At the late June meeting of ASSOMAC, the national association of Italian manufacturers of footwear, leathergoods and tannery machines, held in Vigevano, Giovanni Gaia, stepped down after two years. The four years with Gaia as chairman have been the hardest for the sector: ‘The harsh data may have been initially disconcerting but forced us to ask ourselves questions and look for new ways to reassert our right to compete on all markets’, said the outgoing chairman.

The latest data, however, from late 2006 and early 2007, show an improvement that prompted Gaia to say that the system still has a future. ‘This phase will not be the last. There will be another epoch. What will it be like? That will depend on our ability to construct, in other words, to see and to plan.’

Prizes were awarded to two ASSOMAC members, two entrepreneurs who have contributed towards the success of the Italian technology around the world: Antonio Capuano of Sigma from Lombardy and Cesare Vallero from Piedmont.

The new chairman is Giulio Tandura who graduated in mechanical engineering from Padua University and in 1980 joined the staff of Poletto, where he remained until 1995 when, in partnership with Carlessi, he set up Linta Srl, specialising in splitting machinery, of which he is sole director. He was already involved in Association activities at the time of Cimaco and joined the ASSOMAC board of directors in 1999. In 2003 he was appointed vice chairman of ASSOMAC, responsible for tanning machinery. He is chairman of the CEN/TC200 Tanning Machinery Committee.

Giovanni Bagini becomes vice chairman, responsible for footwear machinery.

Bagini, co founder of Sabal Group, became involved in ASSOMAC in 1987 and was previously vice chairman in 1993.

Alberto Paccagnella is the vice chairman responsible for leathergoods machinery. Paccagnella has spent his working life with OMAC, becoming sole director in 1984. In 1995 OMAC joined ASSOMAC and in 1999 he was appointed vice chairman, responsible for leathergoods machinery, a position he was asked to re-accept in 2007.