Commencing the two-year term on 5 July, he succeeds recently retired Heidelberg UK managing director Gerard Heanue at the confederation, which aims to give a voice to UK print equipment manufacturers and suppliers alike.
He was nominated for the role by Heanue, with the decision then approved by the Picon council.
Bristow, who has worked in the printing industry for 32 years, has a degree in English from Nottingham University and is a qualified accountant. He joined the then Oscar Friedheim in 1987 and became a director four years later.
He and the late Peter Morris were instrumental in the MBO of Friedheim International from the Bobst Group in 2005 and extended its portfolio beyond commercial finishing for traditional and digital printing sectors into packaging and converting.
Bristow said: “Gerard provided a positive focus on maintaining and developing member benefit initiatives. I have three key aims during my two years in office. The first is to maintain and develop the training initiatives and grant systems we have introduced for members.
“I also hope to develop the business support opportunities we offer to members and, thirdly, to encourage greater co-operation with other print and business organisations to improve the impact we have on government as well as influencing designers and marketing professionals.”
He added: “Picon is a great focus for members to meet and network through seminars, working or focus groups, to gain access to wider industry experience or knowledge, to use established resources for health and safety, employment law, regulatory changes and more.
“There are grant benefits that members can enjoy and one should never underestimate the trust, friendship and advice that is available. It is a very social organisation where key personnel can meet to discuss and review topics together for their mutual benefit.”
Picon chief executive Bettine Pellant told PrintWeek: “Every chairman that I've worked with has brought a new dimension to the role.
“Mark is very keen to expand the member benefits - I personally think being a member of a trade association in whichever industry you're in is so important, especially with Brexit and all of the uncertainty that's going on at the moment. We want to be able to give more business information to our members, which Mark is keen to look at.
“It also brings a fresh pair of eyes and somebody that has a slightly different perspective on business, which is always good. I'm really looking forward to working with Mark for the next two years.”
Key events during Bristow’s tenure will include two Global Print meetings, at Print19 in Chicago later this year and at Drupa in Dusseldorf next June. It is at these meetings where all countries come together to review developments and the market.
Additionally, Picon has appointed another former Heidelberg managing director, George Clarke, as its company secretary and financial controller – succeeding Andrew Hamilton who has retired, while Heanue will now chair the organisation’s finance committee.