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Warren Leslie inducted as PrintNZ Life Member


Former PrintNZ president Warren Leslie has become only the fourth person in the last 17 years to be bestowed with Life Membership of PrintNZ.

Having served on the organisation’s board for 15 years, including seven as president, Mr Leslie expressed “pleasant surprise” at being presented with the honour by fellow PrintNZ Life Member Simon Ellis at last week’s Auckland Graduation Ceremony.

“I had no idea -- I’m far too young to get something like this,” quipped Mr Leslie.

“I am delighted and have joined some pretty esteemed people. It is very much appreciated and particularly in the circumstances -- being presented at a graduation ceremony for the up and coming people in print.”

Mr Leslie humbly reflects he just “got on and did what needed to be done”, while also highlighting the contributions of former and current PrintNZ heads, Joan Grace and Ruth Cobb.

“Joan, Ruth and the team around them very much made my life a lot easier -- and that’s the whole thing, it is about a team working together to collectively achieve results.”

Remaining involved with the sector through the Trust4Skills initiative and by maintaining friendships established over the years, Mr Leslie says the industry has evolved considerably since the days of lead type when he began his career.

“Nowadays they’re printing on microchips and there are three-dimensional printers. It is continuing to change so rapidly. When I started, the industry was probably about 95% male and now it looks almost 50/50 male and female -- that is also great.”

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Mr Leslie has continued a rich legacy in the print industry, which commenced with his grandfather who founded Wickliffe Press before the business was handed down to daughter, Joy Leslie.

Commencing his career as a sales rep with Wickliffe in 1978, Mr Leslie evolved through roles in the company to ultimately become managing director in 1993 when Ms Leslie relinquished that role and became chairperson.

Mr Leslie joined the board of PrintNZ soon after the major restructure of 1998, which saw 11 independent associations reformed into a national association with two offices, notes PrintNZ general manager Ruth Cobb.

“New blood was sought to develop the reinvigorated organisation,” says Ms Cobb.

“He was able to assist in bedding in the changes and played a big part in the financial management or the organisation and the capital reserves.

“Warren has devoted a large amount of time to the printing industry and as a collective group we are most appreciative of this and it was an absolute pleasure to bestow the Life Membership on him.”

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