Eight industry leaders were formally inducted into the Ben Franklin Honor Society of Printing Industries of America at a black-tie induction and awards ceremony held November 11, 2011, at Printing Industries’ Fall Administrative Meetings held in Miami Beach, Florida.
Michael D. First, Chairman, Graph Com, Inc.--Mr. First’s contributions to the printing industry are many. He served his local affiliate, Printing & Imaging Association of Georgia, in the officers ranks from 1999 to 2002: as First Vice Chairman in 1999, Chairman Elect and Treasurer to the Board of Directors in 2000, Chairman of the Board in 2001, and Past Chairman in 2002. Further, in 2002, he was selected to represent his affiliate on Printing Industries of America’s Board of Directors, where he also acted as Education Chairman and served on the Executive Committee. He was a member of the Long Range Planning and Presidents Conference Committees.
William J. Gibson, Burton & Mayer Inc.--Mr. Gibson was just recently named as the Illinois State Director for the newly created Great Lakes Graphics Association, which was the merger of Printing Industries of Wisconsin (PIW) and Printing Industry Association Illinois/Indiana (PII). Mr. Gibson has served on the board of PII and is the past President of the Ben Franklin Club in Chicago. He is also Past Chairman of the Education and Presidents Conference Committees as well as Printing Industries of America Board of Directors. Mr. Gibson got his start in the industry by working in his family’s printing company, Gibson Printing Company. He purchased the company from his father in 1982. Mr. Gibson ran Gibson Graphics until 2000, when he sold the company to Rider Dickerson, but remained with the company to serve as its Vice President of Sales.
Ken Rizzo, Printing Industries of America (posthumous)--Mr. Rizzo started working as a consultant for GATF in 1990 and left in 2000 to become a process engineer for Gulf States Paper Corporation, one of the country’s largest producers of packaging products and paperboard, but he returned to the nonprofit world, re-joining Printing Industries of America (formerly GATF) in 2006. Among his most recent accomplishments was the creation and development of 2009 of Printing Industries’ Digital Production Assessment (DPA) and Digital Production Excellence Accreditation (DPEA audit certificate) programs. Sadly, Mr. Rizzo, Director of Technical and Lean Services, passed away suddenly on February 15, 2011, while on assignment in suburban Boston. Mr. Rizzo was a loyal and dedicated employee, author, workshop leader, speaker, and among the world’s most knowledgeable people for production efficiency and excellence.
Diane Romano, HudsonYards--President and COO of HudsonYards, Ms. Romano is also a partner in Caps Visual Communication, Inc., its parent company. Ms. Romano serves on several industry boards and as co-Chair of NYU’s Center for Graphic Communications Management and Technology. She is a well-known industry speaker and the recipient of numerous prestigious industry awards. She previously held the position of Group Managing Director of Schawk, Inc. Prior to that, she was President, Media & Entertainment Group of Seven Worldwide, Inc. and President of Applied Graphics Technologies (AGT).
Hal Slager, Trico Graphics Inc.--Mr. Slager has served his local affiliate, Printing Industry of Illinois/Indiana Association (PII), for more than twelve years—three years as Treasurer and the balance as a director on the board. Additionally, he served on its finance committee for more than twelve years and as a member of PII’s Marketing Committee for three years. On the national level, he served as the Finance Committee Chairman and has been a member of the officers ranks for the last six years. He has chaired the Investment Committee since its creation four years ago and took the lead in setting up the Investment Committee of Printing Industries of America, interviewing potential investment firms along with other volunteers and directing the association to place its assets within a managed portfolio. Mr. Slager is a leader, visionary, and scholar and, most importantly, a friend to many in the industry.
Edward G. Slezycki, Wikoff Color Corporation--For more than 30 years, Mr. Slezycki has been a vastly sought-after individual in the printing industry. His expertise in troubleshooting pressroom issues runs the gamut of mechanical, electrical, lithographic, and personnel issues. From Service Manager at Miller Printing Equipment in Pittsburgh, to the Director of Customer Service at MLP USA, to his current position as Corporate Technical Service Manager at Wikoff Color Corporation, Mr. Slezycki has certainly assembled an expansive array of knowledge that brands him as a unique necessity for this line of work. He made his presence known in the printing industry yet again by joining both the Craftsman’s and Litho Clubs and by serving in many official capacities in these organizations. Mr. Slezycki holds several copyrights, was the recipient of an InterTech Technology Award in 2000 for the development of Digital Register Analysis, is Six-Sigma Certified, a G7 Expert, Past President of the International Association of Printing House Craftsmen—Pittsburgh Chapter. He is also a member of TAGA, NPES, LPIA, and the Lithographers Club of Chicago.
Michael R. Stief, Intelligencer Printing Company--Right out of high school, Mr. Stief started as a pressroom helper in 1977, was promoted to pressroom foreman in 1990, and promoted yet again in 1993 to plant supervisor. In 2003, Mr. Stief was named the company’s CEO. Intelligencer has been consistently ranked as an industry profit leader, and it has also been a top Graphic Arts Association Neographics Award winner. Mr. Stief’s love of teaching has benefitted the many employees and individuals he has mentored. He has been a strong advocate for the importance of technical education, encouraging students to seek a career in the trade and urging educators to guide students to consider secondary education in technical programs. He is a long-standing member of the Susquehanna Litho Club and has served on various boards at Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology, Lancaster County Career & Technology Center, and Millersville University.
Richard D. Warner, Printing Industries of America--Mr. Warner is a security printing consultant and risk management advisor to the brand protection and document verification/authentication industries. He has a 35-year career in the graphic arts industry, serving as Vice President and Director of the Research Department at Printing Industries of America. He served as Vice Chairman of the General Council of the IARIGAI (International Association of Research Institutes for the Graphic Arts Industries). Additionally, he was a member of the R&E Council of the Graphic Arts Industry, Inc. The Inter-Society Color Council, the Society for Imaging Science and Technology, Specifications for Web Offset Printing, ANSI, SNAP, and the ISO TAG Committee. Further, he has published numerous industry papers, is a coauthor of a primer titled Introduction to Security Printing, and is also an inventor with several U.S. patents.
The Ben Franklin Honor Society of Printing Industries of America recognizes and honors industry leaders who have made lasting contributions to advancing the printing and graphic communications industries. This includes, but is not limited to, Printing Industries of America and its affiliates and the Print and Graphics Scholarship Foundation (PGSF). Industry visionaries who have rendered outstanding or meritorious service to those associations or the industry are eligible for membership.