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President's Address

Thomas HagmaierFINAT is the world-wide association for manufacturers of self-adhesive labels and related products and services. It was founded in Paris in 1958, and since then has been representing the whole self-adhesive supply chain.

In the General Assembly of 2015 I was elected as your new FINAT president for the next 2 years. The official inauguration ceremony, involving the handover of the FINAT chain, took place during the Friday evening session at Maritime Museum in Amsterdam (European Label Forum 2015) with a wonderful programme. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for supporting me and for all the good wishes I received.

For me this also meant the start of a period of hard work, after 4 years under the presidency of Kurt Walker. Thank you Kurt for the time and effort you put into FINAT. It will be a challenge to exceed what you have done!

My vision is not to compare who is the best, but rather to continue what we have started in FINAT. Our strategy of change is well on track. The Board and committees are working closely together. FINAT has found its role as the European association with an international view. We have the tools to provide input for strategic decision making to our members and supporters. I would like to invite and encourage you to become active in the big information and networking pool which only FINAT can offer to the label industry. My personal vision is that FINAT’s label community is a very lively one and it is more attractive for smaller and middle sized converter companies than ever before. The FINAT office is working hard to increase visibility of the opportunities for members on our website and via other channels.

I like to compare associations with family relationships. There are the next of kin, these are the contacts nearby in your own country, and there are the distant relatives, the relatives in foreign countries. In many places it is modern to live one’s own life, without the support of the family. In the context of associations this compares with ‘free riders’, without membership in an association.

This is of course possible but in the long term it gets boring to be on your own, and your horizon does not get any broader either. It is a fact that (label-) mankind likes to live in groups. Family relationships create a lot of opportunities, and together it is possible to do things which one alone is not able to realize. There is more power and effectiveness when all together pull together.

FINAT lives from active participation and engagement by its members. The time/benefit effect sometimes is not always visible immediately. It requires a certain integration time to get involved and, in doing so, to expand your network across borders. It is important that in order to make the most of your FINAT membership, you value this time as an investment.

It is nice to see how this is put into practice by our Young Managers Club. I would like to see that this is realized also to the older and middle generation of label professionals. Let´s work together!