Search past winners/finalists

Peleman Industries

Company: Peleman Industries, Inc., Alpharetta, GA
Company Description: Peleman Industries is a manufacturer of binding, laminating and presentation products distributed in more than 100 countries on six continents. Initially focused on the business sector, the company recently expanded its presence into retail through the PhotoBook Creator, a binding machine for creating photo albums at home. Peleman's worldwide headquarters is located in Puurs, Belgium.
Nomination Category: Management Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Best Executive - Manufacturing

Nomination Title: Brigitte Peleman-Vantieghem, CEO


  1. Tell the story about what this nominee achieved since January 1 2007 (up to 500 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms. Be sure to mention obstacles overcome, innovations or discoveries made, and outcomes:

    In 1998, at age 27, Brigitte Peleman-Vantieghem moved from her home in Belgium 
    to the U.S. to launch North American operations for her father Guido's
    corporation, Peleman Industries, headquartered worldwide in Puurs, Belgium. Ten
    years later, what began as a small operation between her and Executive
    President Jim Ghio has evolved into an award-winning, multi-million dollar
    market leader in document presentation products under the brand name Unibind.

    With over 80 employees and revenues topping $15 million in 2007, Unibind now
    provides binding and presentation products to industries in more than 110
    countries. When U.S. operations first began, the company offered a binding
    machine widely used in Europe, but rarely known in the U.S. Over the past year,
    Peleman increased sales and distribution of this system by selling through
    distributors, dealers, Internet, and retail channels.

    To further cultivate Unibind's product line, Mrs. Peleman-Vantieghem probed a
    new trend in the market - photo books. The proliferation of digital cameras and
    cheap, high-quality ink-jet printers created an opportunity for the firm to
    work with businesses such as Apple - a partnership that led to relationships
    with companies including Kodak, Fuji, Office Max, Shutterfly, Target, and Best
    Buy.

    In 2007, the Unibind PhotoBook Creator (an at-home consumer solution enabling
    users to bind and create photo books from their digital printouts) hit Office
    Max and Office Depot stores nationwide, and was televised on programs such
    as "The Montel Williams Show" and "The View." In September 2007, Peleman
    partnered with CVS Pharmacies nationwide to offer its MyBook solution in their
    photo labs. A similar deal with Ritz Camera (secured in February 2007) resulted
    in the sale of photo books to both retail chains in 2007 alone. This new
    concept has proven to be very lucrative for Peleman Industries.

    Besides digital imaging, Mrs. Peleman-Vantieghem further broadened her
    company's scope in 2007 by introducing Wwaow (the Worldwide Alliance of
    Writers) to her U.S. operations. This on-demand, self-publishing concept began
    at Peleman's Belgian headquarters, allowing amateur writers to upload their
    manuscripts, take advantage of Wwaow marketing materials for their books, and
    set their own royalties. Online book orders are printed, bound, packaged and
    shipped at Peleman's North American location on a per-order basis. Although
    still in its infancy, Mrs. Peleman-Vantieghem is excited about Wwaow's
    possibilities.

    Mrs. Peleman-Vantieghem has never forgotten her father's will to run
    environmentally-friendly operations. In 2007, she introduced the "Green"
    PhotoBook, made from 100 percent cotton flax and recycled materials. Still in
    development, the "Green" PhotoBook made its debut at the 2008 PMA conference.
    In addition to this new product, she has always maintained that at least 35
    percent of her company's overall sales are made with recycled materials.

    Maintaining a happy workforce is central to Mrs. Peleman-Vantieghem's
    management style. Peleman employs a large number of disabled people, runs
    annual performance reviews and bonuses, and pays 100 percent of each employee's
    health insurance. Monthly company "gatherings" are held to strengthen the
    comradeship, and in 2007, Mrs. Peleman-Vantieghem also increased the amount of
    paid-time-off company-wide.

  2. List hyperlinks to any online news stories, press releases, or other documents that support the claims made in the section above. IMPORTANT: Begin each link with http://, and enclose each link in square brackets; for example, [http://www.youraddress.com]:

    Atlanta Business Chronicle article:
    http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee169/unibind/abcunibindarticle.jpg

    Continuation of Atlanta Business Chronicle article:
    http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee169/unibind/abc_2.jpg

    GlobalExec Women's "International Women of Business Award:"
    http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee169/unibind/2006winner.jpg

    PhotoBook Creator office-supply press release:
    http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee169/unibind/RetailRelease.jpg

    Ritz Camera press release:
    http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee169/unibind/Ritz-Unibind.jpg

    "Green" PhotoBook press release:
    http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee169/unibind/GreenPhotoBooks.jpg

    Catalyst announcement:
    http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee169/unibind/catalystoct2005.jpg

    "Pacesetter Award":
    http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee169/unibind/PK-pacesetter.jpg

  3. Provide a brief (up to 100 words) biography about the nominee:

    Brigitte Peleman-Vantieghem has over 10 years of management and entrepreneurial 
    experience. She received the Atlanta Business Chronicle's "Pacesetter Award" in
    2003 and 2004 for leading one of the 50 fastest-growing businesses in Georgia.
    In 2006, she was honored with GlobalExec Women's "International Women of
    Influence Award." She has been actively involved in charity organizations such
    as Rotary, Cliniclowns, Any Soldier, and DreamPower, and she currently serves
    on the board of directors for several of Peleman Industries’ businesses
    including Unibind Singapore, Unibind Japan, Unibind China, and Unibind Belgium.
    She and her husband, Bart, have two sons; Henry, 3, and Nicholas, 1.