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We've counted the votes, deliberated and digested the results, and finally, after a heated debate, we've drawn up a list of who we think are the 100 most powerful people in print. There are plenty of newcomers and one or two surprises including a new number one, who, we hope you will all agree, deservedly tops this year's rankings. For those of you who made the list, congratulations, and for those of you who missed out, better luck next year. PrintWeek would like to thank the 1,300 readers who took the time to vote online for their personal pick and we hope that you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed putting it together.
100 Jon Fennell (NEW)
Why We thought the people behind the outspoken and astute comments on the printweek.com forums merited a place in our power charts. After all, they give a unique and levelling insight into the world of commercial print. The problem is - what do we know about the people behind the names? The Mighty Wind, Lordofweboffset and Edna Bag protect their identity with pseudonyms. However, Fennell chooses not to hide his true identity. With nearly 600 comments to his name, Fennell is a dedicated contributor and - as the head of the print services part of a corporate trading company - there isn't much going on in print that he doesn't know about. During the Butler and Tanner saga, his sage input was at first rudely rejected by outraged staff, but they soon realised his objective advice should not be snubbed. A straight talker and a valued contributor.
99 Dale Wallis (NEW)
Why Wallis is a new entry into the Power 100 and it's easy to see why There's a long queue of industry insiders willing to sing the praises of the BPIF's membership director. It's his commitment and enthusiasm that sets him apart from the crowd, while inside the federation he is seen as an inspirational leader and mentor. Wallis isn't just interested in the bigger beasts of the print sector; smaller firms have benefited from his technical, commercial and environmental knowledge. Wallis's star is in the ascendency and as one industry insider succinctly puts it: 'He's simply the best.'
98 Simon Berg (92)
Fresh Media Group
Why Berg is transforming Fresh Media Group from a magazine pre-press supplier to a graphics production agency. The chief executive admits it's tough, but he is thriving in what he calls the most exciting times he's ever seen. Repro revenues have halved in recent years, being replaced by photography, video, creative and technology revenues. One voter for Berg said: 'FMG's Ceros and New Kids innovations are leading the print/web crossover.' We take it they meant BigKid, but we'll let it pass. The sentiment is an accurate one. There's no doubting the success of Ceros, with 800 titles using the system, including several digital-only launches on the platform.
97 Ann Field (NEW)
Why The driving force behind this year's successful bid to save jobs at the Cambridge University Press (CUP), national officer Field is rapidly establishing herself as one of Unite's tough cookies. One nominator from the Power 100's public vote praised the 'massive impact she has had on the everyday worker in the print industry'. Such high praise should be tempered, perhaps, by the debacle at Butler and Tanner last year. However, Field's sterling efforts to avert job cuts at CUP without heavy-handed threats of strikes, was an attitude that earned her admiration from both sides of the fence.
96 Tim Elliott (93)
Elliott Baxter (EBB)
Why Apart from taking centre stage in PrintWeek's Valentine's Day special, EBB managing director Elliott has also caused a bit of a stir with his views on credit insurance over the past 12 months. However, one Power 100 voter said that he always maintains a positive outlook, despite the 'harshest trading conditions ever known', while another noted that no other independent merchant has the clout that he has. The proof is in the pudding, it seems. EBB has grown for 28 consecutive years under Elliott's guidance and he is still actively seeking opportunities to grow.
95 Paul Holohan (NEW)
Richmond Capital Partners
Why Holohan's importance to the trade cannot be underestimated at a time when companies are looking to merge for security or are in need of advice on how to navigate the choppy waters of the recession. Those that know him describe chief executive Holohan as 'extremely astute', 'knowledgeable and straightforward' and an 'ideas man'. He has fulfilled various roles in print throughout his career and now heads up corporate adviser Richmond, a boutique advisory firm specialising in M&A. Holohan is passionate about training and business improvement programmes, both worthy causes in today's rapidly evolving industry.
94 Nick Alexander (91)
Why As group chief executive of web, sheetfed and digital business Garnett Dickinson, Alexander has overseen growth in sales and profits over the course of the last year. The company continues to evolve and change pace and this is due in a large part to Alexander's unwavering focus on building up the business. One of his few failures of note came when he was unable to make the two hours, 30 minutes target that would see him compete with the elite men at the London Triathlon. Undeterred by this failure, he is currently training hard so that he can make the grade. He also has the mad dream of swimming the Channel one day - if David Walliams can do it, then few would bet against Alexander.
93 Tony Hards (87)
Graphics Arts Equipment (GAE)
Why The Frank Sinatra of the printing industry back in the good old days, joint managing director Hards' stock has dropped slightly in 2009 owing to the sale of GAE to Litho Supplies. However, he still has a major role to play at the company and the finishing sector as a whole. One colleague claims that Hards has a 'rare instinctive quality and the ability to shoot from the lip'. With the sale of GAE and his role presumably diminishing in the future, this could well be the last time we see this print legend in the power list.
92 Tony Jones (96)
Why The progress up this year's rankings for Jones is largely down to Pensord's double at last summer's Excellence awards, where he picked up the gong for Improved Financial Performance and the night's top prize - Company of the Year. Whether it's an innovative approach to people development and technology, or good old-fashioned strong financial management, Jones is held up as a shining example of what the modern print boss should look like. As one admirer says: 'Tony has respect, not only because he has a very inclusive, innovative management style, but because you know that if push came to shove, he has a 'bite' to him.'
91 Simon Moore (85)
Eclipse Colour Print
Why Disaster struck for managing director Moore when the Credit Crunch hit him hard, not in terms of business, instead the Formula One fanatic has had to curb his regular globe-trotting trips to Grand Prix venues. To make matters worse, his beloved Leeds United once again failed miserably to get out of League One. He managed to keep things ticking over nicely at Eclipse, achieving a pounds 16m turnover this year. This could be down to his eagle-eye attention to detail, which forces him to stalk his factory ensuring everything is in place. A colleague says of Moore: 'He has a good mix of skills: he can sell, he is technically astute and he has an all-round skill set.'
90 Peter Alderson (84)
Alderson Print Group
Why His colleagues tell us his blood group is print. At 65, he's still the driving force behind the Alderson Print Group and, while it's true that last year saw the Alderson brothers hand over the reins to new managing directors, the term 'being put out to graze' is far from relevant in this instance. In fact, colleagues tell us it's proving difficult to keep Alderson out of the office and he remains a very visible presence. He may have slipped a couple of places down the ranks, but his company has made some significant forward moves thanks to a series of investments to keep more work in-house and the creation of a PoS division. It's testimony to his drive that Alderson is as interested in the latest estimating software and management systems as he is devoted to his collection of arcane vintage printing kit.
89 David Taylor (80)
Why Since joining Lightning Source UK as business development director in June 2003, Taylor has enjoyed a rapid ascent up the ranks, culminating in him being crowned president of the company last year. The company printed more than 2m books in 2008 at its UK print on demand facility; a significant increase on the previous year. He will look to build on this in 2009 with the pioneering Espresso Book Machine distribution channel available to Lightning Source's 8,000 publishing company clients.
88 Chris Dew (78)
Why CPC managing director and BPIF Cartons chairman Dew has had a busy year pushing his company forward. He's also done sterling work in his leadership of BPIF Cartons with membership continuing to grow in 2009. An ex-Oxford rugby Blue, Dew's other passion is following his son's rugby progress, which culminated in his side, Lancashire, recently winning the county championship final at Twickenham. He also manages to fit in the odd round of golf to ensure that he delivers a respectable Stableford score in the CPC team challenge.
87 George Thompson (90)
Why The fact that Thompson, joint managing director of recruitment specialist Harrison Scott, secured the number-three slot in the public vote proves at the very least the quality of his contacts book. Or perhaps his popularity is more down to him being dubbed the 'people's champion' by Scotland's Sunday Mail this year, for his bid to sue to Sir Fred Goodwin on behalf of the nation's taxpayers? A definite Anglophile - a rare thing north of the border - Thompson's passion, energy and enthusiasm for the industry are truly legendary, as illustrated by the many comments supporting his inclusion. 'He lives, breathes, sleeps and eats print. God knows why, but he does,' gushed one anonymous fan, presumably not 'Fred the Shred'.
86 Dani Novick (81)
Mercury Search & Selection
Why Always a favourite in the public vote, new mum Novick's passion for better training and skills within the industry has won much praise. 'Dani is a key influence in shaping the future of our industry by bringing in the best talent through her recruitment company,' says one supporter. As managing director of recruitment firm Mercury, she is also commended for being switched on to everything that's going on within the industry. One colleague describes her as an 'absolutely determined lady' whose star quality means there is 'never a dull moment - always a thriller'.
85 James Portsmouth (NEW)
Why Portsmouth's first placing in the Power 100 is a reflection of the success of the firm's succession plan, according to chairman Charles Grant-Salmon. His role as managing director of Hobs 4DM puts him at the helm of the young management team that took over the group in 2007. Described as the natural choice by those around him, Portsmouth is a rare example of the boss's son proving up to the task of taking the top spot (his father Arthur founded the Transcom division). In a shrinking market the firm has gained share. Over the past year it has bedded in marketing agency Direct Link, expanded business development and moved further into digital.
84 Andy Seal (69)
Office of Government Commerce
Why The head of print, publishing and distribution at the Department for Transport has suffered a significant fall down the ranks as his government framework for paper comes to an end, and the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) waters down the environmental credentials by adding virgin fibre products. Next year may well see him fall from the power ranks entirely. If that happens, many in the print industry are grateful for his efforts.
83 Felix Dennis (NEW)
Butler Tanner & Dennis
Why His white knight move to right the capsized Butler and Tanner has no doubt made Dennis the saviour of Frome, but he deserves a spot in our Top 100 for his broader role of keeping colour book production alive in the UK. Despite moving Maxim online and closing Computer Buyer, Dennis continues to print an armada of magazines and launched the Dennis Communications customer publishing arm last year. Colleagues describe Dennis as 'passionate about print' and interestingly they say he thinks it is currently undervalued.
82 Andreas Schillinger (68)
Why While it may have been a quiet year professionally, keen aviator Schillinger has a licence to thrill - he's probably the only person in our Power 100 list to have a pilot's license. When the Swiss post-press kit manufacturer's UK managing director is not taking to the skies or hiking with the family, he is described as a very team-orientated businessman. 'He has a way of drawing the strength and ability of the people around him for the benefit of the company,' says one colleague. He also draws praise from his staff for being 'open to feedback which makes him a great person to work for'.
81 Basil Bannayi (NEW)
Close Print Finance
Why Another new entry from the world of finance, which reflects the increased importance of attracting funds in the current climate. Bannayi heads up Close Print Finance, one of the most prominent lenders in the industry this year. He has overseen the merging of the Surrey Asset and Close Print brands, a move that has consolidated Close's position in the market, as well as giving him final say in tens of millions of pounds of lending. He is described by colleagues as 'an intuitive and tenacious leader with an aptitude for deal making'.
80 Matthew Thomson (NEW)
Why Being chief executive of Scotland's largest remaining print group makes Thomson's inclusion long overdue. The oldest of the four Thomson brothers that own the 40-year-old firm, his management style is jokingly described as 'cotton mill owner', although direct and focused is perhaps a kinder and more accurate summary. While the glory days of having the UK computer manual sector all to itself may have gone, the company goes from strength-to-strength. Described by some as the 'Victor Kiam of print', after it bought the rights to manufacture and service the Variquik web presses it uses, the entrepreneurial credentials of the company are beyond reproach.
79 Andrew Jones (74)
Stephens & George
Why According to one customer, Stephens & George, under group managing director Jones's stewardship, has taken the sheetfed magazine printer model to 'another level - they're always pushing the boundaries'. Described as a 'party animal, very keen sportsman and …