Printing Impressions magazine announces 2012 inductees into its Printing Impressions/RIT Printing Industry Hall of Fame including Brown Printing's CEO Volker Petersen; leaders recognized for contributions to company, printing community

LEXINGTON, Kentucky , July 23, 2012 (press release) – Printing Impressions magazine is pleased to announce its 2012 class of inductees into the Printing Impressions/RIT Printing Industry Hall of Fame. They will be honored at the annual Gold Ink & Hall of Fame Awards Gala on Monday evening, Oct. 8, at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place in Chicago during Graph Expo 2012.

The 27th induction class includes:

• Carl Gerhardt, chairman, Allegra Network, Plymouth, MI

• Michael Graff, president and CEO, Sandy Alexander, Clifton, NJ

• David Harding, president and CEO, HardingPoorman Group, Indianapolis

• Volker Petersen, president and CEO, Brown Printing, Waseca, MN

"We believe this class embodies the spirit of a printing industry Hall of Famer," notes Mark Michelson, editor-in-chief of Printing Impressions. "These well-known executives have made substantial contributions that have elevated not only their respective companies, but have made a lasting impact on the printing community through industry involvement and technology innovation, as well.

"The Printing Impressions/RIT Printing Industry Hall of Fame award is held in conjunction with the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) School of Print Media. The names of this year's inductees will be permanently inscribed on a plaque hanging at RIT, joining a virtual who's who of past industry leaders and serving as positive role models for future generations of graphic arts industry leaders."

Carl Gerhardt and his wife, Judy, owned and operated their own successful Allegra Network franchise for nearly 20 years before selling the $2.3 million operation in 2003. Mr. Gerhardt is an NAPL/NAQP Honorary Lifetime Member and was inducted into NAPL’s prestigious Soderstrom Society in recognition of his contribution to the industry. He was named president and COO of the Allegra Network in 2004, CEO in 2007 and transitioned to chairman in 2010. During his tenure leading the company and as an investor, he has successfully moved the franchise network into major diversification and acquisition initiatives.

Under David Harding's guidance, Harding Poorman Group (HPG), a $34 million business, has been recognized nationally and by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce the past four years as one of the “Best Places to Work,” finishing eighth in the most recent competition. Prior to HPG, Mr. Harding owned The Printing Co. for 17 years, eventually selling it to a consolidator. The Printing Co. was elected to the Management Plus Hall of Fame of the NAPL. Prior to owning The Printing Co., he was a radio news reporter and talk show host for 12 years.

Volker Petersen has been a part of the Brown Printing family since 1988 when he joined the company at the RCPC Div. in Riverside, CA. Since then, Mr. Petersen has worked in various roles in almost every Brown Printing and Gruner+Jahr printing facility throughout the United States and Germany. He received a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, and continued his studies in the United States with a Master of Science and a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from Iowa State University.

A graduate of RIT, Michael Graff began his career with Press of A. Colish in Mt. Vernon, NY, in 1980 and remained after it was rechristened as Americom Graphics following several mergers. He shot up the corporate ladder, becoming senior vice president of sales, then executive vice president. Mr. Graff helped build sales eclipsing the $45 million mark. After Americom joined Sandy Alexander, Michael not only managed personal sales of $15 million, he also was appointed to serve as the director of color and prepress operations for the entire organization. Under his leadership, Sandy Alexander was the first to adopt a measurable and repeatable ICC profile database. Mr. Graff was appointed president and CEO of Sandy Alexander in 2008. He has also served as a firefighter for 20-plus years in New City, NY.

The gala's festivities will also celebrate this year's nearly 450 gold, silver, bronze and pewter Gold Ink Award winners across approximately 50 categories.

Advanced seating registration for the Monday, Oct. 8, Gold Ink & Hall of Fame Awards Gala is required. For more information on attending, contact Mike Cooper at (215) 238-5434 or e-mail

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