Sakae Sagane, Chairman of Mimaki Europe, has retired

Sagane turned Mimaki into a reputable global brand and a major industry player in Europe, the Middle East and Africa

Sakae Sagane Chairtman of Mimaki Europe and Executive Vice President of Mimaki Engineering

Mimaki, a leading manufacturer of wide-format inkjet printers and cutting systems, announced that its Chairman, Sakae Sagane, who also served as Executive Vice President for Mimaki Engineering Company, has retired effective June 28, 2018, after leading Mimaki Europe since 2005. Sagane grew Mimaki Europe from a small Mimaki subsidiary to the business unit contributing the most revenue compared to other Mimaki subsidiaries. Under his leadership, Mimaki Europe grew its network of dealers and distributors across the region, completed the acquisition of Mimaki-nbn GmbH in 2008 (now Mimaki Deutschland), and established Mimaki Eurasia in Turkey to more specifically address the needs within that region. In addition, Mimaki Europe positioned itself as a major industry player under his leadership, strengthening its position in signs and display graphics and textiles, while also beginning to establish a foothold in 3D printing. Annual turnover for Mimaki Europe was EUR 46 million in 2006, growing to EUR 125 million by the end of Mimaki’s fiscal year in March 2018, contributing more than 31 % of total Mimaki turnover.

“Mimaki Europe has truly prospered under Sagane’s leadership, as have our customers,” said Yuji Ikeda, Managing Director at Mimaki Europe. “His vision took us from a small regional player to a force to be reckoned with in the markets we serve. This includes several acquisitions and our joint venture with Bompan in Italy that have enabled Mimaki to become a total solutions provider with an end-to-end ecosystem of solutions for the growing digital textile printing market. He also helped us successfully navigate through and overcome the difficulties of the European debt crisis. Mimaki Europe started out with only five employees back in 2005 and this number has grown to more than 100 today. We sincerely thank him for his many years of service. He will be missed.”

“The time I spent developing Mimaki Europe has been extremely rewarding,” Sagane said. “We have an outstanding team that has been a delight to work with, and a cadre of loyal and innovative customers that both pushed us to higher performance levels and rewarded us with their business. It is with mixed emotions that I leave this vibrant and growing business to take on the next phase of my life.”

Mimaki is a leading manufacturer of wide-format inkjet printers and cutting machines for the sign/graphics, industrial and textile/apparel markets. Mimaki develops the complete product range for each group; hardware, software and the associated consumable items, such as inks and cutting blades. Mimaki excels in offering innovative, high quality and high reliability products, based upon its aqueous, latex, solvent and UV-curable inkjet technology. In order to meet a wide range of applications in the market, Mimaki pursues the development of advanced on-demand digital printing solutions. Mimaki Engineering Co. Ltd., (President: Kazuaki Ikeda) Nagano (Japan), is publicly listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, Inc.


HeiQ Appoints Colleen Nipkow and Paul Middleton

HeiQ Appoints Colleen Nipkow as Marketing Director North America and Paul Middleton as Brandforce Europe and Technical Director Brandforce

HeiQ Materials AG announces two key new hires to strengthen the sales, marketing and technical support to our brand partners.

Paul Middleton

In these two newly created leadership roles, Nipkow is named Marketing Director North America, and Middleton is named Brandforce Europe and Technical Director Brandforce. Nipkow will oversee HeiQ’s North American marketing, leading strategic planning, budget, and all aspects of marketing communication for the region. Middleton will manage brand relations with our European partners as well as support the Global Brandforce Team on all technical aspects.

HeiQ’s CEO, Carlo Centonze says «At HeiQ, we believe in our people, their skills and their passion for success. With the hiring of Colleen and Paul, we add two more experienced professionals to our team. We are very proud that they decided to join HeiQ and our ambitious plan to be the technology innovator and marketeer for our brand partners».

Colleen Nipkow

Nipkow’s depth of experience includes over 25 years of marketing roles in the outdoor industry. She has worked with brands including Polygiene, Gregory Mountain Products, SCARPA North America and Black Diamond Equipment. Middleton comes to HeiQ with 30 years of experience developing new finishes while ensuring all yarns, constructions, chemical effect finished and process routings comply with the customer’s expectations. His previous experience includes technical director for both Polygiene and Courtaulds.

«I joined HeiQ because I feel aligned with their core value – Differentiate. Innovate.», states Nipkow. «The strategy of R-D-M (research, develop, market) sets HeiQ apart as an innovation partner to the brands. I am excited to be working with the teams in both North America and Switzerland to support these HeiQ values and strategy.»

Both Nipkow and Middleton will attend the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market in Denver with HeiQ (booth 1039LL).

«I am very happy to be joining the team at HeiQ», says Middleton. «HeiQ’s mission to be the leader in textile innovation will allow me to help our brand partners incorporate innovative finishes and effects into their products».


North Face names Hilaree Nelson Captain Of Global Athlete Team

Conrad Anker

The North Face announced that ski mountaineer and long-time athlete Hilaree Nelson will serve as captain for the Global Athlete Team. Conrad Anker currently holds the position and will serve as co-captain with Nelson through the remainder of 2018, before Nelson fully transitions to team captain in 2019.

Hilaree Nelson

Nelson, who has been a The North Face athlete for almost 20 years, boasts an impressive roster of accomplishments including skiing the Himalayan summit of Cho Oyu in Tibet; double summiting Denali; bagging the first American ascent and ski descent of Papsura Peak, India; being named the 2018 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year and serving as the face of the Move Mountains initiative.

“Hilaree was a natural choice to succeed Conrad in the role of team captain,” said Mike Ferris, sr. director, global brand management. “Not only is she one of the best ski mountaineers in the world, but she has become a constant force of support, motivation and vision to her fellow athletes. In her new role, we know Hilaree will provide the inspiration and mentorship necessary to lead our incredibly dynamic and supportive athlete family into the future.”

Anker, who has served as team captain from 1992, when the athlete team was formed, has spent the majority of his 30 years with the brand in this role. From serving as a mentor to fellow and new athletes, to acting as a key athlete spokesperson for the brand both in the media and at corporate events, Anker works closely with the brand and sports marketing teams as they plan, strategize and navigate expedition and yearly planning.

“It is my great honour to hand the reins of Team Captain to Hilaree Nelson,” said Team Captain and mountaineer Conrad Anker. “Hilaree has a long and storied career with The North Face and is well-suited to help make the athlete experience at The North Face meaningful for both the athletes, individuals and the brand.”

General responsibilities of athlete team captain include serving as the main conduit between the athlete team and The North Face corporate team, acting as the face and voice of the brand and helping build and manage the team of the future.