Board Converting News, March 15, 2021


Michael D. Brunton (CONT’D FROM PAGE 24)

in the business. They became an industry powerhouse in North America, forging strong and lifelong friendships with converters and suppliers alike. He developed the business to become a complete service provider, from written word, through design and repro, then into the printing factory. He applied principles he had seen in the packaging world to his own little pub- lishing empire, growing the Brunton “family” to 50 people


in the heady days. He was never happier than watching people excel in their jobs, encour- aging them to be the best they could be. He wasn’t the boss; he was just part of a dynamic team. He was very much a man of the people and treated individuals on merit, not rank or title. This was obviously a

trait from his formative years, as he was respected equally by soldiers as well as his brother officers. In business, he was just as happy making a cup of tea for the press-mind- ers as being in negotiations in the board room. Ever the innovator, Michael worked closely with Reed Exhibitions in launching the ‘Corrugated’ exhibitions, which ran successfully in 1994, 1998 and 2002. It was in 1994 that his eldest son, Daniel, joined the business. To- gether, they worked in partnership for the next 27 years, with Michael never actually retiring, reading his final page proof the night before he had the stroke. Fond Memories “He was a great character and so knowledgeable on our industry, I always enjoyed being in his company. A sad day,” said Dermot Smurfit. “Mike was one of the great characters of our industry and made an invaluable contribution towards its success, he was highly respected for his forthright views and anal- ysis of the paper and packaging industry and those that were wise always listened to him,” said Peter Sangster, former Managing Director of SCA and owner of CRP. “We will miss his great sense of humour, his outspoken contri- bution to the industry and his friendship throughout my career.” “Mike was most helpful in the early days as the then Reed and Smith Group pursued development into the corrugated industry (the precursor to DS Smith). He was known and respected far and wide in this industry for his knowledgeable contribution and commentary,” said Sandy Stratton, former Managing Director of St Regis Paper Co. “While it may have been the “business” that brought us together it was the family we created afterwards that has lived on,” said Jeneane Vilardi. “I met Mike and Fiona

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March 15, 2021

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