Industry veteran Sturhahn to boost awareness and value of the CPISTF as a new trustee

The Board of Directors of the Canadian Printing Industries Scholarship Trust Fund (CPISTF) has strengthened its management team by appointing Gunther Sturhahn as its newest trustee. Now 60, he recently retired from a successful 40-year career in the wholesale paper distribution industry. Sturhahn will work closely with the CPISTF Board of Trustees to support and enhance the promotion, awareness and value of the fund. He started his career in 1976 with Barber-Ellis, which was acquired by Unisource, and then moved to Coast Paper, now operating as Spicers Canada. He subsequently held positions in sales and sales management, national purchasing, business development and regional management, finally retiring as VP for Western Canada. Sturhahn also participated in special projects – including working for PaperlinX in Europe. A most enjoyable part of his job was driving change management (preparing and supporting individuals, teams and organizations in making organizational changes), while embracing new ideas that moved the company into the ‘new age’ of printing.

CPISTF added that it would also like to acknowledge Bob Kirk, who has served as a dedicated, hard-working administrator for over four years, retired on December 31, 2017. “Bob’s extensive industry experience, contributions and support were a huge asset to all board members. We all wish him the very best in his future endeavours,” said Jeff Ekstein, President of the Willow Printing Group Ltd. and Chair of the CPISTF. “We also look forward to working with Gunther to further promote the awareness as well as the value of the fund, whose objective is to attract the brightest and most talented young people to the graphic communications industry to ensure our future.”

CPISTF: Helping students and our industry now and in the future

The CPISTF was initiated by the Canadian Printing Industries Association in 1971 through the efforts of a group of visionary printing industry executives. Since then, hundreds of thousands of dollars have been donated as a result of the generosity of firms and individuals associated with the printing industry in Canada. The fund exists exclusively for the benefit of the printing and graphic communications industry in Canada. Its primary objective is to attract the most talented young people by providing financial assistance to them while they’re enrolled in a graphic arts management or technical program. “It’s these same young people upon whom we must rely to ensure future growth and prosperity of the industry in Canada,” said the organization.

Including the current school year, the fund has provided scholarships to hundreds of students who met the necessary qualifications. Many ended up employed by either the industry executive who interviewed them (as part of the qualification process), or by one of the firms that made a donation to the fund – and now hold senior management and operating positions in today’s industry. Many of these students also secured summer employment and gained practical experience under the same circumstances. The CPISTF is currently modernizing the management of the fund to streamline and improve processes for donors and students – including the recent appointment of Sturhahn – to ensure that students across Canada who qualify can take advantage of every dollar of the scholarship funds available.

To donate please visit

To further accomplish their goals, the organization is asking for industry and private support in the form of donations to ensure that the fund continues to grow and expand. It now has a new link available on its website ( to make it extremely easy for anyone to donate immediately at any time. A letter of acknowledgment and a tax receipt will be electronically forwarded immediately to each donor. Payments can be made directly using Visa, Visa Debit, MasterCard, American Express or PayPal. So please visit its new, updated website, familiarize yourself with the positive changes, and donate. Support the future of the industry and feel good that you’ve done your part to bring awareness to the potential of a wonderful career in the printing and graphic communications industry.

For further information please contact any one of the CPISTF board members through its website
( to discuss topics related to the fund.


Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.