A Quiet Generosity Toward All --CagleSeptember 2002
"Along the way," says Rivello, "he made many people successful in this business. He just believed in the American way. That's what building a business is all about."
He knew a thing or two about building a business, and wasn't afraid about anticipating new accounts, as evidenced by his "Ready, fire, aim," mentality, according to Rivello.
"He'd buy two presses and say, 'We'll go out and get the business later,' " Rivello relates. "He believed you get good people and good equipment, then let them go to work. I've seen printing plants all over the world, and they're the best in the game."
Quad/Graphics is not a publicity hound. With the exception of an occasional press release regarding expansion, there is no news. But little is ever made of the company's sterling treatment of its employees. The Lomira plant that suffered through a destructive fire only two-plus weeks before Quadracci's passing boasted a child care center, medical and dental clinics, a pharmacy and fitness center—all on-site. It underscores the "quiet generosity" Rivello saw. Fortune magazine named the company to its list of "100 Best Companies to Work for in America."
That generosity was extended beyond the walls of Quad/Graphics. Harry and Betty donated $10 million toward the Calatrova addition to the Milwaukee Art Museum. In a final irony, the thousands who bid farewell to him may not have realized that the Basilica of St. Josaphat had received a $500,000 makeover courtesy of Quadracci.
Diane Romano of Applied Graphics Technologies, who has been a "fierce and friendly competitor" with Quad/Graphics since the 1980s, was always amazed how Quadracci could combine sheer business acumen with a human touch for his employees.
"He was just a brilliant guy, so smart and quick on his feet," she says. "But he was also just a great human being."
The Web Offset Association's Tom Basore feels Quadracci rubbed off on Quad/Graphics. "The philosophy of Harry Quadracci is so strong in Quad/Graphics—its customers and people. He believed it, he lived it and the company grew because of it."
By Erik Cagle