WOA 50th ANNIVERSARY -- Sowing The Seeds
In fact, Basore believes that the WOA and the web printing industry are in the midst of a second golden age. "Our first was in the late '50s and '60s when we took over letterpress. Now, we are in another golden age. The new technologies available are just phenomenal," he adds.
Today, the WOA is known worldwide for its world-class conference, its vendor advisory board, the honorary Web Offset Society and its smaller sister association, the WOA coldset association.
The Web Offset Society was developed in the mid-'90s by Tom Brinkman, formerly of Metroweb. According to Tiffany, it provides a place where retired printers can continue to be of service to the industry.
Although he jokingly refers to it as the "old geezer's club," Tiffany explains that the society and the WOA conference provide a wide cross section of industry knowledge and experience that are invaluable.
"It's not just about technical issues, but management issues, as well. And the networking that happens at these meetings should never be underestimated," he notes. "I often learn just as much at a breakfast with my colleagues as I do at an educational seminar."
Frank Stillo, chairman and CEO of Sandy Alexander and past WOA board president, shares the same sentiments. "I've attended the conference over the past 30 years and they have always delivered something of value to me personally, to my peers and to other people in the industry. The association has been very helpful to me in my career. You always come away with new ideas to do your job a little better."
For Michael Winn, a WOA board member and a vice president of manufacturing at R.R. Donnelley, the biggest contribution that the association has made to the industry over the years is knowledge sharing. "It's a wonderful network of people across the entire industry—printers, suppliers and customers. We all have the same challenges, whether they be of a technical or economic nature. It's been a great learning experience."