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A puff of white smoke



Here we are not dealing with the election of the pope, but the appointment of the new top management of Ucima (Italian automatic packaging and wrapping machine builders’ union), and - a personal note - an unfortunate mechanical breakdown that prevented me from reaching Bologna to take part in the Assembly proceedings. Hence on September 24th I was not present at Villa Cicogna, but as a person who is required to be informed of the facts and by virtue of my long "militancy", I will attempt to give a first reading of the events.

1) Giuseppe Lesce is the new President: engineer, 51 years of age, he is general manager of the Sacmi Imola Closures & Containers Division. For the first time hence the association is not headed by a businessman, in line with the provisions of the last amendment of the statute (2008), whereby "Representatives of the companies who are proprietors, legal representatives, directors or top-level managers vested with a specific proxy regarding associative decisions may aspire to holding office”.
His election is therefore a sign of change, also because he is not a member of the association "nomenklatura", although in some ways expression of the major industrial groups’ desire to be represented.

2) Gianmario Ronchi was elected Vice President: CEO of Ronchi Mario SpA, he has always participated actively in the life of the association, and indeed in recent times has held, among other posts, the function of association coordinator following the resignation of the director. Appreciated for his work by the majority of shareholders, he is likely to have to face the task of reconciling the different demands for representation and to solidify the membership base.

3) The board of directors. Many the names reconfirmed and who will work diligently to provide continuity and development regarding the association’s activities and undertakings: Alfredo Aureli (Aetna Group), Luciano Sottile (Ilapak Italy), Riccardo Cavanna (Cavanna), Ernesto Gamberini (MG2), Daniele Vacchi (Ima).
The new entries include Luisa Quadalti Senzani (Senzani Brevetti) and Maurizio Marchesini (Marchesini Group). The latter, who is also president of Unindustria, could play a significant role in raising the association’s profile and strength with sector institutions, both public and private.
Lastly, Davide Brancaleone (Elau Systems Italy) was re-elected as the associate members’ representative.

4) Facts and opinions. The assembly witnessed a great participation, as befits the occasion when there is a vote, and the results drew wide approval. The outgoing president Giovanni Caffarelli gave his farewell speech, leaving Ernesto Gamberini, temporary vice president, the task of presenting the figures on sector performance. The fact that in the first six months of 2010 orders increased by almost 30% seen against the same period of 2009 and that exports also showed a recovery (China +121.8%, United States +29.2%) has certainly helped create a climate of faith.

But beyond the ritual imposed by the event, the assembly also more or less explicitly addressed the association’s results, problems and priorities.
First and foremost the matter of the fairs: on one hand the encouraging results of the first edition of Packology, on the other of the need to close the dispute with Ipack-Ima in a balanced manner, verifying the possibility of new collaborations.
In parallel there was insistence as to the need to continue on that road to change that has brought the members, in particular the President and the Governing Council, to totally regain their hold on the guidance of Ucima.

Also reaffirmed the importance of supporting the process of sector internationalization, as well doing more with regard to training and access to EU funds. How? Perhaps by revitalizing the role of the Commissions.

Improvements can and must also be made - as some members sustained - when it comes to communication, this both outward and between governing bodies and the membership base, thereby shoring up a critical weakpoint.
In short, there are many challenges in the offing, to which we will return in the future. At this moment in time, for my part, I can only hope that Ucima is able to reconcile biased interests and to always make the good of all prevail. Simply said, but not easy to do.

P.S. In the editorial of the September issue I promised that I would publish the second instalment of the review of the Vietri encounter in this issue. Prevailing events have led me to postpone the report of the interesting roundtable discussion which took place during the Gifasp assembly: fortunately, the contents were and remain valid in any case. 

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