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
- 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
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
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
- 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:
Continuation of Atlanta Business Chronicle article:
GlobalExec Women's "International Women of Business Award:"
PhotoBook Creator office-supply press release:
Ritz Camera press release:
"Green" PhotoBook press release:
- 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.