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Rino Mastrotto, new COTANCE Chairman

COTANCE elects a New Presidency

Barcelona, 8 June 2012

The COTANCE General Assembly, gathering in Barcelona on 8 June the representatives from Europe’s tanning industry, elected a new Presidency and Mr Rino Mastrotto was appointed chairman for the 2012-2014 term.

Mr Jonathan Muirhead (Scottish Leather Group/UKLF) and Mr Thomas Bee (Seton/VDL) have been appointed as Vice-Presidents. Mr Albert Rosello (Serpelsa/ACEXPIEL) as immediate past President remains in the COTANCE Presidency as 3rd Vice-President. The position of Mr Salvatore Mercogliano (Lineapelle/UNIC) as Vice-President has been confirmed.

Rino Mastrotto, President Rino Mastrotto Group (Italy)

For this 65 years old tanner from Vicenza, this appointment is the crowning achievement of a career that began as an adolescent in the family’s new business, “Conceria Fratelli Mastrotto”. Just four years later, in 1964, he was entrusted with managing the purchasing of all of the raw materials needed for the company’s operations, and in 1969, when his father, Arciso, founded Basmar, he was placed on the board of directors of this new tannery specialized in calfskins. From 1985 to 1989, he led a series of business acquisitions (Pomari, San Marco, Calbe and Brusarosco), which were to make the Mastrotto Group one of the world’s largest tanneries. At the end of 1998, he chose to merge some of the most important companies he led into a single entity, the Rino Mastrotto Group. These companies were Basmar, Pomari, Calbe, Brusarosco and Galassia. Today, the unified organization has 1,100 employees and generates consolidated sales of €250 million. Over the last decade, Rino Mastrotto has also led a series of international transactions that have resulted in the acquisitions of the tanneries Bermas Maracanau in Brazil, the Rino Mastrotto Group Vietman, and Elmo Leather in Sweden, in addition to a number of sales offices in China, Paraguay, Australia and Hong Kong. He has managed to face the latest crisis without resorting to either layoffs or terminations of employment. He has been named a Commendatore of the Republic of Italy and Honorary Consul of Paraguay. He holds various positions within service organizations for the tannery industry, in career training centers, and in many charitable organizations. He joined the UNIC board in 1992 and was appointed deputy chairman in 1999, a post which he has held until 2011 when he became Chairman of UNIC for the 2011-2013 term.

Thomas Bee, General Manager Seton Autoleather Europe (Germany)

As General Manager, Thomas Bee has overall responsibilities for Seton AutoLeather Europe. Mr Bee joined the Seton AutoLeather Company in 2000 after a 26 year career as Sales and Marketing Manager in specialty chemicals servicing the tanning and textile industry.
Mr Bee started his career in sales at Stockhausen (today's TFL Leather Technology, Ltd.) in 1974 working in sales of mainly chemicals to the world tanning industry. After three years at Pfersee Chemicals Company as Sales Manager for textile chemicals Thomas went back into the leather industry as Manager at Böhme Chemicals Company servicing mainly the global tanning industry with wet-end products.
In 2000 Mr Bee joined Seton company in Mülheim a.d.R. as its Director of Martketing and Sales. In 2006 he was appointed General Manager, Global Sales & Research and Development.

Jonathan Muirhead, Chairman Scottish Leather Group Ltd. (UK)

Jonathan Muirhead is a sixth generation family member of a business that can trace its origins back to 1758, when John Muirhead first made leather in Glasgow for the glove industry. Jonathan joined Bridge of Weir Leather Company in 1970 and was Managing Director from 1985 to 2000. During that period the company won three Queen’s Awards for Export Achievement. He was appointed a director of the parent company, Scottish Leather Group Ltd (formerly Scottish Tanning Industries Ltd), in 1979 and became the company Chairman in 2003. The Group employs 600 people across the three manufacturing sites in Scotland and includes: Andrew Muirhead & Son Ltd., Glasgow, Scotland; Bridge of Weir Leather Company Ltd., Bridge of Weir, Scotland; WJ & W Lang Ltd., Paisley, Scotland; NCT Leather Ltd., Bridge of Weir, Scotland; SLG Technology Ltd, Bridge of Weir, Scotland.
Moreover, the following Joint Ventures and other subsidiary compagnie complete the industrial structure: Zibo Polygrace Bridge of Weir Leather Company Ltd (Zibow Automotive), Zibo, Shandong, PR China; Bridge of Weir Irvin Automotive Leather Cutting, Acuna, Mexico; Bridge of Weir Leather Company Inc., Michigan, USA; SLG (Hong Kong) Ltd., Hong Kong SAR; SLG Technology Ltd., Bridge of Weir, Scotland.
Mr Muirhead has a diploma in leather technology from the National Leathersellers College, London; is a member of the Society of Leather Technologists and Chemists; and is a past Chairman of BLC Research (later UK Leather Federation) from 2004-2011 and past President of UK Leather Federation (2005 & 2006). In 2000 he was presented with the Jim Clark Award for services to the automotive industry by the Association of Scottish Motoring Writers.