Ed Fischer Receives Pioneer Award

By Tom Williams, Ink World Associate Editor | 10.01.09

Long-time INX International packaging specialist honored by industry.

Growing up, Ed Fischer dreamed of helping the community to which he belonged by serving as a police officer. Luckily for the ink industry, when he came out of school and was looking for a job, instead of joining the force as he had envisioned, he joined his father at Crescent Ink & Color. Although he thought his ink career would beshort-lived, 38 years later Mr. Fischer is still serving the community he has become a part of. In recognition of this, the ink industry has bestowed upon him the National Association of Printing Ink Manufacturers’ (NAPIM) Printing Ink Pioneer Award.

“My father was in the industry, so when I left school I went right into Crescent Ink & Color,” said Mr. Fischer. “I was 20, and working in the ink industry was not something I had previously given much thought to. I had always wanted to be a police officer, but I got involved in what I was doing at Crescent and started to enjoy it.”

At that time, Mr. Fischer was working as a formulator for Crescent, printing films using the flexo process, and it was the challenges of this technology that were particularly attractive to him. “At that point, flexo/liquid printing was still only 40 to 50 years old, still a relative baby by industry standards, and I was learning a lot of things and having a lot of fun doing it,” he said.

Colleagues’ Reactions

Mr. Fischer would eventually spend 15 years at Crescent Ink & Color, whichlater became Richardson Ink. From there, he moved on to Acme Ink, which was subsequently bought by INX International in 1988. Along the way, Mr. Fischer has had the opportunity to work with a number of important figures in the industry, many of whom speak highly of the experience.

“I've worked with Ed for 20 years,” said Rick Clendenning, president of INX International. “He came out of the technical side, and as far as our growth in liquid inks, he is one of our most influential people. He runs our most modern liquid site in our system, and he does a wonderful job with that.”

“Ed and I go back a long way,” addedWilliam Tasker, executive vice president, product and manufacturing technology, INX International. “He came out of the technical side as technical director of Acme’s Wisconsin branch, then became branch manager. At the time, he told Acme that we had to get into the laminating ink business. When Sakata Inx bought Acme, it was a perfect fit because Sakata Inx had developed laminating inks over the years. They are remarkable inks, and Ed took the ball and ran with it.”

The INX Years

Since joining INX, Mr. Fischer has been integral in promoting the use of laminating inks, and has risen to the position of vice president, Lamiall sales, marketing and operations.

“Ed’s a very hard working, jovial person from the old school,” said Charles Weinholzer, senior vice president in charge of the liquids division at INX. “He came up through the ranks and about two years ago was promoted to vice president, product manager.”

Being from the old school, Mr. Fischer has seen the industry change a great deal in the last 30-odd years. However, he says that the hard work he has put in and the people he has worked with have really made the adjustment an enjoyable learning experience. “There are four or five people I have worked with that have really impacted my career,” Mr. Fischer stated. “One was John Socha, who was technical director at Crescent Ink & Color. Another was Grant Randall, who was the vice president of Acme Printing Ink. At INX, Charles Weinholzer, our senior vice president, and Mitsuo Matsuzawa have also affected my career in a positive manner. Mr. Matsuzawa is the chairman of our board. The Lamiall product line came through Sakata, of which he is a part, and he has helped me quite a bitin moving that along.”

In addition to those he has worked with, Mr. Fischer also cites the devotion of his family as playing an integral role in his success. “I have four children and a wonderful wife. My wife, Sandy, and I have been married for 38 years. I have travelled a lot and been gone because of work. She more or less raised our children and did a fine job at that.”

Regarding receiving the Pioneer Award, Mr. Fischer concluded, “I have enjoyed my career and consider myself very fortunate to work in the graphic arts industry. Receiving the Pioneer Award was the greatest accomplishment of my career. Being recognized by your peers for the job you have done is a wonderful experience.”