Mourning at ICDLI for General Secretary

Frankfurt, Brussels, 2023-07-10. It is with great sadness and dismay that the ICDLI announces that our long-time General Secretary Ralf Olsen passed away suddenly last Sunday, 2 July. His unexpected death leaves us stunned. We wish the family and relatives much strength for the difficult hours and time ahead.

It is with great sadness that the International Committee of the Decorative Laminates Industry (ICDLI) announce the death of its General Secretary Ralf Olsen. He passed away suddenly on Sunday, 2 July 2023, at the age of 61. For more than 20 years, OIsen shaped the ICDLI as its leading figure. His unexpected death leaves a big gap – both humanly and professionally. Ralf Olsen led the association from the very first minute with great passion, great commitment and a lot of heart. With tireless energy, he set topics, passed on know-how and promoted the concerns of the member companies until the end.

“The entire ICDLI family is deeply saddened by the sudden death of Ralf Olsen from a heart attack in Austria. Ralf was a imperturbable advocate for the HPL industry, a committed bridge builder between people and interest groups and a highly respected professional“, Miguel Nogueira, President ICDLI and Director Surforma, paid tribute to the deceased. “Our most heartfelt condolences to his wife, his daughter and all his friends and colleagues around the world. Ralf will be sorely missed.“

Ralf formed the ICDLI into a powerful voice of the HPL industry in Europe. Under his aegis, the 2019 launched multilingual HPL compendium developed into the crucial pillar of the organisation's knowledge transfer initiative, conveying practical knowledge on HPL to processors, suppliers and architects as well as to specialists of tomorrow. Over the past few years, Ralf developed the European HPL Summit into a multi-faceted event on industry mega-trends in design, technique, environment and market data, bringing together leading representatives of the HPL industry, its suppliers and top speakers from all over Europe – and underlying the attractiveness of the ICDLI as the European industry association for HPL.

His mission was to create a strong and successful European community of the manufacturers as well as to continue the success story of HPL. In 2023, there can be stated that this goal is accomplished: Thanks to his strong leadership, the influence and global visibility of the ICDLI as an industry representative for HPL has been strengthened and the number of member companies has increased continuously.

Ralf studied economics at the University of Heidelberg. In January 2001, he took over the Chief Executive position at pro-K Industrial Association for long-lasting plastic products and reusable systems e.V. (until June 2023: pro-K Industrial Association for semi-finished and consumer products made of plastic e.V.), which he has held until now. In 2002, he also became General Secretary of the ICDLI.

Ralf was an inspiring and caring leader across a number of roles within ICDLI. He will be remembered as a generous, highly ethical, humorous and assertive leader who had a keen business sense.

Press release as pdf document

The ICDLI is the international representation of the European laminates manufacturers. The association aims at creating a strong and successful European community of the manufacturers as well as at the continuation of the success story of HPL.

Press contact
ICDLI – International Committee of the Decorative Laminates Industry aisbl
Sven Weihe
Phone +49 69 40 89 555 43