2002 Year in Review -- Silver Lining Still Tarnished
Consolidation proved it was alive and well in the paper industry, with South African giant Sappi Ltd. shelling out $480 million for the rights to Potlach Corp.'s coated fine paper business.
With 401(k) horror stories grabbing headlines on the national front, President Bush turned to The Printer, of Des Moines, IA, as a stop on his retirement security reform tour. Bush cited The Printer as an ideal model for small businesses that offer 401(k) plans.
In an environment where many large companies were announcing the closing of numerous facilities, it was refreshing to see a new printer born. North Eastern Graphics, with the help of a state grant and equipment from a bankrupt printer, opened its doors in Waymart, PA.
Noted printing exec Chris Carpenter struck out on his own when he acquired the print division of Royle Communications Group, Sun Prairie, WI, from Richard Royle.
Quebecor World, Montreal, announced it was opening a 196,000-square-foot retail web offset production facility in Riverside, CA, creating as many as 200 new jobs in the process.
After a lengthy search process, Michael Makin emerged from a pool of 350 applicants to be named CEO of the PIA/GATF. Makin had been serving as executive vice president and COO of PIA.
Tragedy struck twice in the span of three weeks for Pewaukee, WI-based Quad/Graphics, the largest privately-held commercial printer in the country. A July 12 fire, likely caused by the collapse of an automated racking system, claimed the life of a cleaning service employee and destroyed most of a 10-story warehouse in Lomira, WI.
On July 29, the industry received a massive jilt when it was learned that Harry V. Quadracci, commercial printing's ultimate self-made man, had drowned in Pine Lake, near his Chenequa, WI, home. More than 2,000 people jammed The Basilica of St. Josaphat in Milwaukee to pay tribute to Quadracci; fittingly, a place of worship that had received a $500,000 donation from Quadracci to be refurbished.