When Dave Klebine graduated from Penn State University with his bachelor’s degree in chemistry, he found a job in the pigment industry. From his early days as a pigment chemist at American Cyanamid to his leadership today as president of Apollo Colors, as well as his prominent efforts on regulatory matters, Klebine has played a major role in the pigment industry.
“My first job out of college was a pigment chemist at American Cyanamid in New Jersey,” Klebine said. “I enjoyed the chemistry and decided to stay with it throughout my entire career.”
After American Cyanamid, Klebine joined Ridgway Color, a division of Sinclair and Valentine, in 1977, eventually being promoted to director of manufacturing with responsibility for both Ridgway sites in 1985. When Flint Ink acquired Sinclair and Valentine, Ridgway Color was integrated into CDR. Klebine became director of manufacturing for the three CDR pigment sites.
In 1994, Klebine joined up with Tom Rogers at Apollo Colors, becoming vice president and general manager in 2001 and president in 2005 when Rogers retired.
Along the way, Klebine has worked along side major pigment industry leaders who have mentored him.
“Many people have been positive role models during my career, but two individuals stand out,” he said. “The first is Marv Gallisdorfer, my boss at Ridgway Color Co., and the second is Tom Rogers, my boss at CDR Pigments and Apollo Colors, Inc. Both contributed important operational, management and leadership skills that I continue to rely on today.”
Klebine’s business accomplishments are noteworthy on their own, but it is his work with the Color Pigments Manufacturers Association (CPMA) that is particularly significant. A current member of CPMA Board of Governors, Klebine has served on a wide range of CPMA committees since 1984. These include the Diarylide Pigments Committee, Phthalocyanine Pigments Committee, Monoazo and Related Pigments Committee, Scientific Review Committee, Diketene Derivatives Task Force, Water and Air Pollution and Solids Waste Committee (former chairman and vice-chairman); and the Waste Stream Committee (former chairman and vice-chairman).
As chairman of the Waste Stream Committee, Klebine successfully challenged the EPA’s proposed rule to categorize all organic pigment manufacturing waste stream as hazardous; the final 2003 rule exempted virtually all waste streams.
As board advisor to the Diarylide Pigments Committee, Klebine convinced the EPA to exclude diarylide pigments from recently issued (2010) Chemical Action Plan for Benzidine Dyes. As a board member, he testified at 2007 hearing of the U.S. International Trade Commission that led to withdrawal of petition that would have resulted in duty-free importation of organic pigments from GSP countries.
“I’ve been involved in the development and commercialization of many new organic pigments for the ink industry in my career and made many good friends along the way, but my most fulfilling activity has been with the Color Pigments Manufacturers Association,” Klebine said. “CPMA works diligently to protect the best interests of domestic pigment manufacturers and end users, and my participation on the CPMA Board of Governors and several scientific and technical committees has contributed to the long-term viability of these industries.”
Outside of the CPMA, Klebine is also a dedicated member of NAPIM.
Outside of work, Klebine enjoys the outdoors. “I grew up in a rural setting in western Pennsylvania, where I learned to appreciate the outdoor sports, and I continue to enjoy hunting, fishing and the shooting sports,” Klebine noted. “I also run regularly and participate in local races.”
Klebine said he is “gratified” that NAPIM selected him to receive the Pioneer Award.
“I’m gratified that NAPIM has chosen to acknowledge my contributions to the printing ink industry with this award,” Klebine said. “Even though my direct involvement in NAPIM, NPIRI or other ink industry affiliated activity is limited, the acknowledgement of my contributions to the ink industry via my activity with CPMA makes it all worthwhile.”