2010 Hall of Fame: Joe Metzger - Wealth of KnowledgeSeptember 2010 By Erik Cagle
In the Charles Dickens classic "A Christmas Carol," there is a scene where Scrooge and the Ghost of Christmas Past observe a young Ebeneezer and his co-worker gushing about their great employer, Mr. Fezziwig, during a holiday party decades earlier.
The Ghost feigns indifference, asking why a meager investment of three or four British pounds for an office party makes Mr. Fezziwig worthy of such high praise. Scrooge quickly rushes to Fezziwig's defense:
"He has the power to render us happy or unhappy; to make our service light or burdensome; a pleasure or a toil," Scrooge stammers. "Say that his power lies in words and looks; in things so slight and insignificant that it is impossible to add and count them...The happiness he gives, is quite as great as if it cost a fortune."
Zeal Is Contagious
Scrooge knew that Fezziwig's festive, animated spirit rubbed off on everyone around him, making work seem like anything but toil (added irony given the cold, steely persona Scrooge would adopt). In reality, positive, excitable chief executives with a zeal for what they do often can boast of an infectious enthusiasm that permeates the entire employee ranks. As the corner office goes, so goes the company.
Look up infectious enthusiasm in the dictionary, and you might find a picture of Joe Metzger. The president of Toledo, OH-based Metzgers Printing + Mailing has a legendary penchant for getting people excited about anything related to the printing industry, particularly new technologies that can benefit his customers and enable the company to add another dimension to its offerings. His employees have bought into Metzger's energy, passion and intelligence; he repays them, in part, with lunch-and-learn sessions in the dedicated Metzgers Education Center.
It seems Metzger is both a student of the industry, as well as a teacher, as evidenced by his speaking engagements on the trade show circuit. His zeal for all things printing has landed him in the 2010 Printing Impressions/RIT Printing Industry Hall of Fame class.
"Joe is one of those people who will always sit and listen when we approach him with ideas and concepts," notes Greg Wymore, graphic communications solutions manager for Xerox. "Doesn't mean he'll always implement it, but Joe does his homework, analyzes opportunities and wants to know if it's something worth doing. And, I don't know of many folks who would take a portion of their facility and dedicate it to the education of other people."