17 July 2019

Dick Naafs, President of KVGO, Intergraf’s Dutch member association, is the newest member of our Board. He will take over full representation of the Netherlands for Intergraf following Cees Verweij’s departure in mid-2020.

Intergraf welcomed the opportunity to sit down with Dick and discuss his new role as President of KVGO and work as an Intergraf Board Member. Alongside Cees Verweij (President of Intergraf until he steps down at the 2020 General Assembly), Dick will represent the Netherlands on our Board.

What is your role at KVGO?

For the last three years I have been a member of KVGO’s board, the Dutch organisation representing printers in the Netherlands, and President since the end of May.

What is your background?

After studying Commercial and Business Economy, I moved to Bern, Switzerland to work at Hallwag AG, a publishing and printing company - also known for the red cartography maps. After this, I moved to the USA where I worked in several companies in the Boston area.

Since 1984, I have been a publisher and owner of a printing company, located in the centre of the Netherlands. In 2007 we bought an advertising company and in 2014 two more printing companies. In 2018, I decided to sell the still healthy companies. It was a very difficult decision to say goodbye to the people I worked with for so many years, but I still represent the companies who bought my firms and am happy with this.

What would you like to achieve in your new position at KVGO?

I would like KVGO to facilitate more partner printing and publishing organisations, as well as to help train printers to protect and make more out of their businesses through training and seminars.

You are also due to join Intergraf’s Board. What would you like to achieve in this capacity?

A very good question and I do not have the answer yet because I do not know enough of Intergraf and your work to decide what my role should be. What I do know is that I love to cooperate with other board members, talk with them and to get to know them better. I speak good English and German, a little French, and I am following a course in Italian - this in advance will help!

How do you see the printing industry evolving in the Netherlands? What are the challenges?

How to find the best mix in what you supply and deliver to your client in communication and combination with print.

What are the opportunities?

As a printer, you know your client and what they expect, so you print better than other suppliers. Print is a personal business, also online!

What do you see as the most crucial future trends and technologies?

Data. Find and explore the right data from your clients and the market to change your production to what your clients and the market really want - not only what you can produce.

What advice do you have for printers?

In Holland I would say find each other to gain money for innovation in print, change a part of the plant from offset into digital print, and dare to make the decision to let work go to your competitor and focus on your niche market.

Outside of the office, what are some of your interests and pastimes?

A lot!  My family and good friends, sports, Rotary and a social life in our village. I also spend time in social work and caring for people.

Do you have any message(s) that you would like to communicate to your European colleagues?

We share a beautiful business through which we are in contact with all kinds of people and businesses. We create products with a beautiful result which make people happy every day.

Let us share questions about the future and learn from each other. This can and will help us to make the right decisions in our industry. I have done this for many years with colleagues in the Netherlands and it has brought me a lot. Be honest and open with each other and you will get the answers you are waiting for.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

I look forward to becoming a good member of Intergraf getting to know my future international friends.