Mr. DiChiarro got his start in the ink industry 1959 when he joined Gaetjens Berger Wirth (GBW). “I basically got into the ink industry through my relatives,” he said. “My whole family was in printing.
“I left Gaetjens Berger Wirth, a subsidiary of Acme, in 1960. I went to Bertone Printing Company and ran their ink department. I did all the formulating and servicing for that plant. In 1962, I came back to Acme through Chuck Daily and worked with him on the development of heatset inks.”
When Mr. Daily was promoted and transferred to California, Mr. DiChiarro took over the heatset unit. “That’s how I started off,” he said. “As business at Acme started to grow and I became more involved with formulating and servicing, it got bigger and bigger every year.”
Mr. DiChiarro worked his way through the ranks at Acme, eventually earning a promotion to vice president. “Back in the early 1970s I was made a vice president at Acme and put on the board of directors. I was given added responsibilities and put in charge of the plant and taking care of heat set offset along with Bob Allara.” Early in 1977, Mr. DiChiarro was put in charge of all paper ink formulations (sheetfed and heatset).
According to Rick Clendenning, president, INX International Ink Co., Mr. DiChiarro was instrumental in helping Acme establish itself as a leader in those markets. “From the main location in Chicago, Joe supported Acme’s growth into other areas of the U.S. by using his knowledge and experience to help start up new locations to service Acme’s nation-wide customer base,” he said. In May 1987, Mr. DiChiarro was named vice president of Acme in charge of technologies and operations in Chicago.
In 1988, Acme was acquired by Sakata INX of Japan and later merged with another Sakata acquisition, Midland, to become INX International Ink Company. “Sakata recognized Joe’s abilities and in 1990 made him vice president of operations and put him in charge of INX International’s new high-tech manufacturing plant in West Chicago,” said Mr. Clendenning. “Joe’s knowledge and experience helped start up this state-of-the-art facility that produces sheetfed and heatset flushes, varnishes and finished inks for the INX facilities around the country and in some international markets as well. Joe is now VP of operations for INX International’s newly formed offset division.”
Mr. DiChiarro attributes his longevity and success in this business with a genuine interest in the ink industry. Family is a priority to him as well. He credits his wife Marlene as a driving force behind his success, as well as his sons Joe Jr. and Mark. Joe Jr. joined his father in the industry in 1991 when he joined the INX organization as a technical sales representative based in Chicago.
During his years at Acme and INX International, Mr. DiChiarro has been an active participant in NAPIM and National Printing Ink Research Institute (NPIRI) events. “He has been an excellent mentor for many of the Acme/INX employees,” said Mr. Clendenning. “He has sent many staff member to NPIRI’s ink courses at Lehigh University and early on attended these courses himself. He is a believer and supporter of any association that educates people in our industry.”
In addition, Mr. DiChiarro has been active in the Chicago Printing Ink Association, the Web Offset Association and Metal Decorators Association. In 1987, he was honored by being named the Chicago Printing Ink Pioneer for his contributions to the industry over the years.
“Joe’s knowledge and expertise in the sheetfed and heatset areas is well known,” said Mr. Clendenning. “His experiences in the printing industry led many suppliers to work with him to develop raw materials that optimized their products for the entire industry. Acme Printing Ink’s leadership in the Chicago area was directly related to Joe’s unique knowledge. Suppliers, customers and competitor alike respect Joe’s knowledge and accomplishments. His ability to develop and educate technical people is second to none.”
“I have been with the company 31 years, and Joe DiChiarro was a very key person at that time,” said Mr. Clendenning. “He was very helpful to me as I worked my way up learning the business.”