Guy Trerotola, commercial manager, inks and coatings, North America for Hexion Specialty Chemicals, served as master of ceremonies.“I have known Larry for 25 years,” he said. “For those who know Larry, you can appreciate how hard it is to roast a guy like him. His biography is a series of accomplishments.”
Mr. Lepore joined Borden Chemical in Fair Lawn, NJ, as a lab technician right out of high school, while he worked on earning a chemical engineering degree from Newark College of Engineering. While at Borden Chemical, he was promoted to project engineer in Cincinnati, and became plant manager at Borden Chemical’s Chicago facilities in 1976. By 1980, Mr. Lepore decided it was time to leave Borden, and he was hired by US Ink president Ronald Baker as the company’s technical director. Over the years, Mr. Lepore has taken on more responsibility, first as vice president of technology in 1992, and most recently as vice president of operations. During his career at US Ink, he has been at the forefront of numerous innovations, including the development of soy-based news inks, the increased use of color in newspapers and the growth of UV news inks.
A number of Mr. Lepore friends and colleagues were on hand to offer testimonials to his accomplishments in the ink industry. “Every great leader has had that one thing: compassion,” said Michael Dodd, president of US Ink. “He has compassion for his people and the industry. That is why US Ink is what it is today. Thank you for what you have done for the industry and US Ink and thank you for your friendship.”
Dave Benson, human resource director for US Ink, has worked with Mr. Lepore for 15 years. “Larry is clearly an integral part of the success of our company,” he said. “Larry has developed strong leaders and effective teams. He exemplifies Sun’s business themes of quality, service and innovation. Anyone that knows him knows he is calm and compassionate. I doubt anyone has more knowledge of our ink and technology. Everything leads back to Larry.”
Aside from his contributions at US Ink, Mr. Lepore has also been involved with the Newspaper Association of America (NAA), as well as NAPIM and the National Printing Ink Research Institute (NPIRI) for more than two decades. He served on the NPIRI Board for many years, including terms as vice president and president. In addition, he served as chairman of NAPIM’s News Ink Committee from 1986 to 2000. In recognition of his service, he was honored with NAPIM’s Technical Achievement Award in 1992, and the prestigious Printing Ink Pioneer Award in 2005.
Jim Coleman, executive director of NAPIM, talked about Mr. Lepore’s contributions to NPIRI. “His 47-year career is a testament to hard work and commitment. It’s hard to find that record of success.”
Mr. Lepore was then presented with MNYPIA’s 2009 Man of the Year Award.“The best part of my career is the people I have had a chance to interact with,” he said. “I’ve had the opportunity to work alongside people who know more than I did. As soon as you get to the point where you think you know everything, you get turned upside down.I want to thank you all for taking the time to come out tonight.”