25 Oct 2021

Kolbus UK MD Robert Flather is new Picon Chairman

Picon new president LFR2

Robert Flather, Managing Director of Kolbus UK, has been elected as Chairman of Picon.  He succeeds Bob Usher, Managing Director of Apex Digital Graphics, who has completed his two-year term leading the Council of the UK association of print industry manufacturers and suppliers.

A Council member since 2008, when Picon merged with the APMI, Robert says his priorities as Chairman include continuing the work of Bob Usher and the late Peter Morris in helping create an authoritative voice for the printing industry through Picon’s membership of the Graphic Print & Media Alliance.  “Lobbying for members’ interests is a primary function of a trade association, and I thank Peter and Bob for their significant contributions in laying the ground for the GPMA to become a powerful voice for all sectors of the industry.  We are now approaching the critical mass needed to speak with weight and authority, and I will be working hard to make this happen.

“Besides his work with the GPMA, Bob registered other really solid achievements as Chairman, including ensuring a seamless transition from Tim Webb to Bettine Pellant as CEO, and the introduction of the successful Picon Apprenticeship Support Scheme.”

Commenting on the industry exhibitions in the UK, Robert says Picon “will continue to back shows for which there is clear support among our members, many of whom value a stable UK exhibition scene.”  Continuing to expand the benefits for Picon members is a further goal.  “The range we provide is already attractive, and I want to add new ones where appropriate.  Our aim should always be to provide benefits that members’ need, which means that the main impetus has to come from the full membership.  The Council cannot do it alone.”

Robert also hopes that at the end of his Chairmanship he will be remembered for having supported Picon, something that predecessor Bob Usher was noted for.  “Bob Usher has set a great example in this, being seen at as many events as he could and, whenever possible supporting our calendar of sector-specific focus groups with his presence.”

Robert started his working life as an engineer in the steel industry before joining Clays in Bungay as General Manager of the bindery.  He became Chief Engineer at Jarrolds before joining Kolbus UK in 1997 and becoming Managing Director in 1998.  Robert is also a member of The Stationers Company and is Chairman of the Stationers’ Foundation.

[Photo shows Robert Flather shaking hands with outgoing Chairman Bob Usher]