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Open letter to all gua members!

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  • Open letter to all gua members!

    Dear GUA members near and far,

    Three Cheers for an absolutely amazing GUIA Conference and THANK YOU to our host city of New Orleans! All I can say is WOW, what a town! Thank you, Michele, and the entire Kodak team for a marvelous event. A huge thanks needs to go out to every one of you that came to support this year’s conference. I’m quite confident that there will never be a conference like this one, well not one with it’s own parade down Bourbon Street!

    I want to take a special moment to address the membership. The timing of the conference was planned months ago, yet a major Kodak announcement happened during the show. I’m sure this was planned many weeks if not months ago too, but no one ever connected the dots. It was GREAT to be able to listen and learn from Kodak’s executive team. We are so lucky. We didn’t just get sounds bytes, we got the Executive Bullpen. What a huge tradition in the GUA Conference and one that the executives embrace. Few companies open themselves up to such scrutiny like Kodak, so my hat is off to them!

    Kodak is really at a cross roads. Chapter 11 is nothing that can be taken lightly. Kodak has stated that they are 100% committed to righting the ship. We, as the GUA, need to be as tight knit as possible. Kodak needs us more than ever and now is not the time to start any undercurrents. We all know what’s going on but the GCG arm of Kodak is strong. The foundation at the mother ship level may be having issues, but we must not add to this. The GUA is looked upon for strength and education. We are united in making our prepress systems and workflows as robust as possible and that will not change, regardless of where the Graphic Arts Division has its home, at Kodak or elsewhere.

    This leads very nicely to another item, my replacement as President of the GUA. The Board of Directors has had a succession plan in place for many months. We are always looking for new leadership to keep the GUA spirit alive and well. I have served on the board since 2002 and as President since 2006 and earlier this summer; we voted and chose John Henderson as the new GUA President. Like Kodak’s big news, we also tossed and turned with this announcement. Was the timing wrong, what messages will that send in light of the other issues in the air?

    I, along with each of the board members, fully support John as the new President and look forward to the great things to come for the organization. He has some amazing ideas that will take the GUA to a new level. I am not leaving the board; you cannot get rid of me that easily! I will be taking the title of Past President as I continue to sit on the board to ensure that the secret sauce we have all worked so hard to create will not be lost.

    I am so excited for things to come as I continue to serve you and the graphic arts industry.

    Rock on!
    Thomas R. Clifford, Jr.
    Graphic Users Association Past President
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  • #2
    Re: Open letter to all gua members!

    Thank you, Tom, your message clearly represents your commitment to the GUA and its' members. It has been a true please working with you as the former GUA President and now Past President. As John Henderson said at the conference, "the GUA Board and Members will not let you go that easily...the past president role extends for 8 years!" =)

    A note to all GUA Members and Conference Attendees: After a few snags with posting presentations- I am pleased to share with you the GUA 2012 Conference presentations are now available and loaded to a GUA presentation cloud:

    Thank you all for your continued support and participation in the GUA.

    All the Best,


    Michele Laird-Williams
    Michele R Laird-Williams | PR, Customer Comm.,Association Mgr & Executive Director, Kodak Graphic User's Association | Americas | Eastman Kodak Company