Franklin Event Sets Record

NEW YORK—Ben Franklin himself would have jumped with joy over the large turnout at his namesake 2007 Franklin Event. Nearly 600 people filled the banquet hall at Pier Sixty on September 18, a record attendance, while marking the first time the annual awards and networking gala was held under the Printing Industries Alliance (PIA) banner.

Following welcome remarks by Tim Freeman, association president, HudsonYards President and COO Diane Romano presented the Franklin Award for Distinguished Service to Martha Stewart, founder of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. An author of dozens of best-selling books, Stewart’s multimedia enterprise bearing her name also consists of numerous magazine titles, radio and television shows, as well as branded merchandise for the home.

Since its inception in 1952, the Franklin Award has been bestowed upon various luminaries including Harry Truman, Norman Rockwell and Margaret Mead.

The 2007 Power of Communications Award winners included David Orlin, senior vice president, operations and strategic sourcing, Condé Nast Publications; Michele Unger, senior vice president, director of content operations, Grey New York; and Lester Samuels, managing partner at Pictorial Offset.

Samuels was applauded for his printing company’s leadership position as a proponent for environmental sustainability. The first privately owned printing company worldwide to be dual registered ISO 9002 (quality) and ISO 14001 (environmental), Pictorial has also received top honors from the Rainforest Alliance and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for its environmental initiatives.

During his acceptance speech, Samuels pledged to strive to eliminate the use of all materials at Pictorial that cannot be recycled, to derive all of the company’s power consumption from renewable resources, and to sponsor the planting of enough trees to offset the carbon emissions generated by the Franklin Event.

The most impassioned acceptance speech was given by Betty Maul, president of FrontEnd Graphics and the winner of the inaugural John Peter Zenger Medal, given for selfless courage, charity, activism or service. Maul serves on the board of the Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome Association (CRPS). Maul, whose daughter suffers from CRPS as the result of a sports injury, has raised more than $500,000 through her efforts as co-chair of the Bounty of Hope Dinner/Silent Auction and with the support of the graphic arts community.

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