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SMT & Inspection | February 22, 2006

Universal hires new corp acc director

Universal has confirmed the appointment of Mark Ragard to the position of Director of Corporate Accounts, a global role in which he will champion the company's corporate accounts structure.
As the focal point for the Corporate Account Management Program, Ragard will oversee the development of Universal's worldwide corporate level activity and supervise the accounts of high profile OEM and EMS clients. In this capacity, Ragard will be charged with fulfilling a range of key tasks from maintaining a thorough understanding of key client business objectives, through to allocating priority access to Universal's extensive resource base.

In his new role, Ragard will report directly to company president, Jeroen Schmits. Commenting on the appointment, Schmits claimed, "I am confident that Mark's 20 years of experience at Universal, coupled with his proven leadership expertise, will be a valuable addition to the Corporate Account Management Program. Universal's diverse portfolio of corporate accounts is reflective of our commitment to the provision of robust solutions, reliable expertise and unwavering levels of support. Facilitating the long term growth strategies of influential customers, the Corporate Account Management Program drives not only our own growth, but ultimately, that of the industry as a whole."

Leading the Corporate Account Team, Ragard's new position will see him managing investment to develop and nurture strategic customer relationships, ensuring that all corporate account customer experience is both streamlined and consistent, and optimising Universal's ability to contribute to the success of these core customers. More specifically, Ragard will assume responsibility for a variety of direct initiatives, including diagnosing technical and manufacturing growth strategies for global accounts, reconciling Universal's core competencies to account requirements and leveraging resources to meet overall account objectives.

Most recently, Ragard enjoyed a highly successful period as Director of Americas Operations. As he departs from this role to fulfil new responsibilities in the Corporate Account Management Program, Ragard's former position will be filled by Brad Bennett, who will also report directly to Schmits. Commenting on his new role, Ragard notes, "I am very much looking forward to meeting the new challenges posed by this exciting position. The Corporate Account Management Program is a great platform from which to spread Universal's unparalleled expertise throughout the industry to power leading-edge products, drive technical innovation and forge new depths in corporate customer relations."

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