Jim DeFife, vice president of Pressure-Sensitive Materials for Multi-Color Corp., has been chosen as the recipient of the prestigious R. Stanton Avery Global Achievement Award 2019. Judging for the annual Label Industry Global Awards, now in their 16th edition, took place June 5 during the FINAT European Label Forum in Copenhagen. The panel of international judges considered entries for a total of six award categories and drew up a shortlist. 

Sponsored by Avery Dennison, the R. Stanton Avery Global Achievement Award recognizes an innovation or idea that has helped transform and progress the label industry across the world. Bestowed in memory of Stan Avery’s pioneering spirit and values, the award builds on the previously named R. Stanton Avery Pioneer Award to reflect the global nature of the industry and recognize the collective contributions of the many, as well as individuals.

DeFife has reportedly been a driving force in the global label industry for almost 40 years, with a focus throughout his career on the development of technical solutions that have revolutionized and grown the pressure-sensitive market—first with Avery Dennison and then with Spear and Multi-Color. During his 20 years with Avery Dennison, DeFife led the company’s specialty films division, developing new filmic constructions. He subsequently led a global initiative for materials down-gauging at Spear, C-Flex, and Multi-Color. 

DeFife has also been a long-term pioneer in thin film technology, adding wide-web coating to Spear’s facilities. This included major work with the entire supply chain, incorporating all the film/paper, adhesive, and coating suppliers. He also reportedly developed the first plastic bottle recyclable pressure-sensitive label recognized by the APR.

“As the highest accolade within the label and package printing industry, the quality of entries to the Label Industry Global Awards is always extremely high, so drawing up the finalists is no easy process,” said Mike Fairley, founder of the Label Academy and chair of the judges. “However, the judging panel agreed that Jim DeFife was the stand-out choice for this year’s R. Stanton Avery Global Achievement Award, with multiple recommendations from around the world. 

“Beyond his technical ability, what also really stood out for us was his ability to gain and retain the respect of the industry throughout his career—from suppliers, his peers, and his customers. What better moment to celebrate his achievements from an incredible 40-year label career than 2019, the 40th anniversary year of Labelexpo. We look forward to honoring him and all our winners in person at a very special awards ceremony in Brussels in September, at which we will also be celebrating Labelexpo’s important milestone.”

The confirmed finalists (listed in alphabetical order) for the five other categories are listed below.

The Award for Innovation (for companies with more than 300 employees), sponsored by Xeikon:

  • Esko
  • Lenze
  • Lintec Europe (UK) Ltd.
  • Wink Stanzwerkzeuge GmbH & Co. KG

The Award for Innovation (for companies with up to 300 employees), sponsored by Flint Group:

  • GEW (EC) Ltd.
  • GMG GmbH & Co. KG
  • HYBRID Software Inc.
  • Lake Image Systems Ltd.
  • Synia / Wizzcom 

New for 2019 is the Rising Star Award, sponsored by the Label Academy and Avery Dennison:

  • Katie Davis, Bostik, Inc.
  • Jesse Freitas, StickerGiant
  • Ahmed Lotfi Mansour, Bayan for Printing & Packaging 
  • Robert Rae, GEW (EC) Ltd.
  • Pawandeep Sahni, Weldon Celloplast Ltd.

The Environmental & Sustainability Award:

  • Avery Dennison
  • Sleever International
  • Valmet

The finalists of the European Converter of the Year Award will be announced in July. All winners and official presentations of the prizes will be announced September 24, during the first evening of Labelexpo Europe 2019, at a gala event hosted at Brussels Expo.

For more information, visit www.labelexpo.com. Avery Dennison can be found online at www.averydennison.com, and Multi-Color’s website is located at www.mcclabel.com.