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A True Appreciation For Roy Grossman —Cagle

June 2008
IT WAS a sad morning in early May when a press release crossed my desk announcing that Roy Grossman, president and CEO of Sandy Alexander in Clifton, NJ, would be stepping down at the end of the month. Executives come and go—then sometimes reappear a few years down the line—so theoretically Grossman’s departure is no big deal. But this magazine and the printing community have lost a great friend—hopefully a temporary situation.

The man is Journalism 101, pure gold. Roy Grossman doesn’t “tell it like it is” because he doesn’t pretend to have all the answers, but he’s never been afraid to “tell it like he sees it.”

Roy always allows for the possibility that he may be wrong on a point but, because he’s so reasonable and straightforward, I frankly can’t remember him being wrong.

The beauty of Mr. Grossman is his willingness to talk on relevant industry topics, both candidly and without PC (politically correct) fanfare. Maybe PC isn’t the right word, but he never sought to gloss over subjects or offer answers lined with executive fluff.

In the world of B2B reporting, we’re often fed polished, well-rehearsed answers. Roy thinks out loud and considers the opposing viewpoint. He is the exception to the rule, a reminder that rules often need to be changed.

But this isn’t about Grossman making my job easier. He is as great a friend to the printing community as exists today. Before the industry exploded into “me, too” status with greening initiatives and environmental sustainability, there was Sandy Alexander—far ahead of the curve—talking about responsibility to the planet and purchasing its electric power from clean and renewable, wind-generated sources. Want to know the next big trend? Pay attention to what Sandy Alexander is doing.

Roy is also a crusader in the fight against commodity pricing and is rightfully proud of his company’s refusal to resort to throat-cutting tactics. Here it may be a stretch to expect the rest of the industry to fall in line, but there’s always hope.

There’s also hope that Grossman will return to a printing company near you, an option he wouldn’t rule out (“after all, it’s what I know”). For now, he’s going to take some time, recharge his jets and decide upon his next course of action.
 

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