2012 NAQP Awards: Honoring Our Industry's Leaders

NAQP has announced the recipients of the 2012 slate of awards, including Printer of the Year, Industry Award of Distinction, Honorary Lifetime Member, Supplier of the Year, and Product of the Year. The awards will be presented at the 2012 NAQP Owners Conference on October 5, 2012, prior to the opening of Graph Expo 2012.

Printer of the Year: Rick Schildgen, President, CL Graphics

Formerly known as the Quick Printer of the Year, this honor is presented annually to the quick or small commercial printer who exemplifies the best of the industry. It is the highest award the association can bestow. The award is presented in cooperation with Quick Printing.

According to NAQP managing director Mitch Evans, Rick Schildgen, president of CL Graphics in Crystal Lake, IL, was chosen as Printer of the Year for his contributions as a board member of NAPL and as a member of the NAQP board of advisors. He also was recognized for the innovative way he runs his printing business and for sharing his successes with other NAQP members. Says Evans: “Through the years, Rick has embraced new technologies and new marketing methods, tailoring his business to suit the needs of his individual customers.”

Schildgen joined CL Graphics in 1981 and became owner and president in 1986. Prior to joining the company, he taught graphic arts at both the high school and junior college level. Over the years, CL Graphics has grown steadily into a full service commercial printing company that specializes in marketing and direct mail consulting, graphic design, prepress, commercial printing, bindery services, and mailing and fulfillment.

In addition to producing many of the standard products such as letterhead, envelopes and business cards, CL Graphics also works with clients to prepare marketing and sales related collateral pieces, including corporate brochures, sell sheets, price lists, direct mail advertising, and fund raising materials. Its client base includes associations, non-profit organizations, publishing companies, government bodies, manufacturing and service firms as well as agencies and print resellers. CL Graphics has participated in the NAQP Print Excellence Award competition for many years, winning several awards including two Best of Show awards.

“As a print management resource, we provide our clients with a one-stop resource for their print communications needs,” says Schildgen. “We are able to assist them with the conceptual, planning, and creative stages of a project all the way through production and delivery of the finished products to their customers.”

When asked if he had any advice to share, Schildgen says: “We have evolved as a business so many times. In fact, we are a different business for every one of our clients because we provide each of them with different services. I think it is important for any business to make sure they are relevant to each individual customer.”


Industry Award of Distinction:

Carl Gerhardt, Chairman, Allegra Network

First presented in 1987, this important award is bestowed to an educator, supplier, member of the trade press, author, or other non-printer who has supported and advanced the quick and small commercial printing industry. According to Evans, Carl Gerhardt was chosen for the Industry Award of Distinction because of his long time support of NAQP; first as an Allegra franchisee and later in his role of president, CEO, and now chairman of Allegra Network.

He has encouraged Allegra’s franchisee partners to participate in association events and studies. He also has consulted with literally hundreds of business owners and has shared his industry and business expertise through his articles in Quick Printing. He also served a year as president of the association. The association also honored Gerhardt with the Honorary Lifetime Member award in 2005 for his contributions.

Says Evans: “I have known Carl since he started attending NAQP conferences in the early 1980’s and have always admired his willingness to help others succeed in our industry.”


Honorary Lifetime Member: Bob Hall

With more than 25 years of service in the quick and small commercial printing industry, Bob Hall has always been a strong supporter of the association and its members and a vocal industry advocate. He became editor of Quick Printing magazine in 1988 and later served as editorial director for the Cygnus Graphics Media Group until 2011.

He and his wife Karen produced the NAQP Network newsletter under contract for several years and he was honored with the association’s Industry Award of Distinction in 1995.

With one exception, he has attended every NAQP conference since 1988, and he and Karen celebrated their honeymoon during the 1990 conference in San Francisco. Prior to his work in the quick and small commercial printing industry, he was an award winning newspaper journalist and managing editor of the United Mine Workers Journal. Since 2011 he has worked as a consultant and freelance writer for Quick Printing and other industry clients.


Supplier of the Year: Xerox

A long-time supporter of NAQP and a major supplier to the quick printing and small commercial printing segments of the graphic communications industry, Xerox has been a major contributor to the association’s programs and a steady presence at all association events. “Xerox has always stepped up to the plate whenever asked by our association to sponsor events and programs which benefit our members,” says Evans.


Product of the Year:

Duplo DC 745 Slitter/Cutter/Creaser

This award is presented to a company that has produced a new or enhanced product during the past year that improves product offerings, profitability or customer service and satisfaction in the quick and small commercial print market. According to Duplo USA, the DC-745 “not only processes jobs faster, but also finishes a wider range of digitally printed applications in a single pass.”