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Remembering Genevieve Bolger, Industry Loses a Special Person

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Press release from the issuing company

March 22, 2006 - (by Frank Romano, fxrppr@rit.edu) - On Monday, the printing industry lost a special person. I first worked with Gen Bolger when we were on the Board of the National Composition Association in 1972. Gen and John Bolger were among the founders of the predecessor organization, the Cold Type Composition Association, with Mal Klein of New York (father of columnist Joe Klein) and others. She was among the first women to enter the printing industry, when offset printing allowed the formation of a new breed of printer. "Gentlemen and Mrs. Bolger" was a common introductory phrase at meetings. But she was not a passive observer -- her optimism and perseverance made things happen. Recently, I was at another Board meeting and noted that half the members were women. Thanks, Gen, for breaking the paper ceiling. It was a long drive to Minneapolis to visit Bolger Publications in the early 70s. She had me sign a confidentiality agreement because of John"s production approaches. I recall a punch card system that allowed them to produce lists and directories. I helped with their first computer typesetting system and the deal was simple: no charge, but they would typeset a book for me some day. That book turned out to be Mike Bruno's epic on color proofing and I definitely got the better of the bargain. Sons Jack and Charley attended many of my seminars through the decades. Jack called himself a "peddler" but he was a gifted sales person. Sadly, we lost him too early. Dik began in the bindery and truly worked his way to the top. I remember when Charley made Gen a grandmother. She received many awards over the years. They were all well deserved because she cared about her industry and worked to make it better. In 1982 Gen was named "Man of the Year" by the Printing Industry of Minnesota. The irony of it struck her. They eventually changed the award to 'Graphic Arts Leader of the Year' because of her. She retired to Florida and send me postcards on a regular basis. Her company continues as an innovative creative, pre-press, printing, and publishing company. You might say that company is her legacy; or that Dik and Charley are; or that her industry is. I say they are all the legacy of Genevieve Bolger. John died a few years ago; Gen joined him on Monday. Those who knew her will miss her.




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