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Printing Industries of America Mourns the Lost of Ken Rizzo

February 17, 2011
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PITTSBURGH—Feb. 17, 2011—Printing Industries of America sadly reports Kenneth E. Rizzo, our Director, Technical and Lean Services, passed away suddenly Tuesday, Feb. 15, while on assignment in suburban Boston.

“Ken was a loyal and dedicated employee, author, workshop leader, speaker, and one of the world’s most knowledgeable people for production efficiency and excellence,” said Michael Makin, President and CEO of Printing Industries of America, when announcing Rizzo’s passing.

Ken started working part-time as a press operator while attending Lakewood (OH) High School. After graduation, he was hired by Sherwin-Williams as a press operator at its printing facility in North Olmsted, OH. While working at Sherwin-Williams, Ken obtained his associate’s degree in printing from Cuyahoga Community College. He honed his press skills and over time, advanced into production management.

When the North Olmsted plant was closed and production moved to a new facility in Fountain Inn, SC, Ken arranged for the equipment to be moved and hired and trained a new production staff. With Ken's help, the company implemented the concepts of what are now known “Lean manufacturing.” Ken quickly recognized the performance gains that came from a well-organized operation where employees had the "right information and tools at the right time.” His experience with Lean at Sherwin-Williams was the beginning of a lifelong effort to assist the printing company with those principles.

Wanting to move his family back to Ohio, Ken accepted the job of pressroom manager with Sandusky (OH) Folding Box, but he desired to contribute more to the industry and discovered that the Graphic Arts Technical Foundation (GATF), located in Pittsburgh, was looking to add to its consulting staff. GATF was the preeminent technical and research organization for printing in North America. Ken joined GATF in May 1990 as a consultant conducting numerous technical and production assessments, troubleshooting print problems, performing press/equipment testing and analysis, and training or facilitating programs at printers throughout the industry.

In May 2000, he left to become a process engineer for Gulf States Paper Corp. (now Rock Tenn), one of the country's largest producers of packaging products and paperboard but he returned to the non-profit organization, now known as Printing Industries of America, in late 2006, as the director of consulting services. He was well-known as a highly-experienced process improvement specialist, certified in Six Sigma, ISO 9000, and Lean manufacturing and planned and facilitated numerous 5S, quick changeover, total productive maintenance initiatives, and Kaizen event projects.
 
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Most Recent Comments:
Chris Reynolds - Posted on February 21, 2011
Helluva guy. Very intelligent and passionate about improving the printing industry. His work will continue to benefit the industry for many years to come. Blessings to the family and friends.
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Archived Comments:
Chris Reynolds - Posted on February 21, 2011
Helluva guy. Very intelligent and passionate about improving the printing industry. His work will continue to benefit the industry for many years to come. Blessings to the family and friends.