Paul Hand

Paul Hand HeadshotWhen Irish Eyes Are Smiling

Paul Hand Receives 2013 IADD Presidential Award

The unique thing about the IADD Presidential Award is that there are no set criteria; they are simply those of the sitting president. To me, it is ideally suited to recognizing up and coming members within the organization who have gone above and beyond, but are not necessarily household names. Being well-known and liked should be helpful, but not be what decides the process. However, I believe that the recipient of this Presidential Award would make the cut no matter what award he was considered for. To me, the possibility of a friendship component would be a potential bonus, but should not be the only basis to give such a prestigious award. As such, I decided to give out a 2013 Presidential Award to Paul Hand of Newline Dies, Ltd. in Drogheda, Ireland.

Let me first backtrack to 2010-2011. Darrel Griffin of Stafford Cutting Dies, Inc. was the Odyssey co-chair—and for that matter still is—and was in charge of all technical programming. He asked me to help him by being one of his “four horsemen,” to take charge of the folding carton programming component of Odyssey 2011. That wound up being five of the technical programs at that show. Of the five programs I oversaw, two of them were to especially highlight situations and tooling more common in Europe at that point than in the US. Those programs were Session 601: Braille—What It Is, Why You Should Care, How to Produce It and What’s New and Session 612: How to Design & Fabricate Cost Effective, High Performance Stripping Tools.

I spent more hours emailing back and forth with Paul on details for the programming than I care to remember, and especially for the sample tooling that would be needed for the Odyssey programs. I felt that without clear physical examples of exactly what the programming was about, the effect and benefit just wouldn’t be there. Not only did Newline provide technical expertise to assist both me and the final programming, but they also shipped over all the tooling needed from Ireland at their expense. Both programs also had Q&A sessions at the end, where we got a bunch of great and insightful questions. Paul himself was unable to attend the show due to a schedule conflict, but one of his partners, Geoff McQuillan, was gracious enough to attend. Geoff was on both of those Q&A panels to answer questions relative to what was happening in Europe and was a vital part of the programs. Months later I did a chapter presentation of the same programming, and once again Newline sent updated versions of tooling over to assist with the programming.

Now let us fast forward to the summer of 2012. The IADD Board of Directors had made the decision that we should have an Executive Committee Meeting, but outside of the US. We ended up settling on flying into Dublin, Ireland and having the main portion of the meeting in the lovely Irish town of Drogheda, which is home to Newline Dies. Although the actual Executive Committee Meeting is just a single day event, what we ended up coordinating with Paul and all the other wonderful people at Newline Dies was a week-long event that was both fun and extremely informative for everyone involved. Upon arriving at the Dublin Airport, we were all transported to Drogheda. As nobody knew each other, we arranged a meet and greet reception, by the end of which it seemed we had all known each other for years.

The next day we were picked up and went on tours of both Delta Packaging Ltd. in Belfast and Dakota Packaging Ltd. in Dublin. Delta is a very high-volume company producing a staggering number of boxes yearly, while we toured Dakota Packaging mainly to see their innovative use of Braille tooling. The next day we went to a very impressive Open House at Newline Dies, impeccably organized and followed by historic tours of the Millmount Fort in Drogheda and the Oldbridge site, where the famous Battle of the Boyne was heldm deciding the fate of Ireland in the 1600s. Most of us also managed to make a tour of Newgrange, which was very inspiring to say the least. That night we had a group dinner with Newline Dies at the Salthouse Restaurant, owned by a rather eccentric Australian (probably why I selected that location). Knowing my taste, he did indeed have ostrich and crocodile available for additional appetizers as I had sampled them there before. Dinner was followed by live music, and a great time was had by all.

The following day we did indeed meet all day, having our Executive Committee Meeting, which was productive and I guess necessary, as that was what we were supposed to be there for in the first place. Paul’s son Ian plays drums in a band, and that evening we went to our official IADD hangout in Drogheda—now an honorary member of the association, I might add—O’Casey’s Pub and Bar on Trinity Street. We were all entertained by some great live music by Ian and his fellow band members, the Carolan Brothers—President-Elect Darrel Griffin of Stafford even got to play along at one point. The next and last day of the official events, we went to downtown Dublin and toured the Guinness Storehouse and other sightseeing, such as a great tour of Trinity College guided by Ian since he had just graduated from there. For many of our group of almost 30 people, this was their first time in the Emerald Isle and it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience they will always remember and cherish.
The award plaque reads as follows, and sums it up well:

Presidential Award
Paul Hand
The International Association of Diecutting and Diemaking proudly recognizes Paul Hand for his exceptional service to the Association, its members and our industry.
You, along with your partners Geoff and Niall and all the staff of Newline Dies, have continually supported the IADD and we will always appreciate your generosity. We commend your providing tooling, technical expertise and a presenter for Odyssey and chapter educational programs and the myriad of special planning touches for our unforgettable Executive Committee Meeting in Drogheda, combined with your Open House. Thanks for being heads above the crowd and a valued part of the IADD.
Presented on July 1, 2013
Andrew Carey
IADD President

Again I wanted to personally thank Paul Hand, his partners Geoff McQuillan and Niall Cunningham, and everyone at Newline Dies for everything they have done both for me and for the IADD. We all really appreciate it—and, again, congratulations.