Curwin Friesen to step down as President and CEO of Friesens

From left are Byron Loeppky, Curwin Friesen and Chad Friesen in front of the Roland R900 HiPrint XXL Press.
From left are Byron Loeppky, Curwin Friesen and Chad Friesen, in front of the company’s Roland R900 HiPrint XXL Press.

In October, industry leader Curwin Friesen, President and CEO of Friesens (Altona, Manitoba), one of North America’s premier book, yearbook and packaging manufacturers, will leave the company to become the Senior Vice President of Business Development for Ashley Global Retail. Ashley Global Retail is a one of the largest furniture manufacturers in the world and a top furniture retailer in the U.S. with more than 600 locations.  Friesen has been with the company for 21 years – 6 as President and 9 as CEO. Though officially leaving in October of this year, he will remain as CEO until 2017 to assist with overseeing the transition of duties to his senior leadership team. As of October 1, Chad Friesen will assume the role of President and CEO while also retaining his current role as General Manager of the company’s Yearbook Division. He’s been employed at Friesens for 17 years. Byron Loeppky, who has spent his entire 35-year career at Friesens, will assume the role of General Manager of the company’s Book/Web Division while retaining his role as Vice-President of Production.

Last summer, in a major installation in Canada, Friesens quadrupled its productivity with a new Manroland eight-colour R900 HiPrint XXL Press with several automation modules. “What Friesens has accomplished is very rare. They increased their productivity by four times their current workflow,” said Sean Springett, U.S. & Canadian Marketing Manager for Manroland Sheetfed. “The combination of perfecting, press speed and sheet size, all in a single-pass, has afforded a competitive edge unmatched by other book printers in a sheetfed press, specifically in North America,” he said at the time.

The HiPrint XXL is equipped with InlineColorPilot capable of registering full ink reads within 3 sheets at full press speed. Once read, it will make any required colour change parameters quickly. Coupled with InlineRegister, Friesens was able to control circumferential, diagonal and lateral register on the fly automatically during any sheet-read sequence, ensuring maximum quality and “the fastest” VLF make-readies.

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Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.