Joe Metzger, 50, Loses Battle With Cancer
TOLEDO, OH—Joe Metzger, 50, president of Metzgers, passed away Monday in Hospice of Northwest Ohio, according to the Toledo Blade. He was diagnosed with colon cancer in November of 2011.
A 2010 inductee into the Printing Impressions/RIT Printing Industry Hall of Fame, Mr. Metzger was a passionate advocate for issues confronting the printing industry and was a popular speaker at industry events. He was a member of Printing Industries of America Silver Pen peer group, and his infectious enthusiasm and penchant for being a problem-solver added to his popularity.
Joe Metzger and his brother, Tom, took control of the company when their father, Norbert, retired in 1996. Metzgers, which ranked 267th on the 2013 Printing Impressions 400, specializes in commercial and specialty printing, as well as direct mail.
In a letter on the company's Website announcing his brother's passing, Tom Metzger wrote:
"It is with a heavy heart that I write to tell you of my brother Joe’s passing. Joe was an inspiration to just about anyone who met him. He was family to those he worked with, as well as those who worked for him. Joe was an innovator, proven leader and accomplished entrepreneur. He also was the greatest brother in the world.
"Together, Joe and I have had the privilege of building the Metzger’s family business side by side for over 30 years. Our conviction and business ethics earned us a Torch Award and a place on the industry’s list of Top 400 printers. During the last 20 years, Metzgers experienced unprecedented growth under Joe’s stewardship. Joe has been key to our success, and I am forever grateful that he taught me everything he knew.
"Learning of Joe’s illness two and a half years ago gave us the ability to prepare for the future. Besides myself, an executive team of four, with over 75 years of industry experience was then put in place. This team will continue to guide Metzgers moving forward. Not only will Metzgers remain a strong family-owned business, it will also continue to thrive and grow with the recent arrival of the third generation of Metzgers. Joining us is Joe's son, John Metzger, who comes to us with a degree in Business and Marketing from the University of Toledo. Prior to that, my own son, Tony Metzger, brought to the company a degree in Operations Management from the University of Dayton.
"There’s nothing quite like the strength you gain from family. You see, this isn’t the first time Metzgers has experienced a loss in our family and business. We’ve been down this road before when our father, Norbert Metzger, who started our company, passed away a few years ago. He had a mission and a vision that we all built upon together. With Joe’s passing, our family is now more determined than ever to see that vision through and take Metzgers even further up that Top 400 printers list.
"Joe would say, 'live every day to its fullest.' Be assured that we intend to do that in our own lives and with our company, as we move forward firing on all cylinders.
"All of us at Metzgers would like to extend our heartfelt appreciation for your kindness and unwavering loyalty. Thanks for your continued confidence in our family and the rest of the Metzgers team."
Mr. Metzger is survived by his wife, Dana; sons John, Mark and Kevin; and daughter Kelly. In addition to his brother Tom, he is survived by his mother, Patricia, and sisters Cathy Plante and Connie Flahie.