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Krehbiel Adds Variety, Spice To Business, Life

October 2002
BY ERIK CAGLE


"The printed word is important to me," stresses Rob Krehbiel III, CEO for The C.J. Krehbiel Co. of Cincinnati, and a 2002 Printing Impressions/RIT Printing Industry Hall of Fame inductee. It is also clear that people are very important to him, as well.

The two facets met outside of the world of commercial printing when Krehbiel was introduced to John Carney, a father of 10 who had not graduated high school and was illiterate. For Krehbiel, who had volunteered to help teach adults how to read, the thought that someone not being equipped to read was unthinkable. But, with Krehbiel's help, Carney was able to conquer the shortcoming, and proceeded to earn his GED.

To celebrate, Carney and his wife invited Rob and his wife, Jan, over for dinner. "He tried to educate me on the value of buying the institution-type-sized can of baked beans," Krehbiel says with a laugh. It began a rewarding friendship that lasted 15 years, when Carney died of emphysema. Krehbiel had wanted to share his love for ink on paper with Carney, and was rewarded in kind.

The commercial printing industry has been full of rewards for Krehbiel, caretaker of the family's fourth-generation business. But it wasn't always clear that printing would be the vocation of choice for Krehbiel.

Born and raised in the Queen City, his mother and father still live in the same house he grew up in as the oldest of five children. He still has fond memories of going into the office with his father and siblings, and taking joy rides on the freight elevators and paging each other on the intercom system.

He attended Indian Hill High School, where one of his classmates, Jim Koch, also went on to notoriety for starting the Boston Beer Co. (maker of Samuel Adams). "We always get a great deal on our beer at the reunions," says Krehbiel, who loved his high school days (he married his high school sweetheart) and sets up frequent reunions.


Amateur magician Krehbiel pulled out his cape and top hat to accept the 1998 PIANKO Printer of the Year award. Note the "typo."
Entertainment was and still is a big part of Krehbiel's life, from when he was an amateur magician in his teen years. At Indian Hill he started his own pop/rock group, The Loved Ones, playing the organ and rhythm guitar. The group belted out hits from the Rolling Stones, Beatles, The Association and "kind of 1967 beach music." The group played at sock hops and old church halls, and even performed at the opening of a motorcycle shop. The turnout was so low, Krehbiel recalls, that his father won a motorcycle in the giveaway.
 

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