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Commentary & Analysis

Carl Dantas, former head of Compugraphic, dead at 83

A lifetime is filled with many people. In 1971, I joined Compugraphic Corp. as their first marketing communications manager. Carl Dantas was then the VP of Operations. As the two founders, Bill Garth and Ellis Hansen, became less involved, Carl moved up the ranks to head the company.

By Frank Romano
Published: April 26, 2017

A lifetime is filled with many people. In 1971, I joined Compugraphic Corp. as their first marketing communications manager. Carl Dantas was then the VP of Operations. As the two founders, Bill Garth and Ellis Hansen, became less involved, Carl moved up the ranks to head the company.

He was a true engineer and approached everything in an analytic manner. Under his leadership, CG became the largest typesetting company in the world. 

At that time I had Volkswagen Bug and it had difficulty starting. But if it moved at 1 mile per hour or so, it would turn over. I will never forget the winter evening when Carl and Ellis pushed my VW in the CG parking lot in Wilmington, MA to get it started.

From his official obituary:

DANTAS, Carl E. Age 83, of Middleton, MA formerly of Reading, MA, and Wolfeboro, NH, died peacefully Friday, April 21, 2017 at Kaplan Family Hospice House, Danvers MA. Carl was a man devoted to family who loved activities with family and friends. He enjoyed spending time in Wolfeboro on Lake Winnipesaukee and had a passion for gardening and engineering. He graduated from Boston Latin School then went to Northeastern University earning a BS in Electrical Engineering participating in co-ops at Raytheon. When not on co-op, he earned money to help pay for his college education by working at the Franklin Park Zoo as a concession stand manager.  

He was a prolific user of the Boston T, commuting each day from his home in Jamaica Plain to school; a total of 11 years: 6 years to Latin and 5 to NU. During his college years he participated in ROTC. Upon graduation, he got his boot camp training in Georgia and then was stationed in Fort Monmouth, NJ. as a 2nd Lieutenant. He started his engineering career at Photon leaving the company to join Raytheon, where he continued his education at Northeastern earning a Masters Degree in E.E. Education was very important to Carl and he was proud of and dedicated to both Boston Latin and Northeastern, supporting the schools throughout his life.  

While working at Raytheon, the President and the Chief Engineer at Photon asked him to come work with them in a new company they had formed. He was the fifth person to join the company then known as Compugraphic starting as an engineer and later becoming President and CEO at the age of 40. With the help of his vision and dedication, the company thrived and grew to over 4,000 employees under his leadership. He was a strong business man who valued not only customers and share holders, but also the employees who worked for him. 

Frank Romano has spent over 50 years in the printing and publishing industries. Many know him best as the editor of the International Paper Pocket Pal or from the hundreds of articles he has written for publications from North America and Europe to the Middle East to Asia and Australia. Romano lectures extensively, having addressed virtually every club, association, group, and professional organization at one time or another. He is one of the industry's foremost keynote speakers. He continues to teach courses at RIT and other universities and works with students on unique research projects.

Please offer your feedback to Frank. He can be reached at frank@whattheythink.com.

 

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