NICK Steidl has been elected Master of the Stationers’ Company and a press release announcing the appointment states that his focus will be on creating a strong future for the Livery.
His term of office will see the Archive moved to a location where it can better display its historical documents. This is just the start to the planned renovation of the Hall, which could take two to 10 years to fund and complete but it is deemed a vital investment, given the Company’s strategic objective of opening the Hall for public access and as a centre of learning.
Education, too, will continue to be keenly promoted as Nick Steidl was instrumental in negotiating the partnership with the Stationers’ Crown Woods Academy, a secondary school which benefits from the time, money and expertise supplied by Liverymen and members of the Company.
“Look beyond the horizon, not at it; that’s great advice. We respect history and pageantry but our focus as a Company needs to be on the future,” says the new Master.
“The BBC called us a think tank and, although not strictly true, it is a good description. We link together people from several different business sectors including paper, print, packaging, digital and hard copy publishing and paper; it is a meeting point and information exchange centre for many key decision-makers. The company remains relevant and proactive and I am passionate that this continues and that we have gender balance and represent the UK citizenship generally moving forward.”
Steidl succeeds Ian Bennett, the founder and key moving force behind the Digital Media Group who has worked to attract new blood and is close to achieving his target of 100 new members.
Steidl’s background is in paper. From 1984 to 2008 he was chairman of Thameside Group, the parent of paper agent HH Pegg. He holds the Paper Industry Gold Medal, which was presented to him at a Charter Dinner at Stationers’ Hall.
He has been a Liveryman in the Stationers’ Company for 27 years. Three recent Past Masters from the Paper industry who are still active in the Livery are Patrick Shorten, Kevin Dewey and Tom Corrigan.
Steidl has played a part in the publication of reports on the future of paper and print and also one on packaging. He has also served as chairman of the Stationers’ Foundation, which oversees charitable giving and educational projects.
Asked what his style will be as Master, Steidl describes himself as a “reforming non-conformist”. He is known by others as loyal, determined and focused, if sometimes a little impatient to move things forward. He plans to communicate via Instagram in his year of office, preferring images over words.
Indeed, he is a keen photographer and a few years ago had a joint exhibition with Peter Fudakoski in Soho and has twice been short-listed for the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. He also holds a Powerboat Coastal Licence and enjoys the arts, tennis and golf, food and wine, travelling and cars.
He is married to Louise and they have three daughters Holly, Alice and Tessa.