, national and global account management, third party distribution management, and functional sales and service organizational management.

While he was at K+M’s R&D lab, he enjoyed working closely with the technology and suppliers to develop varnish chemistry and finished ink solutions for the sheetfed market. In 1987, he moved to BASF's commercial and publication labs, continuing to develop inks and varnishes for sheetfed and heatset inks.

Two years later, Mr. Podd headed into technical service, and in 1991, he moved to Minnesota to the sales side, adding increasing responsibilities through branch, regional and national account management roles in the upper midwest for BASF's publication heatset business.

After Flint Group acquired BASF in 1996, Mr. Podd held various senior management roles, including global account management, sales leadership of Flint's publication, commercial and packaging sales and service organizations, business leadership of Flint's ink distributor business, and business leadership of the heatset and gravure business units.

“Time early in my career spent in the labs was some of the most fun,” Mr. Podd noted. “In addition to learning the printing ink basics, I was able to develop long lasting relationships with the suppliers that are the life-line to our product development success. The time I spent managing a national sales and service organization has been the most challenging and rewarding, including the development of personnel and cross-training of sales and service competencies.”

Mr. Podd added that the primary influences on his career include Art Legge, a former Inmont executive and DICA board member, who introduced Mike to the ink business and sponsored his development, and Bill Miller, president of Flint Group’s Print Media divisions in North America and Europe, who has acted as an executive coach for Mr. Podd over the years. 

Mr. Podd is a strong supporter of industry trade associations, including NAPIM, NPIRI, PIA and WOA. Outside of work, Mr. Podd’s hobbies include horse races, wine, a good sporting event, a great cigar and golf.

“Michael has played a vital role in the successful transition of Flint Group over the past 10 to 15 years,” said Mr. Miller, president of Flint Group’s Print Media divisions in North America and Europe. “He has taken on numerous key roles, developing them to a point at which he can take on the next challenge for Flint Group. He also fills an important leadership role on the North American executive management team, perhaps most importantly because he continually challenges the team and the norm. I particularly value Mike’s honesty and his willingness to say what is on his mind.”