2006 PRINTING INDUSTRY HALL OF FAME — KEEPER OF THE FLAME
Angelo Rivello, senior vice president of marketing and distribution for Newsweek, and a customer since Quad’s inception, calls Quadracci the “technical power behind the throne” of the family’s printing empire. Rivello believes Quadracci’s greatest contribution to the world of printing lies in his work with QuadTech.
“We did not have good register control systems back in the day; they were all terrible,” Rivello says. “And as far as the first pinless folders...what a disaster! (Quad-Tech) came along and made it better.
“Today, there are no bad printers because the mechanics have changed thanks to people like Tom. In my experiences, in my world, I never saw anyone more brilliant at figuring that stuff out and solving problems as Tom was.”
Quadracci credits his brother Harry’s people-handling skills and philosophy for the company’s reputation as a worker’s paradise—a style borrowed from the Japanese business culture. Despite his ahead-of-the-curve management style, Harry may have been a riverboat gambler at heart, “going too far, too fast and being too aggressive, perhaps to the point of betting the farm,” Quadracci says. But Quad/Graphics’ business plan, and the philosophy of the elder Quadracci, kept the company on track.
“He used to say that the way to manage a printing company was to hold it in the palm of your hand,” Quadracci says of his father, who passed away in 1999. “That influenced my management style of always wanting to be out on the shop floor, and letting everyone in the plant know what is happening.”
Tom Quadracci is involved with Waukesha County Technical College, which in recent years has built the Harry V. Quadracci Printing & Graphics Center, and has plans for an applied technologies center for the printing industry. It is his hope to make Waukesha, WI, the “Silicon Valley of the printing industry.” He is also on the board of directors at Carroll College, which has developed printing management programs.
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