It is difficult to fill the shoes of a legend, but it is a task worth attempting. In the printing industry, the list of accomplishments of one Joe Trungale is a great place to begin that venture.
It is a list with such depth that it would dig at the pride of any in the business. Among many things, Joe was a pioneer in the industry, a pillar of FTA—being inducted into the FTA Hall of Fame in 1985—and he literally wrote the book on the anilox roll. But one of the greatest things Joe left behind is a call to education that echoes far beyond the pages of his book.
When I spoke with Joe in 2015, neither of us could have known it would be his final interview. The industry tragically lost a dear friend and a great leader shortly after. At the time of our conversation, I was also unaware of the impact Joe’s work would have on my future. He opened my eyes to the widening gap between those with years of experience and the incoming Millennials; he helped me to see that I was one of a growing group in need of continuing education and information sharing. What Joe pointed out that day is this: a threat to the stability of this industry and how it has fallen to us to make a change while we are able.
Our industry must begin learning again if it is to thrive. There was a brief moment where this type of continuing education was not needed because of an abundance of experience, but now—now, we need it again. The printing industry must carry on the work that Joe initiated.
Through his work with Pamarco and his time aiding FTA, Joe came to the realization that the majority of leaders in the industry were well-experienced, but the newcomers needed to be educated even after they were in the field. He saw the rising dilemma of information loss over time and dedicated his career to promoting industry-wide education. Joe’s retirement did not end his determination; it continued through volunteer work and speaking engagements. He saw the importance of our need for growth, and he worked hard to get us to see it too.
It is a strong dedication and concern for the education of our industry that resonates from Joe’s work. What he started, the tasks he toiled over—they are the groundwork of what is essential to our success now. Our industry must begin learning again if it is to thrive. There was a brief moment where this type of continuing education was not needed because of an abundance of experience, but now—now, we need it again. The printing industry must carry on the work that Joe initiated.
This need represents a great opportunity for two generations to come together and pave the way for the future. It is imperative for the growth of this industry that we follow in Joe’s footsteps and promote continuing education and industry-wide information sharing. Programs like Flexographic Image Reproduction Specifications & Tolerances (FIRST) and many of the other continuing education courses and webinars available—these are the building blocks for the next generation. This is how we ensure the future of the work that we do each day. And this is how we carry on the legacy of Joe Trungale.
About the Author: Katie Graham is the marketing and communications manager for Pamarco and is based in Atlanta, GA. Prior to joining Pamarco, she received a B.A. in communications and an MBA with a concentration in marketing from Georgia State University. She is certified in social media marketing and serves as a mentor to marketing students at her alma mater.