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Our Founder
Find out about us  

Harry V. Quadracci

When Harry V. Quadracci died in July 2002, the grief of those who knew him, who worked with him, who loved and respected him, was beyond measure. Yet his creation, Quad/Graphics, lives on stronger than ever because of the culture he created and the values he set in place. As Harry always knew, the ethics and principles that guide us if they are based on sound truths transcend one human being. That was the power of Harry's vision, the depth of his leadership and the fire of his passion.

How do we measure the impact of a life that affected so many? Is it by the number of plants, presses or binders we operate? Is it by our profit statement? Certainly those are the measuring tools of any successful printing company. But for Harry, there was always a larger measure of success and that was the family of Quad its employees and its customers. Did Quad help a customer better its business? Did an employee grow by learning something new and then teaching it to someone else? Did having a job at Quad help families live better, more productive lives? Those were the less tangible things by which Harry also measured his and this company's success. As he said: "My philosophy is to be the best at whatever I am doing. That is, to find better ways to take care of ourselves, our clients, our families, our communities, our world."

Harry found a better way to do business and shared his knowledge with his employee-owners. His lessons still resonate on the production floor and in the offices through the many mantras he spouted: "Ready, Fire, Aim"… "Think Small"… "Together we can do more than as individuals apart"… and so many more.

But perhaps no axiom has had as lasting an impact as his fervent belief that at Quad, people can be "more than they ever hoped they could be." That with training, trust and the right tools, ordinary people can indeed accomplish extraordinary things. This was a profound conviction based on the values he learned at home, in school and at church, and that he honed as a young adult studying philosophy and law. And his genius was that he made people feel this in a very personal way.

What Harry tapped into was a belief in the dignity of individuals and our need to belong, to be a part of something larger than ourselves. If a company truly values people and creates an environment where they can discover their true potential, they will blossom like seeds in fertile soil. In this fruitful climate, both individuals and the organization will grow and prosper.

Believing in the essential worth of people affects the way they view the world and themselves. As the experience of many at Quad proves, it has the power to change thinking and transform lives. Harry knew that because he, too, wanted to be something more than he was at whatever stage in life he found himself. But it was because of his masterful leadership that he was able to help others believe this, too to convince them of their worth and of the talents they may have only vaguely recognized in themselves.

As Harry once wrote after visiting New Delhi and listening to Mother Teresa: "God has put us on this earth to do something more than just make a living or have fun. We have to believe in the respect of the individual and the love of the person. We have to believe that together we have accomplished more than any one of us individually apart. And, finally, we have to believe only in ourselves."

These are powerful thoughts from a passionate man who, with the thousands of partners he trusted, created a company that grew to be more than Harry ever thought it would be.

  Our Founder Harry Quadracci
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