Betty Quadracci, Co-Founder of Quad/Graphics, Passes
SUSSEX, WI—Quad/Graphics Inc. announced that company co-founder and long-time board member Betty Ewens Quadracci died Monday at her home in Wisconsin surrounded by family and close friends. She was 75 years old.
“As you can imagine, today is a very difficult and sad day for us, but also one of celebration as we commemorate my mother’s very accomplished life,” said her son Joel Quadracci, chairman, president and CEO of Quad/Graphics. “She passed away peacefully and we take comfort in knowing that she is now in heaven with my father, Harry.”
Recognized as the matriarch of Quad/Graphics, Mrs. Quadracci co-founded the company in 1971 with her late husband, Harry V. Quadracci. The company started operations in a vacant factory in Pewaukee, WI, with a single printing press and just 11 employees. Today, Quad/Graphics is a global printer and multichannel media integrator with 25,000 employees worldwide at 65-plus printing plants and dozens of support facilities.
“As a co-founder of this company, Betty shared Harry’s passion for creating a company like no other,” Joel Quadracci noted. “She provided endless encouragement—even when Harry doubted himself. She suggested he take out a second mortgage on their home to give wings to their shared dream. Truly, Betty is a big reason why Quad/Graphics is here today.”
During Quad/Graphics’ early years, Mrs. Quadracci held many roles. In 1985, she founded Quad/Creative, a graphic design firm now known as Quad/Graphics Creative Solutions. In 2002, she became a member of Quad/Graphics’ board of directors. She also served as the president of the Windhover Foundation, a philanthropic organization funded by the Quadracci family.
Mrs. Quadracci was devoted to the Milwaukee community and Southeastern Wisconsin, making her mark in publishing, the arts and education, and other philanthropic endeavors.
She became publisher of Milwaukee Magazine in 1983 and later was named president of the award-winning monthly publication. During her tenure of almost 30 years, the monthly publication garnered more than 200 state and national awards, including two Gold Medals for General Excellence from the City and Regional Magazine Association and a Best Editorial Gold Medal for a publisher’s letter written by Betty entitled “The First Amendment Starts Here.” In 2012, she was inducted into the Milwaukee Press Club’s Media Hall of Fame.