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2009 Graphic Arts Leaders of the Americas (GALA) Recipient Named

Press release from the issuing company

Orlando, Florida, November 6, 2008 -- The Printing Association of Florida (PAF) is proud to name the recipient of the 2009 Graphic Arts Leaders of the Americas (GALA) for North America Award: Mr. Hans H. Wegner, Vice President, production services, National Geographic Society, Washington, DC. Wegner will be receiving the award before an international audience of graphic arts industry leaders and guests at the 26th annual GALA Award Banquet and Reception, Wednesday, February 25, 2009; in Miami, Florida, in conjunction with Graphics of the Americas' 2009 exhibition and conference.

Established in 1982, the GALA Award is one of the printing industry's most prestigious recognitions awarded to outstanding industry professionals each year. GALA recipients are nominated by PIA/GATF affiliates and CONLATINGRAF (Confederación Latinoamericana de la Industria Gráfica) members, and are chosen for their leadership in areas of management, technology, business and quality; as well as their contributions to the graphic arts industry, their community and society in general. Since its inauguration more than 25 years ago, the GALA Award has symbolized not only industry excellence, but also the linking of the Americas and two major industry associations.

Hans H. Wegner   
Hans H. Wegner is the Vice President of production services for the National Geographic Society. In this capacity, he is responsible for prepress, manufacturing, quality control, and distribution of the National Geographic Magazine, as well as management of the organization's photographic imaging lab.

Born in Paraguay, South America, Wegner emigrated to the United States in 1956. As a young man, he studied graphic arts at California State College in Pennsylvania. He later transferred to the University of Maryland in College Park, MD, where he earned a degree in American history and economics. Wegner also apprenticed at a commercial print shop, Corporate Press, in Washington, DC - obtaining a range of professional skills while working as a journeyman cameraman, a platemaker, and a stripper during his tenure there.

In 1973, Wegner joined the National Geographic Society - first, as a photo lab and color-separation technician, then as the production manager for the renowned magazine. He became Director of Production in 1982, and two years later also took on the challenge of managing the Society's paper purchasing. For the past two years, Wegner has been leading the Society's effort to "walk the talk" by reducing its carbon impact and greening its operations.

In many respects, Wegner's professional interests parallel his personal interests, such as hiking, environmental and historic preservation, art, architecture, history, classical music, gardening, woodworking, and biking.

Wegner and his wife, Janet, are the proud parents and foster parents of five children. Wegner serves as a councilman for his hometown, Garrett Park, MD; and is an active volunteer for homeless causes, the Sudanese Lost Boys, and historic preservation and environmental organizations.

Wegner joins a distinguished group of industry notables who have earned this high honor. Past North American GALA recipients include Barry Meinerth (2008), Thomas Quadracci (2007), John Wurst (2006), Warren Wilkins (2005), Jerry Williamson (2004), Ray Roper (2003), Hans Peetz-Larsen (2002), Joe Arriola (2001), Bob Murphy (2000), Mark G. Jorgensen (1999), Donald Duncanson (1998), Howard C. "Buzz" Webber, Jr. (1997), Roy Winn Luckett (1996), Wallace Stettinius (1995), and Robert Havrilla (1994).