Willi Vaskovich retired as president and chief executive officer of Stahl International bv at the end of 2003 after a long and illustrious career with the company. His long association with Stahl will continue as he remains a director of the management board of Stahl Holdings bv.

Before joining Stahl almost forty years ago, Vaskovich graduated from the Institute of Leather Technology and Chemicals in Vienna. Since then, he has spent all his working life in the leather chemicals industry, joining Stahl in 1965 when it was owned by the giant American corporation, Beatrice Chemicals.

He stayed with the company through progressive ownership by ICI, Zeneca and Avecia and played a leading role in the eventual management buy-out that led to the formation of an independent Stahl Group in January 2002. He became operations manager of Stahl Holland in 1969, was promoted to general manager in 1977 and then director, Stahl Operations Europe in 1983.

Three years later, he became general manager Stahl Europe. When, in 1991, the company headquarters were transferred from Peabody in Massachusetts, USA, to Waalwijk in the Netherlands, Vaskovich became general manager for Stahl business worldwide, leading to his appointment as president and chief executive officer when the Stahl Group became an autonomous organisation.

Vaskovich has become well known in the international leather industry, visiting Stahl companies and distributors, attending major exhibitions and opening major investments in new manufacturing facilities and application laboratories. These include the manufacturing facilities for Stahl India at Ranipet and new applications and development laboratories and manufacturing units in Mexico, Brazil and USA.

As from January 1, 2004, he is succeeded by Frank Policky as president and chief executive officer of Stahl. Policky joined Stahl in 1984 as applications manager, leather finishes, and later was promoted through a series of managerial roles including business manager, leather products and assistant general manager of Stahl Holland.

In 1997, he became business manager, leather products Europe, joint general manager of Stahl Holland and chairman of the Stahl European management board, positions which he has held up until his new appointment. Graduating in organic chemistry at University College, Dublin, Ireland, Policky prepared for the leather industry by gaining a post-graduate diploma in leather technology at the University of Leeds, UK. He then spent fifteen years in the tanning industry, eventually becoming managing director of Irish Tanners.

Also from January 1, Michael Vaskovich returns from Brazil to Holland to become executive chairman of the Stahl European management board. He has been executive vice president Stahl Brasil for the past five years during which time he has been involved in the significant growth of the company and their facilities in Brazil. Most notable was the building of Stahl Brasil’s new technology centre in Portão early in 2001. After joining Stahl in 1991 as a senior technologist for the colours and tanning products business based in Saint Clair du Rhône in France, he moved to Waalwijk in 1992, becoming technical service manager of the leather products group in 1995. Michael Vaskovich graduated from the Lederinstitut Gerberschule Reutlingen in 1987 and worked for five years in the German leather industry before joining Stahl.

Remy Vial has been promoted by Stahl to executive vice president Stahl Brasil. He will be based in Portão, Brazil. Joining Stahl in 1997 as a senior technical advisor in the leather applications laboratory, he had special responsibility in providing technical back-up for important automotive applications. Later he became European technical service manager of the leather products group, coordinating the liaison between research and development and sales functions.

Vial holds a diploma in leather technology gained at ITECH (Institut Textile et Chimique de Lyon) (ESCEPEA) in France.