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Date 17th February 2011 / www.procarton.com

In Memoriam Mans Lejeune


It is with great sadness that we report the death of Mans Lejeune on February 12th at the age of 79. Mans was a titan in the carton industry in Europe and his legacy will endure through the continued development of that industry over the coming years.

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In 1964 Mans started up Bureau Le Jeune, later Le Jeune Secretariaten and nowadays Lejeune Association Management which has, since 1970, provided the secretariat for ECMA which until then rotated its secretariat with the Chairman of the Association. It was at the direct request of the Chairman of ECMA at that time, Ali Fogarassi, that Mans became directly involved in managing ECMA in 1977. He then ran it successfully for 20 years through to 1997 when he passed over the responsibility to his Son, Jules under whose management it continues to prosper. It is fitting that in 2010 at the ECMA Congress in Vienna, a book, created, written and edited by Mans was officially published. This looks back on the first 50 years of ECMA’s history and brought together stories and memories of those 50 years through the recollections of Mans and many others involved in the industry. Unfortunately he was unable to be present in Vienna at the official launch but since it was published it has been enjoyed by countless people and will remain a perfect reminder of his contribution to the industry over many years.


Mans was born in Den Bosch (NL) in 1931 and went to university in Tilburg (NL) where he qualified in economics. Shortly after his graduation as an economist from Tilburg University, in 1960, he was appointed as Cabinet Chief to Prof. Blaisse, who was the Vice Chairman of the European Parliament at the time and then finally formed Bureau Le Jeune in 1964. Happily married to Ton for over 50 years, Mans had two sons and two daughters and of these Jules, Lisanne and Astrid continue to work for the family business. The development of the business since its early days under Mans was rapid and from the small beginnings the company now manages over 25 associations under the direction of Jules.


This growth did not come about by luck but by the vision and commitment of Mans who was a true “people person” long before that phrase was ever used. His ability to build relationships, his inherent thoughtfulness, and his drive and determination ensured that it would be a success. His knowledge of all the different industries he represented over the years was huge and is used as a benchmark by many who now work in those industries.


His dedication to, and his understanding of, the needs of the industries he represented is perfectly illustrated by one example. In 1978, he gathered together a group of Dutch carton makers and cartonboard suppliers and the result of this meeting and vision was the founding of the first Pro Carton organisation which operated in the Netherlands but was subsequently enlarged across Europe. He saw the need for the industries to jointly promote all they could do and was convinced that this was better done together than by individual companies. From these small beginnings and the initial concept from Mans and a few others in The Netherlands, Pro Carton has grown and now represents both the carton and cartonboard industries across Europe.


The way Mans conducted his business is a model for all aspiring business people. He was always straightforward and scrupulously honest. He was able to see through the complexity of issues and get easily to the key points. He had a kind word for everyone and when problems seemed to others to be insoluble, invariably he would freely offer suggestions and advice that would help to find solutions. A man of many talents, with a huge contribution to all the industries he represented, he will be missed greatly not only by his family but also by all who knew him.

Mans Lejeune

Mans Lejeune.

Suzanne McEwen +43 1 218 6918 mcewen@procarton.com
Background Pro Carton is the European Association of Carton and Cartonboard manufacturers. Its main purpose is to promote the use of cartons and cartonboard to brand owners, the trade as well as designers, the media and politicians as an economically and ecologically balanced packaging medium.