The Ben Franklin Honor Society formally inducted ten industry leaders at its awards ceremony on Friday, November 9, at the Printing Industries of America Fall Administrative Meetings in Grapevine, Texas.
The Ben Franklin Honor Society of PIA is comprised of industry leaders who have made lasting contributions to advancing print and graphic communications. Inductees have rendered outstanding and meritorious service to industry associations that promote the advancement of graphic communications.
George Crump is a retired Captain of the United States Navy Reserve and the retired President of DataSource Inc., one of America’s largest print supply chain management companies, where he served more than 26 years.
George also served six years on the Print Services Distribution Association (PSDA) Board of Directors including three years on its Executive Committee with one year as President. While President of PSDA and with the full support of the Board of Directors, he lead a transformation of the association management team from an “in-house staff” to a completely “outsourced” model for all association management and services to the members. He was the recipient of the PSDA President’s Award in 2012.
In 1996, George founded and is currently the Chairman of EnviroPAK Corporation, which is a manufacturer of custom molded pulp packaging based in St. Louis. Molded pulp is a sustainable alternative to polystyrene and plastic. George was also previously an owner and Chairman of St. Louis Data Destruction, a mobile document shredding company that was sold to Iron Mountain.
Pedro “Tony” Fernande is the owner and Chief Executive Officer of Captiva Group where he has worked for 38 years. Captiva Group specializes in printed material for the folding carton and packaging industry, in-store retail merchandisers, direct mail, and end users of printed collateral. Tony purchased the company in 1981, and under his leadership it has grown to be one of the largest sheetfed offset litho printing companies in the Southwest and the largest printer in New Mexico.
Tony has served as a PIA President’s Conference Advisory Committee member and has also chaired the committee. He was also an active PIA Peer Group member. Tony is an Albuquerque Craftsman’s Association member and Chairman. Tony is also a very active member of his community. He is a member of the Hispano Chamber of Commerce, a Salvation Army volunteer, and a member of the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce.
Michael Fisher has served as a business leader and sales representative for 27 years with PrintConcepts now Consolidated Graphic Communications (CGC). Michael was on the Document Management Industries Association (DMIA) and the Print Services Distribution Association (PSDA) Boards of Directors from 2003—2010, he was the Treasurer in 2007, PSDA Vice President in 2008, and ultimately President in 2009.
Upon graduating from Penn State with a BS in Business Management in 1991, he went to work for Leigh Business Forms and began his career in sales. He spent a week at the NBFA School for new sales representatives learning and successfully completing the course. A few years later, he obtained his Certified Forms Consultant (CFC) designation, and later Certified Document Consultant (CDC) designation from the NBFA/DMIA.
After developing a successful sales career in the forms business, he guided the transformation of their then business forms distributorship into a full-service marketing services company, providing full-color commercial printing, direct mail, and promotional advertising products. In 1999, he rebranded and renamed the company PrintConcepts to better reflect who they were in the marketplace.
In 2002, he purchased PrintConcepts and was named President and CEO. In 2012, he successfully negotiated the sale of PrintConcepts to the Deluxe Corporation under the Safeguard Division. In 2014, Safeguard by PrintConcepts was purchased by a long-time business acquaintance, Mr. Jim Rhodes, from Consolidated Graphic Communication returning the company back to “Privately Held”. Sweeping his proverbial poker chips off the table as a business owner, divesting the real estate holdings, and getting back to his first love of sales has been the best professional decision he has ever made.
Curt Kreisler is the President of Gold Star Printers, a company he starting work with five years out of high school after his father fell ill. At the time, it was a very small company with a small client list, not much equipment, and even less profit. Since then, the company has grown organically through four acquisitions and one partnership. Today, it operates out of three locations with 33 employees, is highly profitable and has a solid future.
For more than 30 years, Curt has been an active member of the printing community, serving both his local affiliate, Printing Association of Florida (now Florida Graphics Alliance), and Printing Industries of America. He has held virtually every elected position possible within FGA, including two stints as Chairman. He has also served as the Chairman of FGA’s Trade Show Council that oversees the management and running of the Graphics of the Americas trade show held in Florida.
Within PIA he has served as a member of the Executive Committee since 2009, Chairman of the Association Relations Committee, Chairman of PIA’s Show Committee, and as a member of the Finance Committee. Curt also served as Chairman of the Board of NAQP from 2001–2011 and was named Printer of the Year in 2007. In September 2017, he was inducted into the Printing Impressions Hall of Fame.
Robert T. O’Connell has served 36 years and is the President of Vanguard. Under Robert’s stewardship, Vanguard has established itself as a successful full-service marketing solutions company. Vanguard has supported many charitable organizations over the years donating money, time, resources, and print. Robert oversees all strategic sales activities. Since he became president in 1994, Vanguard has more than tripled its annual revenue.
Prior to joining Vanguard in 1982, Robert spent four years on the audit staff at Deloitte & Touche in New York. In 2014, he was elected as President of The First Tee of Raritan Valley, a youth development organization. During his career he also started up a digital technology unit to offer integrated print and digital solutions.
In 2001, he was elected to the Print Services Distribution Association (PSDA) Board of Directors. He was a member from 2002–2010 and was elected PSDA President in 2009. He has served on numerous committees for the association as well as presented at PSDA conferences several times over the years.
Jules Van Sant has been the Pacific Printing Industries (PPI) Association Executive Director since 2006 and has championed the region with forward-thinking strategies for sustainability. Her high-profile presence on PIA national task forces, committees, and industry networking initiatives, plus her business and marketing acumen has positioned Jules as a leader and inspiration catalyst for the print and visual communications industry.
She was asked to apply for the Executive Director position in Spring 2006, as the PPI Board felt a marketing push was important not only for the regional industry but to help the association thrive in a very volatile time. Twelve years later she is still serving an evolving and expanded print and visual communications industry in seven states at PPI. With most programs, services, and benefits gone, the task was to rebuild and create a sustainable model focused on the member companies’ needs while leading them into the future during turbulent times. The association has maintained its relevance with increased energy, advocacy, and a positive can-do attitude.
An area of passion for Jules is ushering the new generation into today’s print industry. From the front office to the back of the shop, Jules works tirelessly to promote how careers in print are cool, relevant, and require a variety of skill sets to accomplish. The region has all but lost any print-specific training programs, so she is meeting as many people as possible to talk about job opportunities and the unique place print occupies in the media landscape.
As a motivated activist, it was Jules’s energy that revitalized fundraising for their local Educational Trust. She recruited new board members for the Trust and then turned her focus to making the Trust relevant to industry members through school, work days, and career fairs. Jules tied the Trust fundraising into the local PPI networking events and over a five-year period she increased the yearly giving to the Trust from under $500/year to over $29,000 in 2017.
Jack W. Stoughton is the owner and President of Stoughton Printing Company where he has served for 54 years. The company produces music packaging that earned the company two Grammys, the first Grammy was for Best Album Package for the album Pure Comedy for their customer Sub-Pop Records. The second was for Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package for the Golden Voyager Record Project for their customer Ozma Records. The company also provides offset lithographic printing of P.O.P. displays, blister cards, litho labels, folding cartons, game boards, catalogs, manuals, flyers, brochures, presentation folders, sports trading cards, and more.
Jack has been on the PIA of Southern California Board of Directors (PIASC) since 2010 and was Chairman in 2015. He is an active participant in various Regional Occupational Programs (ROP). He has been a guest speaker many times for Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo and Cal Poly Pomona Graphics Communication Degree Program classes. He has also been the organizer for the Career Day Forum for the printing industry at both universities.
Additionally, Jack is a board member and currently the Chair for PIASC Benefit Trust and has been since 2004. Jack is also an active board participant for the International Printing Museum, Raise Foundation, and the PIASC Public Relations and Education Committee.
Kevin Runbeck is the co-founder and CEO of Runbeck Election Services where he was worked for 40 years. Kevin and his company hold six patents for innovations in the process of producing ballots from remote printers which reach rural voters, as well as his newest patent application for software that automatically compares voter signatures on file to that of one on a signed petition. This software would help reduce the amount of time it takes to verify petition validity from weeks or days to just a few days or hours.
As one of the group of founding fathers, Kevin played an important role in the formation of his local affiliate Printing Industries of Arizona/New Mexico (now Western States Printing Alliance) as it grew and spun off from PIA of Southern California in 1990. Kevin served two terms as PIAZ Chairman of the Board, and he has been a chairman of both the Education and Government Affairs Committees. He also served PIA as the National Board Representative for more than six years. He served on PIA’s Education and Marketing Committee for four years, the Government Affairs Committee for more than ten years, and the Association Relations Committee for almost ten years.
Kevin serves on the Advisory Committee for Scottsdale Community College Design and Print Program. He provides business advice, student counseling as it pertains to the business world, and tools such as computers, paper, and technical staff when requested. Locally, Kevin has challenged leadership to donate to and support the work of the Graphic Arts Education Foundation, a homegrown education fund that provides scholarships to students pursuing degrees in the printing industry. His contributions since the inception of the foundation are $20,000 for that fund along with donating supplies and print.
Doug Rawson has been with Superior Lithographics for over 25 years and is the Chief Executive Officer. Doug identified a need for high quality, large-format litho labels to address the demands of a new retail concept called Price Club, known today as Costco. The printed packaging was the “silent salesperson” required to sell the product in this warehouse environment. Superior continued to supply the packaging and display industry with litho labels and top sheets, and, in 2006, the folding carton operation was formed when customers expressed a desire for their individual packaging to match their litho-laminated products.
Doug is the Government Affairs/Labor Policy Committee Chairman on the PIA Board of Directors and has served PIA for more than six years. On the local level, he has been a PIA of Southern California (PIASC) board member since 2002 and ultimately was named Chairman of the Board in 2010. He has been a Printing Industry Credit Union board member since 2005. Additionally, Doug was awarded PIASC Executive of the Year in 2011.
Doug financially supports the efforts of PIASC to encourage young people to join the industry. He contributes to PIASC’s RAISE Foundation and further offers financial support to cover costs of students and their families to attend the annual celebration of student competitions. Some of his other charitable contributions include PrintPAC of California, Printing Industries of America PrintPAC, University of Synagogue and Dystonia Medical Research Foundation.
Gail Frances O’Roke has been with Deluxe Corporation as the Remote Office Site Manager for over two years. She has served with National Business Forms Association (NBFA) as the Regional Coordinator for a two-year term, as an NBFA CFC Accreditation board member from a two-year term, and also as its National Membership Chair for a one-year term.
She has also served more than seven years as a board member of Document Management Industries Association (DMIA) and also served as its Regional Director. She moved up in the officers’ ranks serving as Treasurer, Vice President, and ultimately as President, fulfilling each position’s one-year term. Gail has done multiple education presentations at NBFA and DMIA Conventions.
Some of her presentations include: Competing against the 'New Majors' (Staples/Office Depot), Online Sales, and Balancing Work and Family. She was the recipient of the NBFA Member of the Year Award for 1993 and 1994. She also received the DMIA President’s Award in 2006.
For more information about the Ben Franklin Honor Society, please visit www.printing.org/bfhs.
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