Kenneth C. Collins, who recently retired as Sun Chemical’s senior vice president, corporate purchasing and supply chain management, passed away on Saturday, Aug. 9. Mr. Collins was with Sun Chemical for 39 years, and received the National Association of Printing Ink Manufacturers’ prestigious Printing Ink Pioneer Award in 1996.
“Ken was a key leader for Sun Chemical and the industry for many years. His death comes as a shock and he will be greatly missed,” said Wes Lucas, Sun Chemical’s chairman, president and CEO.
“Ken always impressed me with his in-depth knowledge of the chemical industry and his tough mindedness,” said Henri Dyner, Sun Chemical’s former president and CEO. “He knew how to balance the short- and the long-term objectives, and once we agreed on objectives, he would pursue them with dogged determination, but at the same time maintaining a strong degree of fairness towards the suppliers. We both shared the philosophy that in a customer-supplier relationship, you always had to leave something on the table and not try to squeeze the lemon dry. This philosophy was always superbly executed by Ken. He was an inspiration to those who worked with him and will not be forgotten. Sun Chemical owes a lot to Ken.”
“The sudden nature of his death leaves an empty feeling in me,” added Michael S. Murphy, Sun Chemical’s senior vice president and president, North American Inks . “We had already experienced the loss of his leadership when he retired, and now we lose him as a good friend. It’s a sobering experience.”
Mr. Collins joined Sun Chemical in the R&D lab of the company’s Electro Tech division in 1964. Subsequently, he held various positions of increasing responsibility including product manager plastics, purchasing manager for its facile division, purchasing manager for the graphic arts group, and GPI general manager for corrugated inks. In 1987, Mr. Collins was promoted to director of purchasing for the graphic arts group; and in 1989, he became director of corporate purchasing. In 1999, he was named senior vice president.
Mr. Collins earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. He was an active member of the Purchasing Management Association, the American Chemical Society and the National Association of Printing Ink Manufacturers (NAPIM). He was a featured speaker at several NAPIM meetings and conventions, as well as the chairman of NAPIM’s Raw Material Committee in 1990.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations to the American Heart Association in his memory. Donations should be made payable to the “Heart Association in memory of Kenneth C. Collins” and can be sent to: Heritage Affiliate, 2550 Route 1, North Brunswick, NJ 08902.