2011 Hall of Fame: Joel Quadracci - The Next Generation
Printing has been an integral part during all of Joel Quadracci’s life. He was only two years old when his father’s business opened. Quadracci would visit his father at the plant on weekends, running and hiding behind rolls of paper and generally enjoying the atmosphere.
Play time ended around the time that Quadracci received his driver’s license. The company had just acquired an old canning facility in Lomira, WI, and he was tasked with being part of the electrical maintenance crew that prepped the plant and helped with installing gear.
He continued to work at Quad in varying capacities during his college summers from Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY, where he studied philosophy. “My father told me that college undergrad is not a time to specialize; it’s a time to learn how to think,” Quadracci explains.
Initially, Quadracci planned to “gain credibility” by putting in time with a Wall Street investment banking firm first, but then saw the merit in joining Quad’s two- to three-year training program, which delighted his father.
Harry Quadracci had taken a hands-off approach, not wanting to pressure his son when the time came to decide about a career.
“It was like he was waiting for me to come to that conclusion, whereas I felt I had to go somewhere else to get some credibility,” Quadracci says. “I think I would have, but I gained credibility by working on the plant floor the way that I did. Most of the people who knew me at the time knew me as Joel, not Harry’s son. I never considered myself this silver spoon-type of kid. I love to work, love to be on the floor and to get my hands dirty.”
Quadracci transitioned from corporate trainee to sales between 1991 and 1995. He became a sales manager for the next three years, then took over as manager of New York City sales in 1998. His responsibilities quickly grew in scope, becoming a regional sales strategy director, then vice president of print sales.