Direct Mail Printer Didit DM Expands Operations on Long Island With New Facility in Lindenhurst

Didit DM, the Long Island based direct marketing division of full-service marketing and public relations agency Didit Digital, announces today that it has moved from its location at 15 East Bethpage Road in Plainview, N.Y., to a new facility at 1180 Route 109 in Lindenhurst, N.Y. In the current marketplace, Didit DM has been able to maintain a stable foothold in the direct mail industry, and the company projects continued growth in business. The new location’s space and layout will effectively meet the current needs of the company and its clients.

“Didit DM has been able to maintain its substantial growth rate through its high-quality service, combined with the forward-thinking approach of linking a printing and mailing house with our parent company, Didit Digital, a cutting-edge, multi-service agency,” notes Didit Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder Dave Pasternack. “What’s even more amazing is that this continued growth has been accomplished despite the challenges of the printing and mail industry and the consequences of the pandemic.”

Didit DM provides creative offerings, print production, letter shop capabilities, and fulfillment services across a host of industries and a diverse client base, from large international corporations to local retailers. Comprised of an elite group of strategists and specialists who excel in all areas of the direct mail offering, Didit DM’s pioneering techniques include data programming, direct mail design, print management, advanced mail tracking, direct mail technologies, postal optimization, and variable data imaging.

Didit DM Vice President of Operations Amy Pasternack says, “Due to a stability in our client roster and the projected increase in printing and mailing campaigns, the new location will greatly benefit our company and our client services. We will be in the ideal position to enhance the use of our resources, further expand our digital mailing footprint, and continue to bring forward innovative capabilities to our customers.”

Due to Didit DM’s steady growth and successful outcomes, the Lindenhurst location is the agency’s third move since 2015 when the agency moved from 30 Commercial Court in Plainview to a larger space at 15 E. Bethpage Road in the same town.

Anticipation Builds for 68th Print Drives America Franklin Event on Nov. 17

Just as Broadway theatre has finally returned to New York City, it’s almost showtime for the printing industry’s most prestigious social gathering in the metro area: the 68th Print Drives America Franklin Event.

Printing Industries Alliance has again announced that the confirmed date for the 68th Print Drives America Franklin Event is Wednesday, November 17, 2021. The evening’s stars will be Thomas J. Quinlan, the former CEO of LSC Communications and RR Donnelley, who remains the 2020 Franklin Honoree; and 2021 Franklin Honoree Michael Duggal, CEO of Duggal Visual Solutions.

The event, a festive salute to the industry and its leading lights, had to be postponed last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But, with theatres, restaurants, and sports stadiums reopening their doors, the program is once again ready to provide the kind of socializing that the industry in the metro area has been obliged to put on hold for far too long.

The event will run from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. with cocktails at 6 p.m., dinner at 7 p.m., and the Franklin Awards ceremony at 8 p.m. followed by an after party. The venue is Club 101, a private club located in the iconic Kalikow Building on Park Avenue at the corner of 40th Street.

The pent-up demand to resume the industry’s premier social event in the metro area is seen in the fact that 16 table sponsorships have been confirmed to date. Because a full-capacity audience is expected, attendees are urged to reserve their tables and seats now.

Proceeds will go to the Print Drives America Foundation, the national champion and cheerleader for the America’s print industry. “The Franklin Event is an opportunity to support and celebrate the entire print industry,” states Marty Maloney, Executive Vice President of the Printing Industries Alliance and Executive Director of Print Drives America.

Sponsorships are available at the same cost as in the past: $6,500 for tables of eight, and half tables of four for $3,500. Individual seats are $350. To sponsor a table or reserve a seat, e-mail Marty Maloney at mmaloney@pialliance.org or call him at 203-912-0804.

Sponsored tables are considered donations and are tax deductible. As a reminder to attendees, all New York City venues like the 101 Club now require proof of vaccination to be shown at entry.

About the Franklin Event

Printing Industries Alliance has presented the Annual Franklin Event since 1952. During that time, a wide variety of impressive national and industry dignitaries have received well-earned recognition at the event. Franklin Event proceeds are earmarked solely to support the Print Drives America Foundation, a national initiative developed to give Print a stronger voice, increase Print’s dominant market share, highlight its effectiveness and ROI, and enhance its positive perception. The Print Drives America Foundation is registered as a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization.

About Printing Industries Alliance

Printing Industries Alliance, an independent association, represents the graphic communications industry in all of New York State, the northern half of New Jersey and northwestern Pennsylvania. This geographic footprint is the most important printing market in the U.S., with more Fortune 500 companies than any other state or region. The area is also the global center for several critical worldwide industries including finance, marketing, media, real estate, and culture; as well as being one of the world’s largest population centers.

In addition to print advocacy and education, the PIA provides its members with a variety of consultative, informational and cost-saving services. The association also provide governmental representation at the federal, state and local level. The PIA is headquartered in Amherst, NY with a metro New York office in Manhattan at 400 Chambers Street.

NY-Metro Printers Recount the Dire Events of 9/11, a Day They Can’t Forget

Note: this post first appeared in a special issue of Signature, the newsletter of Printing Industries Alliance.

“It was just a day – blue skies, a clear day. It began as a very unremarkable, done-it-a-thousand-times kind of day.” So remembers printer Benjamin Hort of his first moments at work on September 11, 2001, about two miles north of the 14.6-acre patch of land that was about to pass violently into history as Ground Zero of the World Trade Center terror attacks.

For Vicki Keenan, an executive of a printing trade association, 9/11 opened with the unimaginable sight of a jet airliner slamming into one of the Twin Towers as she approached Manhattan on her morning rail commute. It ended with the wrenching news that a close personal friend – a New York City Fire Department chaplain with whom she’d lunched just the day before – had been identified as one of FDNY’s first casualties in the disaster.

In between, for Hort, Keenan, and nearly everyone else connected with New York City’s printing industry, stretched a day of anguish and destruction that claimed the lives of 2,763 people in the Twin Towers and shook the national psyche as it had never been shaken before.

Printing companies, concentrated in and around Canal, Varick, and Hudson Streets with a clear line of sight to Ground Zero, were closer to what happened that day than any of the city’s other manufacturing businesses. That awful proximity gave the people who worked at those companies memories that are as searingly vivid today as the actual events they witnessed, however unwillingly, 20 years ago.

Hort is president of Enterprise Press (Englewood, N.J.), a fourth-generation family business that at the time operated in a building it owned at 627 Greenwich Street. He began the day as he usually did at 8 a.m. in his office on the 10th floor.

The morning’s routine quickly evaporated. “I remember that someone remarked that there was smoke coming out of the first tower,” Hort says. “Nobody knew what it was, and we didn’t think that much of it.” A little while later, he heard the “yelling and screaming” as his staff watched the second plane find its target.

By midmorning, both towers had imploded. “That I did literally see with my own eyes,” says Hort. “It was fast – just go to smoke.”

Eyewitnesses say disbelief overcame them as the attacks unfolded, at least at first.

‘Another Orson Welles Thing’

Jack Kott, owner of Bergazyn & Son, a specialty finishing business located at 200 Hudson Street at the corner of Canal Street, says that when the planes struck the towers, his plant was “literally almost on top of it.” He admits that the initial reaction to reports coming from the media was, “here we go, another Orson Welles thing” (referring to The War of the Worlds, the famous radio broadcast of 1938 that triggered panic among listeners who took its fantastic story as fact).

The grim truth emerged when, in the elevator, a fellow printing tenant in the building asked him, “Did you just see the plane that barely missed our roof?” Gathering with others in a conference room on the sixth floor, says Kott, “we saw the first tower in flames, and then we saw the second plane hit. That apparently was the plane that had just missed our building.”

Now based in Long Island City, Cosmos Communications then did business on the 2nd floor at 175 Varick Street just north of Canal Street, about a half a mile from Ground Zero. At street level, COO and partner Joe Cashman and his staff found themselves staring straight at the north side of the North Tower moments after the impact at 8:46 a.m.

“We were down on the street less than a minute after the first plane hit,” Cashman recalls. “You could almost make out an indent of the fuselage. We just couldn’t understand how it was possible on such a clear, beautiful day that a plane could fly into the tower.”

‘The Whole Building Shook’

On the 9th floor of 233 Spring Street, two blocks north of Canal Street, trade printer CQS operated in a manufacturing “cluster” then typical of the industry in lower Manhattan, with other printing businesses on three floors of the building and a satellite pressroom on nearby Vandam Street. CQS pressroom foreman Robert (Bo) Donnelly had completed makeready on two presses and was awaiting visits by customers for press checks at 9 a.m.

Before the customers got there, he says, “the whole building shook” as the first plane passed over it at almost rooftop height. Donnelly didn’t witness the ensuing impact at Ground Zero, but he says that upon looking down Varick Street moments later, “we could see the hole in the North Tower” and the beginning of the inferno that would engulf the structure and cause it to collapse.

Then, like a “big missile,” the second jet punched into the South Tower at 9:03 a.m., setting it ablaze. “We watched the South Tower explode,” Donnelly says. “We saw the metal arcing” as if it were being welded. Soon after, the entire, 110-story building pancaked in a storm of smoke and debris.

“The way it went down was unbelievable,” he says. “About a half hour later, the North Tower started arcing – the metal was actually burning. Then that went down.”

Cashman recounts how he, too, “was watching the North Tower virtually sink in front of my eyes. I remember the TV antenna on top of the tower just wobbling as the tower sank. Your eyes were seeing something that your mind is not allowing you believe is happening.”

Radio reports brought news of the 10:28 a.m. collapse of the South Tower, which was the first of the pair to come down despite being the second one struck. Now the full dimensions of the attacks were becoming clear, but even so, “we were dumbfounded,” Cashman says.

From Bad to Far Worse

Looking on from a greater distance – but with no less horror – were Keenan and other employees of the Association of Graphic Communications (AGC), a trade group representing graphics businesses in the five boroughs, Long Island, and parts of New Jersey. Keenan, the association’s executive vice president, already had an inkling of what had happened by the time she reached AGC’s offices on Seventh Avenue at 29th Street.

“The train had just pulled out of Newark/Penn Station on its way into the city,” she says of the trip in from her home in New Jersey. “You go through the Meadowlands, and I had a window seat. I saw this plane in the sky, and then I saw it hit the tower, and there was a huge ball of fire. Both me and the guy next to me, and a couple of people in front and back of me, were saying, “Are we seeing that right? Did a plane just hit a tower?”

At the AGC office, Keenan found most of the staff gathered in an adjoining suite that had a clear view of the crash sites. “As soon as I walked in, somebody shoved a pair of binoculars into my hand and said, ‘You’ve got to see this.’ And you could see everything that was going on. The building was obviously on fire.”

Now the terrible meaning of the attacks was starting to sink in. Keenan can’t forget the desperation of a receptionist whose father worked at Windows on the World, the posh restaurant on the 107th floor of the North Tower.

The receptionist, according to Keenan, “was hysterical on the phone. She couldn’t get her father or mother, and that was one of the phones that was still working. She just left immediately. I know that her father couldn’t have made it out of Windows On The World.”

Fateful Choice Indeed

As it always does in disasters, chance had a say in who fell victim to the events of 9/11, and who didn’t. On that day, Randy Colahan’s decision to prioritize his voluntary role as a member of AGC may well have saved his life.

At the time, Colahan was a partner of Colahan-Saunders Corp., a commercial printer in Long Island City. He also chaired the trade association’s awards committee, which was to meet that morning in an office tower near Penn Station.

As a printer, says Colahan, “I did a lot of business in the Trade Center. I was in one of the Trade Center buildings each of seven work days before (9/11). I was actually scheduled to be there for a 9 o’clock meeting at 7 World Trade, but I had that meeting with AGC. We looked out just as the second plane hit.” (7 World Trade Center, set ablaze by debris falling from the North Tower, was the third building to be destroyed at Ground Zero as a result of the 9/11 attacks.)

By this time, an unprecedented mass exodus from lower Manhattan had begun. Retreating on foot, Donnelly saw what he describes as “complete chaos and panic” in the streets as dazed, ash-blanketed people emerged from the subways along the way.

A fighter plane screaming low over Third Avenue heightened the terror: “We had no idea who it was, whether it was one of our jets.” Donnelly hiked all the way north to the George Washington Bridge, hitched a ride across with a kindly stranger, and eventually made his way to his home at the time in Rockland County.

“I was one of the last cars to get out of the Midtown Tunnel before they closed it down,” Colahan says. On the loop to the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway on the Queens side, “all of these people had parked their cars and were taking pictures as the first tower came down. The second tower followed, and we could see the smoke from the top of our building.”

A Pageant of Pain and Woe

However majestic and iconic they may be, buildings remain inanimate objects whether they stand or fall. The only true measure of a catastrophe like 9/11 is the suffering of the human beings inside them. For printers in the vicinity of Ground Zero, scenes of human catastrophe were almost indescribable.

Worst of all to behold were the ordeals of the people who could find no way out of the Twin Towers as they burned. “It was surreal,” recalls Eric Tepfer, then a partner in CQS. He says he and his staff watched “with a sense of helplessness” as people trapped on floors being incinerated above the points of impact signaled frantically for help and then, all hope lost, hurled themselves to the pavement below.

Looking on during those final, agonizing moments, Tepfer says, “we were rooting for them. It was almost as if we knew them. Then watching them jump one by one – I’ll never forget that.”

Donnelly, likewise, can’t erase his mental image of one white-clad victim who held out to the limit of his endurance, beseeching rescue. “He was just there for so long, he tried so hard, and then he dropped. To this day, it still haunts me.”

On 9/11, printers bore witness to death in other, equally heartbreaking ways.

Moments after seeing the second plane hit, Kott found himself taking part in a conference call with a client and the client’s customer, a representative of Cantor Fitzgerald, whom they implored to evacuate that financial firm’s premises in the stricken North Tower. Kott says the Cantor Fitzgerald representative demurred, insisting that the situation was under control.

“Needless to say, you know what happened to the people who worked at Cantor Fitzgerald,” says Kott. Close to 700 of them – everyone who had reported to work at One World Trade Center that morning – died when the building came down.

Seared into Hort’s recollection of the day is an encounter with a tenant of his on the 11th floor of 627 Greenwich Street, a graphic designer whose boyfriend had become trapped in one of the towers. “She had just got off the phone with him, and I believe he had said, ‘I’m not going to get out.’ And indeed, he did not. That made it seem real, immediately,” Hort says.

‘Did Me in Completely’

Keenan spent the day making sure that her staff got safely out of Manhattan while she also tried, mostly without success, to determine the status of her members in the downtown printing district. Home again around midnight, she learned from television reports that FDNY chaplain Mychal Judge, her luncheon companion of the day before, was among the 343 firefighters lost in the department’s doomed effort to save the towers and their occupants.

“They said he was the first body they brought out, and I just lost it completely,” Keenan says. “Knowing that he was killed just really did me in completely that day.”

Throughout 9/11, printers also witnessed the plight of survivors who literally were left speechless by what they had gone through at Ground Zero. “People were walking up Varick Street and Sixth Avenue all covered with soot,” Tepfer recalls. There was an eerie silence. No one was talking, but it was a horrific scene. Everybody was stunned. Everything was in a daze.”

After sending their staff home, Kott and his general manager made their way to the street, where they watched “a huge white cloud” of smoke and cinder billowing northward from the crash sites. The two men purchased cases of water from a bodega on the corner of Hudson Street and began handing bottles to escapees as they staggered past, many in bloodstained clothing.

“It was scary,” says Kott, thinking in particular of one man to whom he gave water. “We though initially that he was bleeding, because his shirt was covered in blood. I looked at him and said, ‘Hopefully, that’s not yours.’ He said, ‘It’s not mine, it’s my neighbor’s.’ That image of this gentleman, I will never forget.”

Cashman also remembers the ghostly parade up Varick Street as survivors picked themselves out of the wreckage. “Everybody looked exactly the same, covered in gray soot.” He says he and his employees spent most of the rest of the afternoon offering the victims water, cell phone calls, bathroom access, and whatever other small comforts they could provide.

Next Morning, ‘a Very Weird Day’

As endless as the day must have seemed, night finally fell on 9/11 and the destruction it had wrought. The next morning, Cashman managed to return to his office after first attempting to donate blood at St. Vincent’s Hospital near 14th Street (only to be told that owing to the extreme fatality of the event, blood for transfusion into the living wasn’t going to be needed).

He remembers it as “a very weird day” emotionally, made odder still by a call from a customer who was “yelling at me because his package wasn’t going to get out via FedEx.” Hort had a similar experience. “The printing business is funny,” he says. “I had customers calling me the next morning and asking me, am I going to get my proofs today?”

In the ensuing days, 9/11 and its aftermath would come to mean different things to different printers.

No firm was hit harder than the Francis Emory Fitch Company on Liberty Street, located so close to the South Tower that its collapse obliterated the plant and everything it contained. Almost miraculously, according to a profile of the company published in a trade journal several years later, the company was delivering work to customers in two days with the help of other printers. It eventually re-equipped and found new quarters on West 28th Street, where the 135-year-old firm now does business as the Fitch Group.

Companies that were spared physical damage still had to contend with business loss, as many in the immediate vicinity couldn’t resume operations until the districts below Canal Street had been fully reopened to traffic. The difficulty then, according to Tepfer, was that printers could find little to produce in the wake of the attacks.

“There was no new business,” he says. “Anytime a customer would call, it would be to cancel a job. There was no interest on behalf of anyone to print. I would cringe every time the phone rang.”

“It was like the bottom dropped out of downtown, as far as printing goes,” Donnelly concurs.

Business was already slow; it became slower,” comments Keenan. “People didn’t have a lot of money, and they were really reluctant to part with their dollars unless they were absolutely assured of a 100% return. Nobody could assure that anywhere.”

Too Much to ‘Claw Back’

“The overall impact on the industry was devastating,” according to Kott. “It impacted my business immediately. We were closed for two weeks. There was no material damage, but there was a lot of financial damage. We lost between $100,000 and $200,000 worth of business.”

The loss, says Kott, was a reversal of fortune from which his small company never completely recovered. “Where do you claw back $100,000 to $200,000 worth of work?” he asks. “It just wasn’t there.” At the same time, some of his Manhattan-based clients were starting to move elsewhere, taking their jobs with them.

“It made it tough to continue,” acknowledges Kott, who sold the company in 2003 to focus on advocacy and fundraising for print industry education.

The cumulative effects of 9/11 and its aftermath took a toll both at CQS and among metro area printers in general, according to Tepfer. “It did bring a big change to the psychology of the people at the company,” he says. “Those who were extremely committed, stayed. Those who weren’t used this as a moment to say, ‘Hey, wait a second, I don’t know if this is coming back, if this is what I want to do, if I want to go on struggling like this.’”

Tepfer also points out that because so much of the printing produced in lower Manhattan was “Wall Street driven,” the loss of that business after 9/11 could not have been anything other than ruinous for many.

“That changed completely,” he says, citing a “shift in mindset” and a shunning of Manhattan that he compares with the depopulation of the borough’s central business district during COVID-19.

Once something like this occurs, Tepfer observes, “things never come back to the way they are.” He adds that CQS’s acquisition by HighRoad Press in 2004 “was a real outgrowth of what happened on September 11.”

Norm-Changing ‘Shock Waves’

“There have been a number of things in my history in printing where I found that you go through these shock waves, these big changes, and you see that business never gets back to the same,” says Colahan, citing the 2008-2009 recession and the present pandemic as examples.

“We had a very busy time in 2000 and 2001, and all of a sudden, it was such a dramatic change. Business moved away from offset. Business also moved away from having to be so close to Manhattan. It shifted to being more just-in-time printing, less inventory of material, so that you didn’t inventory something that could become obsolete.”

Printers also had to learn to rethink customer relationships, according to Colahan. He says that recovering from 9/11 meant “making more contacts – you’re not just relying on our existing clients for everything. Once you had a client, it used to be, if you didn’t screw up, you’d never lose them. That whole model changed.”

Others are less inclined to see 9/11 as an inflection point. In Hort’s opinion, 9/11 was not an all-transforming episode for Manhattan’s printing industry, but an acceleration of an upheaval it was already undergoing.

“There were too many printers on Canal Street and Hudson Street,” he explains. “There had to be some attrition. There was too much metal – too many people doing it.” The need for equipment and personnel was being reduced by the digitization of prepress and other kinds of automation, Hort adds. Beyond that, “there was a glut of capacity” that the area’s printers could never fully utilize with the volume of work available to them.

“9/11 is not why there isn’t much of a printing industry on Canal Street anymore,” Hort concludes. “For printers in lower Manhattan, the die was already cast.”

That squares with the view of consumables industry veteran Michael Brice, who was then supplying printers throughout the metropolitan area as an executive of Superior Printing Ink. “There was a trend anyway, prior to that, of facilities moving out of New York as it was too expensive to operate, and logistically it was tough. Obviously, with real estate becoming more valuable as lofts, residential, I think that was afoot already.”

“For some people that lived in New York, it might have given them some pause to do business in an epicenter like that, whereas they could be outside, with less interruption,” Brice continues. “I’m sure that entered some people’s minds, and maybe it pushed them over the edge. I think that the push to get out of New York for more space, lower costs, and other operating advantages was going on, and I don’t know whether (9/11 itself) had a major effect.”

‘Last Printer in Manhattan’

In 2008, in the throes of recession, Cosmos Communications moved to its present home in Long Island City despite having renewed a 10-year lease at 175 Varick Street.  Cashman doesn’t count the long-term impact of 9/11 as a factor in the decision.

“The industry was already in a moving cycle out of Manhattan,” he says, noting that the trend was driven in part by New York City programs aimed at relocating printers to the Brooklyn Army Terminal and other locales in the outer boroughs. “Our goal was to end up being one of the last printers in Manhattan.” Cosmos Communications hung on to that distinction, Cashman says, “until it became economically impossible to operate” where it was.

Despite everything, Manhattan still supports a printing industry, and many of those who remember its worst day from first-hand experience 20 years ago continue to work steadfastly in the trade. Some of them can mingle their harshest impressions of 9/11 with recollections of a more uplifting kind.

That day, Hallie Satz was struggling to get back to her business and her family from a trade show in Chicago after air travel across the nation had been grounded (see sidebar below). When she finally reached home, she detected solidarity as well as sadness in the hearts of her industry peers.

“In some ways, everyone was very unified,” she says. “That was a great thing, for a short period of time. You had all of this unity and camaraderie amongst the printers. Everyone was speaking with one another – that came out of it for a while. On the positive side, right after 9/11, all the printers were talking to each other.”

‘U.S.A, U.S.A.’

Cashman describes feeling another kind of unanimity “the next day, standing on the corner of Sixth Avenue and Houston Street with hundreds and hundreds of people, just cheering the firemen, the firetrucks, the emergency services, every truck that went by. We stood there for what seemed like hours, chanting ‘U.S.A., U.S.A.’ In some ways, it brought all of us closer together. It was a great effect of a horrible event.”

Both memories speak to the resilience of an industry whose history will always be entwined with the terrible events of 9/11. “I give great credit to the companies that did survive that whole thing,” Keenan says. “Because those people (had) the perseverance, patience, and just sheer will and determination that they were not going to lose their firms, that they were not going to go out of business.”

“You can’t intimidate a New Yorker or somebody from New Jersey,” Keenan declares. “I think that without that spirit, you wouldn’t even have an industry today.”

Sidebar: The Long Way Home

A printer didn’t need to be south of Canal Street on September 11, 2001 to see his or her life and business thrown into turmoil by the day’s deadly attacks. Hundreds of New York metro area printing personnel attending the Print 01 trade show in Chicago learned this the hard way as they found themselves abruptly cut off from their scheduled flights home.

Among them was Hallie Satz, currently president of HighRoad Press in Moonachie, N.J. At the time, she was president of the Barton Press division of EarthColor, a Parsippany, N.J. print network that is now part of Mittera Group. On the morning of 9/11, Satz and a large contingent of other EarthColor executives and managers were present at Print 01 for a panel discussion featuring Robert Kashan, their CEO.

Satz got the bad news at breakfast when her husband called to say, “A plane has hit the towers.” Initially, she recalls, reality had a hard time taking hold. “Everybody had a different idea. Some people were thinking it was just a fluke, or an accident. Others were saying no, no, no, this was an attack.” Her immediate thoughts were of her children at home in New Jersey, then 11, 10, and 8.

The panel presentation went on as scheduled, “but as Robert (Kashan) was speaking, the second plane crashed,” Satz says. By this point, the scene at the McCormick Place expo center was frantic, with cell phones dead, people dashing to their hotels, and everyone who didn’t live in the vicinity desperate to find a way out of Chicago.

The EarthColor group, 15 strong, found theirs in a pair of Winnebago vehicles that a member of the team managed to rent. Then began an eastward trek that Satz remembers with a mixture of discomfort and wry humor.

One of just two women in the group, she found herself sharing one of the vans with six men. “We had to go slow. They were not new Winnebagos. They were small,” says Satz, who sat cramped on a bench for the 36 hours the trip home would take. The behavior of her equally stressed traveling companions was sometimes less than cordial.

“You’re in this Winnebago with a lot of testosterone, a lot of fighting,” she says. “There was a lot of arguing going back and forth. I think they passed the time by fighting.”

Looking back at the day and its grim events 20 years later, Satz sums it up as “an instant change in life” that has some parallels with the disruption caused by the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. “COVID of course was nothing like that, and yet, I’ll say as a printer, it was the only other time things really changed for all of us in printing,” she says.

Satz adds that one trait of the industry remained constant throughout the chaos of 9/11 and its aftermath. In printing, she observes, “everyone has always helped each other out. I don’t think there’s ever been a time in any tragedy or natural disaster where printers weren’t willing to help each other.

Festive Franklin Event Returns to NYC on November 17

The industry’s social calendar will mark a long-overdue return to normal on November 17 with the celebration of the 68th Annual Franklin Event.

The event, a festive salute to the industry and its leading lights, had to be postponed last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But, with indoor gatherings now possible to conduct safely, the program is ready to satisfy the pent-up demand for in-person socializing that the industry in the metro area has been obliged to put on hold for far too long.

The venue is the 101 Club, an elegant space located at 101 Park Avenue (at 40th Street) in Manhattan. The host is Printing Industries Alliance, the trade association for New York State, Northern New Jersey and Northwestern Pennsylvania. Proceeds will benefit the Print Drives America Foundation, an advocacy campaign that promotes the use of print.

For a good deal of its 69-year history, the Franklin Event spotlighted prominent honorees on the national stage who weren’t necessarily tied to the printing industry (although industry leaders also were recognized). In recent years, however, the emphasis has shifted entirely to print and graphic communications, with tributes reserved for those who have done the most to advance print both as a communications medium and as a business enterprise.

To be hailed for their singular achievements this year with the Print Drives America Franklin Award for Distinguished Service are Michael Duggal, CEO of Duggal Visual Solutions; and Thomas J. Quinlan, former CEO of LSC Communications and RR Donnelley & Sons. 

Duggal heads one of the industry’s most fully capable providers of visual imaging solutions. As an early adopter of advanced printing technologies, the New York City-based company has produced high-end work for museums, galleries, retail environments, and many other customers around the world. Last year, Duggal and his team made headlines by turning the company into a major manufacturer of personal protective equipment (PPE) for first responders and others in the metro area.

Thomas Quinlan has a long and distinguished record of executive leadership with some of the industry’s best-known firms. Besides his stints with LSC Communications and RR Donnelley, he has held senior management positions with Moore Wallace and World Color Press.

The presentation of Franklin Awards to Duggal and Quinlan will be the ceremonial high point of a party that begins at 6 p.m. and concludes with an on-site after-party to which all attendees will be invited. The cover charge – $6,500 for a sponsored table of eight, $3,500 for a table of four, and individual seats for $350 – includes cocktails, a sit-down dinner, and music provided by Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Besides its convivial aspect, the annual Franklin Event has always been associated with industry advancement, which it has supported by contributing its profits to scholarship funds, foundations, and other causes that benefit printers and their employees. This year, proceeds will be earmarked solely for Print Drives America, an initiative that aims at giving print a higher profile among the media by highlighting its effectiveness and ROI.

Companies and individuals wishing to help the cause can do so by purchasing sponsorships, which aren’t limited to tables. Details about sponsorship opportunities are available from Kim Tuzzo, Printing Industries Alliance, 716-691-3211, or ktuzzo@PIAlliance.org. Marty Maloney, executive vice president of Printing Industries Alliance and executive director of the Print Drives America Foundation, also has information. Contact him at 203-912-0804, m.maloney@bmcorp.com, or mmaloney@pialliance.org

TANY, Trieste, the Museum of Printing, and a Fond Look Back at the Metro Area’s Typographic Trade

john_trieste-1Once upon a time, the printing industry was full of small, craft-specific trade associations and fraternal groups that gave it a soulful center of gravity it doesn’t have today.

Operating on shoestrings, these grass-roots guilds lacked the extended organizational structures and the revenue-focused business objectives that give national trade associations their heft. What they had going for them, mostly, were the warm feelings of good fellowship they inspired and the genuine pleasure their members always took in one another’s company.

When these groups and clubs thrived, it was for two reasons: the engagement of the members and the quality of the professional leadership. The former wasn’t possible without the latter. The key to everything was the guidance of executive directors who could rally the troops, plan the activities, sweat the small details, and keep all their members mindful of why they enjoyed being with one another as much as they did.

No circle of friends or person-in-charge ever made the small-group model work more winningly than the Typographers Association of New York (TANY) and John Trieste, the association executive who shepherded it for more than 30 years. TANY is no longer active as an association, but there are still plenty of former members who remember the good times they had when it was. Something else they can’t forget is how much of the joy of their shared experience they owe to Trieste.

And so came more than 50 people to the Museum of Printing in Haverhill, MA, on September 17 to celebrate what they said was but probably wasn’t their “last reunion.” They joined the Museum in dedicating a library to Trieste in recognition of his exceptional record of service to TANY and the other New York metro area trade associations he oversaw. The guests, numbering more than 50, included 22 members of the honoree’s extended family. Everyone shared in the pride of seeing him receive the permanent tribute that the designation of the space in his name represents.

john_trieste-2Friends of TANY and fans and family of Trieste at the Museum of Printing

Fittingly, the John Trieste Library will serve as the Museum’s learning center for the study of the art and the science of typography. The Museum’s chief curator and principal organizer, Frank J. Romano, is a leading expert on typography and a former member of TANY himself. A guest lecturer at many TANY functions, Romano officiated at the library dedication ceremony and hosted a banquet in Trieste’s honor in another part of the Museum.

The event also was an occasion for Trieste to talk about his years with TANY and the trajectory that industry groups followed during and after that time.

He wasn’t always a trade association executive, having worked as a letterpress pressman and a mapmaker for 10 years before being hired by the New York Employing Printers Association (NYEPA) in 1960.Within five years, NYEPA, a network of groups representing the owners of 1,500 printing firms and trade shops, had asked him to take over the management of a number of the groups including the Brooklyn Printers Association, the Printing Estimators and Production Men’s Club, and the typographers’ section that became TANY.

Later, on behalf of other umbrella organizations for the metro area, Trieste would also run the Sales Association of the Graphic Arts, the Long Island Graphic Arts Association, and the Binders and Finishers Association. Mavis Da Costa, a career administrator who is as revered by TANY for her contributions as Trieste is for his, assisted him in many of these assignments.

The keynote of his management style for all of these groups, and particularly for TANY, was camaraderie. “Our mission was to change the owners’ perception of each other from rivals to colleagues,” he says. “If we were colleagues instead of competitors, we would be stronger as an industry.”

Trieste knit TANY together with regular meetings in which expert speakers briefed the group on best business practices, technological developments, and other essential topics for providers of typographic services. A regular presenter at these gatherings was Jack Powers, a consulting technologist who was one of the first industry observers to perceive the impact that desktop publishing and digitization would have on graphics firms of all kinds in the metro area.

john_trieste-3Titans of TANY, from left: Mavis Da Costa, Frank Romano, Bob Wislocky, and Mark Darlow

TANY members bonded personally through social gatherings and excursions to resort areas like Atlantic City and the Poconos—all courtesy of Trieste, who also photographed every event he emceed. Many of these images took attendees at the tribute on a stroll down memory lane in a pair of nostalgic slide shows that were among the high points of the program.

At its peak, TANY had an office on Eighth Avenue at 34th Street and 180 companies, union and non-union, on its member roster. However, times and technologies were changing, and the group’s fortunes changed along with them.

Trieste recalls membership dropping sharply in 1991 and 1992 as in-house typesetting and composition chipped steadily away at customers’ need to obtain these services from trade shops. Many typographic firms closed, merged, or morphed into other kinds of businesses. By 1997, there weren’t enough dues-paying members left to cover TANY’s expenses, and Trieste reluctantly suspended operations the following year.

He then retired to Florida—but “retired,” in the case of someone with Trieste’s full-time organizational instincts, is a highly relative term. He engaged with causes related to Alzheimer’s Disease and was active with his local chapter of AARP. Ever the event planner, he inaugurated a reunion of other industry members who had retired to the Sunshine State and kept the annual snowbird get-together going for 12 years.

He currently is a contributing writer for Senior Life of Florida, which publishes his monthly column on affordable, educational, and family-friendly tourist destinations in the central part of the state.

Frank Romano said that because of Trieste’s affectionate stewardship of the group, “TANY was my family” during the 10 years in which he commuted between his home in New Hampshire and the meetings he attended in New York City. Trieste hinted that although the gathering in his honor had been billed as the “last” assembly of the metro typographers, the term perhaps shouldn’t be taken too literally.

The group may not exist any longer in the formal sense, but the camaraderie of its members lives on. As long as this continues to be true, there’s no reason to dispute his claim that the event in Haverhill was “the first of the last reunions” that TANY can look forward to celebrating.

Book Industry Guild of New York (BIGNY) September Event: “Chris Jackson In Conversation with Calvin Reid”

090316.bigny-september-eventChris Jackson (left) and Calvin Reid

One World Books Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Chris Jackson will have a one-on-one conversation with Publishers Weekly Senior News Editor Calvin Reid at the Book Industry Guild of New York’s September 13, 2016 gathering.

The discussion will provide an opportunity to learn first-hand about Jackson’s remarkable publishing career, his work with authors such as Ta Nehisi-Coates, Eddie Huang, and Jay Z, and Jackson’s strong interest in bringing diverse, multicultural voices to a worldwide audience.

Earlier this year, Jackson was named the vice president, publisher, and editor of Random House’s One World imprint. He will direct the relaunch of the multicultural imprint in the fall of 2017. One World’s legacy includes fiction and nonfiction titles, with a focus on African-American writers.

The event will be held on Tuesday, September 13, 2016, at Penguin Random House, 1745 Broadway in Manhattan. The speaking session will begin at 6:15 pm; a professional networking event will start at 5:15 pm.

Admission for the September BIGNY event and networking reception is $40 for BIGNY members, $60 for nonmembers. There is a $5 fee for participants only attending the speaker portion of the event.

Event Information

Where
Random House, 1745 Broadway (between 55th & 56th Streets), 2nd Floor

When
Tuesday, September 13, 2016. Beer, wine, and hors d’oeuvres at 5:15 p.m., program at 6:15 p.m.

Admission
$40 for BIGNY members / $60 for nonmembers.
$5 admission for the speaker portion of the event only.
All major credit cards are accepted online and at the door. Cash and checks are also accepted at the door. Student admission is free (lecture only) with valid student ID and reservation.

Reservations

Email programs@bookindustryguildofny.org or financial.secretary@bigny.org for reservations

About Chris Jackson
Chris Jackson is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of One World Books, a just relaunched imprint of Random House. Previously, Jackson was an Executive Editor at Spiegel & Grau from its founding in 2006. Prize-winning and bestselling authors he edited at Spiegel & Grau include Ta-Nehisi Coates, Bryan Stevenson, Jill Leovy, Matt Taibbi, Wes Moore, Victor LaValle, and Jay Z. Jackson is a native of New York, where he currently resides.

About Calvin Reid
Calvin Reid is a senior news editor at Publishers Weekly, co-editor of PW Comics World, PW’s online coverage of graphic novel and comics publishing, and cohost of More to Come, PW Comics World’s weekly podcast.

About the Book Industry Guild of New York (BIGNY)
BIGNY is a New York-based organization that serves the publishing industry and community. Since its inception in 1926, the Guild has provided professional development opportunities by hosting social and educational events, seminars, industry trips, and more. The Guild produces the annual New York Book Show, which celebrates outstanding achievements in book design and manufacturing. BIGNY also proudly organizes charitable events to promote literacy in the New York City metropolitan area.

Printing Industries Alliance Post Drupa Event Exceeds Expectations

Printing Industries Alliance (PIA) says that its Post Drupa Report on August 18 was a resounding success. The event, held at the Club 101 in Manhattan, had an audience of more than 100 end users including printers, mailers, and other graphic arts service providers.

The drupa exhibitors represented in the panel presentations included Canon, GMG, HP, Highcon, Konica Minolta, Landa Digital Printing, Muller Martini, Scodix, Xeikon, and Xerox.

Marty Maloney, PIA’s executive vice president, commented, “Our Post Drupa Event had the same leading companies that hosted PIA’s VIP drupa tour in Düsseldorf. All of them were major attractions at drupa, and they represent the best of the best from the more than 1,800 drupa exhibitors”.

The Post Drupa Event featured five panels on the following topics:

• Who’s On First? Offset vs. Digital vs. Inkjet vs. Nanography

• The Rapid Rise and Importance of Labels and Packaging and Importance of Color Management

• Postpress Takes the Lead

• Wide Format Breaks Into the Big Time

• Observations First Hand from Drupa Attendees

The 25 panelists included vendors and printers as well as end users. The expert moderators were Denise Gustavson, Southcomm; Patrick Henry, WhatTheyThink; Steve Katz, Rodman Media; and Richard Romano, WhatTheyThink. (Romano’s subsequent article about the wide format panel, which he moderated, can be read here.)

Lunch continued the drupa theme with servings of bratwurst and Pilsner. During the break, Maloney set the record straight with a presentation titled “Print is the Largest Media of All, By Far.” The presentation offered data bearing out the claim that print dwarfs all other media including broadcast and the Internet and is larger than all other media combined. (PIA makes Maloney and his presentation available for company and association meetings.)

The all-day program interspersed presentations and panel discussions and concluded  with a networking session.

PIA president Tim Freeman commented, “The Printing Industries Alliance wants to make sure that everyone in our industry has access to all the information they need to do business in the most efficient way. Events like this Post Drupa Report accomplish this and more by providing a meaningful dialog between all parties and a great opportunity to learn from one another.”

Commentary

It isn’t easy to attract an audience of 100 people to an event of any kind during business hours, but such was the drawing power of PIA’s Post Drupa Event on August 18. Hats off to the association not only for pulling in a crowd of that size, but also for enlisting the support of the impressive lineup of vendors who helped to make the day possible.

Relatively few metro area printers ever have the means or the opportunity to attend drupa, so the deep interest in the program’s subject matter was no surprise. But, as this writer was reminded in moderating the panel on first-hand observations by drupa attendees, there is always something new to think about in the aftermath of the world’s biggest printing trade show.

My astute and insightful panelists—Tim Freeman (PIA), Cheryl Kahanec (EarthColor), Tom Mackessy (LSC Communications), Michael Pallone (PubWorkX), and Simon Schaffer (Case Paper)—covered a lot of ground in their accounts of what they saw and learned at the show. Toward the end, one of them made a remark that struck a common chord with everyone.

It was their shared observation that the mood and the morale of the industry seemed to be so much more upbeat at the international event than they are here at home. The panelists agreed that they’d felt a spirit of optimism about printing that doesn’t prevail—or at least isn’t easy to detect—among printers and other members of the industry in the U.S.

It’s a little hard to understand why. Although the industry struggled and contracted during the years of the Great Recession, it emerged from the downturn stronger in some ways than it had been when it entered. U.S. print service providers are still among the most technologically progressive printing businesses in the world. And, as Maloney’s presentation (summarized here) made plain, America’s graphic communications firms continue to create tremendous value for the national economy through print media—a fact that rarely gets the attention it deserves.

PIA’s Post Drupa Event helped to dial up the pride while giving its attendees a show overview that literally was the next best thing to being there.

New York’s UFT In-plant Sold on Prism Paper Cutter from Colter & Peterson

073016_colter_peterson_uftOscar Rivera (center) with operators Gabriel Rivera (left) and Steve Rodriguez next to their Colter & Peterson Prism paper cutter.

Days at the in-plant operation that Oscar Rivera manages for the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) rival the bustling atmosphere of the shop’s environs in lower Manhattan. The Printing and Mail Department has transformed itself in the last decade, adding an array of equipment to handle an ever-increasing amount of work. The finishing department has benefitted as well, having installed a 32″ Prism paper cutter from Colter & Peterson earlier this year to help speed up the process of getting work out the door to over 200,000 members.

“The Prism is a workhorse for us,” says Rivera, who will mark 15 years as the operation’s production manager in November. “I remember the afternoon it was delivered. A flatbed truck pulls up with this heavy, 4,000-lb. cutter, and I thought it was going to be a big production. But they got it off the truck in a snap, and we were up and cutting the following morning.”

Rivera is quick to credit Rick Fassano, his local Colter & Peterson dealer at Summit Offset Service, for recommending the Prism paper cutter. Fassano had placed a 27″ Prism PC paper cutter last year at the New York Stock Exchange, a short walk from UFT’s offices.

“I’ve known Rick for 40 years when I first started in the industry as a hand typesetter, and before I moved into offset. He’s really good and always on time with getting equipment to us,” Rivera says. “Late last year, we were decommissioning an old Challenge, so we needed a new cutter. I spoke with Rick and he gave me some options to consider, but the Prism was at the top of his list.”

The 32″ Prism joins an impressive list of equipment at the UFT in-plant. In addition to web and sheetfed presses, the digital side includes various Konica Minolta bizhub presses for black and white and color work. Rivera and his team count on Epson Stylus, HP DesignJet and KIP wide format machines to handle the signage and large graphics work. With all of that firepower, the Prism gets a workout.

“The Challenge cutter wasn’t programmable and there was a lot of stopping and starting,” says Rivera, who manages a staff of 16. “The Prism is programmable and a better, more efficient product. We set the cut, cut it, and then go on to the next one. The table bed has air running under it to lift the paper, so it makes us much faster than before.

“We go full tilt every day. A lot of our work is done on 12″ x 18″ sheets that we trim down to 11″ x 17″. Business cards, letterhead, invitations, you name it. We print everything from a few hundred up to 265,000 per run, which includes the full UFT membership.”

As in any operation, Rivera’s team at times will experience busier than average periods.

“No two days are alike. Sometimes it looks like ants at a rainy picnic in here,” Rivera says. “Summer is our downtime, where we catch up on fill-in work. Once the school year begins in mid-August, the Prism cuts 40 to 50 jobs a day. We stay very busy until Thanksgiving, then do a lot of holiday related work until the end of the year.

“When everyone returns in early January, we go full tilt through the end of April. The first two weeks of May, we print many certificates of achievement, middle school promotional certificates and other recognition work.”

Most managers want what’s best for the team. For Rivera, there were other selling points to the Prism that have met all of his expectations.

“This cutter has made life easier for them. That’s great because they work very hard and stay busy with many other things, so we don’t usually have to worry about the Prism,” Rivera says. “It is a very quiet machine, and you rarely hear it.

“I also like the safety features. It has an electronic beam and some of our operators were tripping it by leaning forward as it was cutting. So the machine would just stop. Once they got used to it and changed their behavior, the team became even more productive.”

In-Plant Graphics magazine published a detailed profile of the UFT in-plant last year. Read it here.

 

 

Printing Industries Alliance Brings drupa 2016 to NYC on August 18

Leading Düsseldorf Exhibitors to Participate in Panels and Presentations

If you weren’t able to attend drupa 2016, you weren’t alone. Of the 260,000 visitors who converged upon Messe Düsseldorf from May 31 to June 10, only a relative handful came from the U.S. The high cost of travel and the difficulty of breaking away from busy production schedules ruled out attending for many American printers who would otherwise have liked to go.

If you’re based in the New York City metro area, however, there’s a next best thing to having been there: the Post drupa Report that Printing Industries Alliance will host on Thursday, August 18, 2016, at Club 101 (101 Park Avenue at 40th Street) in Manhattan.

From 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., some of the leading exhibitors from drupa 2016 will re-create the excitement of the event with panels and presentations before an audience of end users including printers, mailers, and other graphic arts service providers.

Printing Industries Alliance believes that end user decision makers need up-to-date information to navigate the graphic arts marketplace. Because most U.S. printers did not go to Germany, they must rely on after-the-fact information that can be daunting, confusing, and sometimes even contradictory. The Post drupa Report on August 18 is designed to give end users the information they need, firsthand and with clarity and balance. This will be delivered by expert panels on subjects such as:

• Who’s On First? Offset vs. Digital vs. Inkjet vs. Nanography

• The Rapid Rise and Importance of Labels and Packaging

• The Growing Importance of Color Management

• Postpress Rules

• Wide Format Breaks into the Big Time

• Firsthand Observations from drupa Attendees

The all-day program will intersperse presentations and panels and will feature a lunch with a speaker to be announced. Also included are a vendor / end user networking session and an open bar at 5 p.m.

The cost is $99 for PIA members and $139 for non-members. Each additional member from the same company will cost $79 for members and $109 for non-members. To register for the event, contact Kim Tuzzo at 716-691-3211 or ktuzzo@pialliance.org. Register online here or download, complete, and return the registration form.

Printing Industries Alliance President Tim Freeman commented, “The Printing Industries Alliance wants to make sure that everyone in our industry has access to all the information they need to do business in the most efficient way. Events like this Post drupa Report do this and more. They provide a meaningful dialog between all parties and a great opportunity to learn from one another.”

Select vendor sponsorships are still available. For information on sponsoring the event, contact Marty Maloney at 203-912-0804 or mmaloney@pialliance.org. Vendor sponsors receive a 12-minute presentation slot, a seat on a panel, and a 5′ table to display literature at the end-of-day networking session.

GCSF Eclipses Previous Fundraising Records with Sum Amassed for 2016 Scholarships

062716_gcsf_scholarship_awards.1

Bright smiles for bright futures at GCSF’s 14th annual scholarship awards ceremony on June 23.

What does an educational fundraising organization do for an encore? The answer is easy: raise more money for education. Considerably more difficult is achieving a 50% year-over-year increase in scholarship funds distributed. But this year, that is precisely the philanthropic coup that the Graphic Communications Scholarship Foundation (GCSF) has managed to bring off.

The money—all $160,500 of it—is now in the deserving hands of 41 New York City metro area students pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees at 16 schools offering programs in graphic design, production, and publishing. More than half of the record number are repeat recipients, and the group as a whole nearly overflowed the stage at the Hearst Tower Atrium during the 14th annual GCSF award ceremony on June 23.

The sum of the 2016 awards easily outstrips last year’s record-setting amount and is a far cry from the $5,000 worth of stipends that GCSF presented for the first time in 2002. Since then, a total of more than $686,000 has been disbursed to 149 recipients.

The grants come from an inventory of separately endowed scholarships that GCSF, a 501(c)(3) organization, coordinates and helps to raise money for. Students, who earn the awards by submitting portfolios, letters of recommendation, and supporting essays, may continue to apply for and receive them until they graduate.

Over the years, the GCSF scholarship program has become a focal point for educational giving by graphics industry trade groups in the metro area. The most munificent of givers in 2016 has been the Advertising Production Club of New York (APCNY), which raised about $100,000 of the total presented on June 23. Other stalwart organizational supporters include IDEAlliance, Printing Industries Alliance, and The Navigators.

Voluntarism in its purest form remains the cornerstone of everything that GCSF does. Its officers, who are uncompensated, work without professional staff or dedicated office space. This means that the program has virtually no overhead expenses—all of the money collected passes through to the students as stipends.

It has been done this way from the first time GCSF’s founding members sat down in a borrowed conference room to discuss how to revive a small number of print industry scholarship funds that were not being actively managed. Many more scholarship endowments have come under GCSF’s custodianship since then, but the group’s insistence on channeling 100% of their proceeds to students has not changed.

GCSF sustains the financial assistance it provides by drawing upon a dependable network of individual donors and corporate sponsors (see table below). The generosity of this network was evident at the group’s “Spring Fling” event on June 15, a fundraising-focused social gathering hosted by Ogilvy & Mather on the rooftop of its building overlooking the U.S.S. Intrepid on the lower Hudson River.
062716_gcsf_scholarship_awards.2
GCSF vice president Diane Romano emcees the group’s “Spring Fling” fundraiser on Ogilvy & Mather’s rooftop.

Nearly 200 printing, publishing, and media professionals attended, and 35 high-profile corporate supporters pitched in. The result: a net of $30,000 to help swell the bounty distributed at the awards ceremony on June 23.

Fundraising isn’t GCSF’s only outreach on behalf of graphics education. It also operates a mentoring program that pairs metro area students with seasoned members of the industry for 12 months of enhanced, hands-on learning experiences in real-world business settings. In this way, students gain both the practical knowledge and the personal confidence they will need for success in their chosen fields. GCSF also arranges internships and solicits contributions of training aids and educational materials for use in graphic studies programs.

062716_gcsf_scholarship_awards.3

Mentees and mentors, from left: Jack Kott, Valerie Buonaiuto, David Luke, Lea Orsini, Allyson Gonzalez, Emilia Dabrowska, Roxana Santana, Nick Patrissi, Jessie Ann Murphy, and Jerry Mandelbaum.

Everything culminates in the annual scholarship awards ceremony, held for the last nine years at the Hearst Tower Atrium. Student testimonials and the bestowal of a special educational honor highlight the value of GCSF’s work, the difference it makes in the lives of the students on whose behalf it is done, and the solidarity of the industry that stands behind it.

First-time recipient Sergio Georghiou, a freshman at SUNY Purchase and the creator of the winning portfolio in a citywide graphics competition, spoke with unrestrained emotion about his family’s faith in his talent through difficult times. “This award is for them,” he said.

Valerie Buonaiuto (Adelphi) talked about the personal growth she experienced by taking part in the mentoring program and completing a GCSF-arranged internship. Natalie Alcide, on her sixth GCSF scholarship grant as she nears graduation from New York City College of Technology, said simply, “I wouldn’t be the woman I am today” without the help she received from GCSF members who encouraged her along the way.

Since 2008, GCSF has saluted industry members with exceptional records of providing this kind of help as its “Champions of Education.” The 2016 honoree is James (Jimmy) Levin, an award-winning commercial photographer who went on to become a leading specialist in media recruitment and staffing. Today he operates Job Search Therapy, a consultancy for job and internship seekers. Levin sits on GCSF’s scholarship selection committee and is a board member and the education committee chairman of APCNY.

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James (Jimmy) Levin accepts the 2016 Champion of Education Award from GCSF president Jerry Mandelbaum and past president David Luke.

Accepting the Champion of Education award, he urged students to develop their potential “with passion and purpose”: always challenging themselves, but always focusing their energies on pursuits they enjoy and believe in.

Levin also reminded them that “attitude and effort” are two things in life that professionals can always control, even when other forces seem to be slipping from their grasp.

Many of the people who attended GCSF’s Spring Fling and scholarship award ceremony will also be on hand for another gala event that celebrates professionalism in graphic communications: the 2016 Franklin Luminaire Awards, to be co-hosted by Printing Industries Alliance and IDEAlliance on October 19 at The Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers. PIAlliance and IDEAlliance’s DEER Foundation donate most of the net proceeds from Franklin Luminaire to GCSF.

GCSF’s next gathering will be its fundraising “Holiday Bash” on December 8 at a location to be announced.

GCSF Corporate Sponsors, 2016

0672716_gcsf_scholarship_awards_donor_table