The Soderstrom Gala is the annual meeting of The Walter E. Soderstrom Society, an Idealliance honors group that takes its name from one of the founders of Idealliance predecessor association, NAPL.
The gala is held each year in conjunction with the industry-wide GRAPH EXPO/PRINT show and is a festive evening where Society members and industry leaders gather for an evening of good fellowship and networking. Highlight of the evening is presentation of the annual Walter E. Soderstrom Award for industry service and induction of a new class of industry leaders into the Soderstrom Society.
Guy Gecht, the overall 2017 Sodersrtom Award Winner, will be joined by 12 new Sodersrtom Society inductees.
Guy Gecht has helped redefine the ways printing companies pursue new markets and refine their production operations. Known in the industry for his insights and strong vision of the print industry’s future, he has guided EFI to become one of the industry’s most successful publicly traded companies.
Gecht’s professional career began after he graduated with a B.S. in Computer Science and Mathematics from Ben Gurion University in Israel. He was a member of the Israeli National Bridge Team and as a youth placed second in Europe and fifth globally in the World Junior Bridge Championships. Guy served 5 years as an officer in the Israel Defense Forces working on complex, high-tech projects. He worked for Apple Israel, serving as CTO, before immigrating to the US and working for a pair of US tech companies in the early 1990s.
Joining EFI in October of 1995, Guy became vice president and general manager of EFI Fiery products in 1999. He ascended to his current position, CEO, in January of 2000.
The 17 years Guy has served as CEO have transformed the company and its view of the market. Every decision made focuses on how EFI can help an industry comprised of small- to mid-sized, family-owned businesses. Most EFI customers are business owners who hope to pass along a healthy, thriving business to their kin. This underlying principle is the motivation behind most of EFI customers’ investments, and it is never far from Gecht’s decision-making process.
Guy and EFI’s management team took EFI head-on into digital printing, acquiring superwide-format inkjet technology company VUTEk in 2005 and narrow-web digital printer and ink manufacturer Jetrion in 2006. He’s ensured that EFI has one of the industry’s largest R&D operations that encompasses all functional print technologies from packaging to construction and home décor.
His practical printing ideas form a concept he calls the “Imaging of Things.” It is as much a vision for the future for the industry as it is for EFI and its customers, who are transitioning to dynamic new printing opportunities. EFI has continued to expand this concept, acquiring Cretaprint, a manufacturer of digital ceramic tiles, in 2012, and Reggiani Macchine, a leading manufacturer of industrial textile printing, in 2015.
Guy was named a “Legend of Silicon Valley” in 2013 by the Frost & Sullivan Institute. In 2015, he received the Technical Association of the Graphic Arts Michael H Bruno Award for his dedicated service and contributions to the advancement of the global graphic arts industry. Gecht was also named a 2015 Game Changer by the Silicon Valley Leadership Group. In 2015, he received the Printing Industries of New England’s Industry Influencer Award for his “profound impact on the way printers operate through technological innovation and workflow engineering improvements.”
He was inducted into the Soderstrom Society in 2014.