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Industry Insight

Bud Hadfield, ICED Franchise Founder, Passes Away

WhatTheyThink has learned that the legendary founder of the ICED franchise network,

By Cary Sherburne
Published: April 12, 2011

WhatTheyThink has learned that the legendary founder of the ICED franchise network, Bud Hadfield, passed away yesterday at 5:45 PM. He had a storied career and was a pioneer in the quick printing field. According to his bio on the ICED site, he bought his first printing equipment when he was 12 years old. He printed a "family" newspaper and peddled ads in the neighborhood. Years later, an old friend brought Bud a complicated printing order. Upon receiving the order so quickly, the friend half-jokingly told Bud, "Whatever this is, you ought to franchise it." Being a true entrepreneur, he immediately began studying franchising, and ICED was born.

Hadfield kept a fairly low profile outside of his franchise community, and sadly, I never had the opportunity to meet him. But I am sure he will be sorely missed by friends, family and his franchise family.  Our condolences to those who knew him will and will miss him dearly.

Update 4/14: ICED headquarters sent Bud's obituary to share with Print CEO readers:

Frederick Cordingley “Bud” Hadfield passed away peacefully at home on Monday with his family by his side. He had been in declining health for several months.

He leaves to honor his memory his wife of 50 years, Mary; daughter Katherine Denison and her husband, Pat; son James “Jim” Hadfield and his wife, Linda; grandchildren Shay; Tate; Reding; Katie, and Travis; and nephew, Rick Hadfield and his family. Members of the ICED family around the globe who he touched and inspired also mourn his passing.

Known by all, including his grandchildren, as Bud, he was a pioneer in the quick printing industry, starting with Kwik Kopy Printing. He went on to build an empire of franchises that today includes seven brands represented in 13 countries. Parent company ICED is headquartered at Northwest Forest, a bucolic 100+ acre conference center in Cypress, built in 1985, featuring a full-size replica of the Alamo that draws visitors year-round.
Bud pioneered many concepts that have evolved to become mainstays in the quick printing industry. Kwik Kopy Printing was a technology leader as early as 40 years ago with the advent of the duplicator press and the direct image camera.

Born in Virginia, Bud and his family moved to Cranston, Rhode Island, in the late ‘20s. As a teen, he became a newspaperman, printing a neighborhood paper in the basement. After the good scholar became a rebel and was expelled from school shortly before graduation, he joined the Merchant Marines and spent most of WWII on the high seas. A brief career as an amateur boxer convinced the youthful Bud there had to be an easier way to make a living.Bud drifted to Massachusetts, but a bitter 1947 winter drove him south to the warmer climate of Houston, where he eventually opened Bud Hadfield Printers.A stint as an aide to Mayor Louie Welch gave Bud mayoral aspirations of his own until his spectacular defeat at the hands of Fred Hofheinz. Bud’s philosophy of “stick to what you know” sent him back to printing – and thousands around the world benefited.

At a friend’s urging, Bud reluctantly took the Dale Carnegie course, eventually becoming a salesman and instructor. He sold a course in 1958 to a young lady named Mary who became his wife and business partner; the two of them would remain best friends for life. Bud credited the Dale Carnegie course with changing his life, and he would remain an instructor for some 30 years.

After failing at nine diverse businesses – what he called part of learning – Bud found success in printing, morphing Bud Hadfield Printers into Kwik Kopy Printing, introducing new technology, and promoting the explosive growth in franchising. AWT; The Ink Well; Franklin’s Printing; Kwik Kopy Business Centers; Parcel Plus, and Computer Explorers followed, with a few acquired or started and eventually discontinued along the way.

A highlight for the company, and for Bud, was the 1990 annual conference held at George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston. Former President Ronald Reagan and Dr. Norman Vincent Peale were keynote speakers, and former astronaut Admiral Alan Shepard, a member of the ICED Board of Directors, gave a talk.
On March 23, 1993, the Texas Senate declared Bud Hadfield Day, citing his many contributions to the citizens of Texas, noting his involvement with civic groups and schools as he urged young people to further their education.
No award fulfilled Bud more than when he received his diploma from Cranston High School in 1987, some 47 years after he was expelled. He thanked the school for the honor by replacing the antiquated printing equipment he had used there nearly a half century before.

The dream has been realized, and the little boy with the big name became the big man with the little name, known around the world by thousands as a dream maker, and who himself, finally, lived his own dream that he always knew in his heart he would.

Visitation is Thursday evening from 6-8 p.m. at Klein Funeral Home, 1400 W. Main St., Tomball, 77375, 281.351.7233.Funeral services will be Friday, April 15, at 11:00 a.m. at Salem Lutheran Church, 22601 Lutheran Church Road, Tomball, 77377, 281.351.8223. Interment will follow at Klein Memorial Park, 32539 Hwy. 249 in Pinehurst.

Memorial donations may be made to Boys and Girls Country, 18806 Roberts Road, Hockley, TX 77447-9327, or online at www.boysandgirlscountry.org.Expressions of sympathy may be sent to The Hadfield Family, ICED, 12715 Telge Road, Cypress, TX 77429.

Cary Sherburne is a well-known author, journalist and marketing consultant whose practice is focused on marketing communications strategies for the printing and publishing industries.

Cary Sherburne is available for speaking engagements and consulting projects. To get more information contact us.

Please offer your feedback to Cary. She can be reached at cary@whattheythink.com.



By Mark Sanders on Apr 13, 2011

Mr. Bud Hadfield, or as all whom meet him were told to call him (Bud), was a wonderful man. He always was there to help anyone who asked and helped me personally become the person I am today. Bud will be missed by all but, one good thing is his legacy will live on in the many if not thousands of people, friends, & family he influenced and helped during his lifetime. Bud - I will miss you and love you.
Soar with the Eagles! Your Friend, Mark.


By Clint Bolte on Apr 13, 2011

Bud invited me to Houston to discuss "various short cut technologies" in the mid '80s. Currently these would be called product development opportunities.

In that single afternoon of round table brainstorming with Bud and various members of his staff it was obvious what an energizing leadership style he had. His HQ staff, franchisees, and suppliers were all his partners with a clear desire to develop a win-win relationship for all involved.

He truly was an icon and a thoroughly honorable individual.


By Sandra Sanders on Apr 13, 2011

I am going to miss Bud. He has been a friend to my husband and family for many years. He was a man full of vision, honesty and caring. Caring for his family, his franchise family and his nation. A true American, he came from the trenches and attained his place in printing history the old fashioned way - through grit and hard work. He never forgot his friends, helping them to make their goals in life and supremely proud when they did. He and Mary are and will always be in our hearts and minds. Thank God for good people like Bud.


By Suzanne Denton on Apr 14, 2011

Had to laugh at the phrase "Hadfield kept a fairly low profile outside of his franchise community". Bud was not only comfortable with astronauts and ex-presidents, he also ran for mayor of Houston. He was extremely friendly and affable, but we should never lose sight of the fact that he was a very shrewd businessman, with an intense devotion to entrepreneurism.


By Ken Brunot on Apr 14, 2011

I cannot think of any person that influenced my life more than Bud Hadfield. The 4 years I worked for him (1989-1993) were some of the best years of my life. He was such a great influence on my life and my guidence in the business world. If everyone could have the guidelines of customer service that Bud had, the world would be perfect. Bud made the world a better place. I am thankful to have known him, and had the opportunity to work for him. God Bless you Bud.


By Dave Dixon on Apr 14, 2011

I first met Bud in the mid 80's. His inspirational personality and love for Eagles immediately made a lasting impression. Thanks Bud for having a long lasting positive impact on my wife, son and myself. We will remember your servants heart way of dealing with everyone always.


By Dan Jones on Apr 15, 2011

Mary Ann and I met Bud almost 9 years ago at Northwest Forest and immediately purchased a Kwik Kopy Business Center franchise. It was a life changing experience. Some say that Bud was a "force to be dealt with". He was always dreaming and looking forward. We was fair, tough and a very good businessman. In starting a business, it was great having Bud at your back.
We will surly miss Bud and his smile. God Bless Him and his family.


By Barbara Baquero on Apr 18, 2011

I had the pleasure of working at ICED from 1998 - 2001. Bud was a wonderfully generous man. He was a tough business man, but a teddy bear to those who had the pleasure of knowing him. He will be missed.


By Cary Sherburne on Apr 18, 2011

It is heartwarming to see all the great comments about Bud. I am so sorry I never had the opportunity to meet him personally. Please keep those comments coming and know that the team at ICED is collecting them to share with his family. Thanks, everyone


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