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Joe Metzger Succumbs to Cancer at Age 50

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Press release from the issuing company

A Letter from Tom Metzger

It is with a heavy heart that I write to tell you of my brother Joe's passing.

Joe was an inspiration to just about everyone who met him. He was an innovator, a proven leader, and an accomplished entrepreneur. He also was the greatest brother in the world.

Together, Joe and I had the privilege of building the Metzger family business for more than 30 years. As President, Joe was a key to our success. In fact, under his leadership, Metzgers experienced unprecedented growth, received the Better Business Bureau's Torch Award, and became one of the top 400 printers in the nation. He also taught me everything he knew.

Learning of Joe's illness a few years ago gave us the opportunity to prepare for the future, and over the last two years we implemented a succession plan. As a result, Metzgers will remain a strong, family-owned business.

Our company will continue to thrive with the recent arrival of a third generation of Metzgers. Joe's son, John Metzger, comes to us with a degree in Business and Marketing from the University of Toledo. And my son, Tony Metzger, joined us recently with a degree in Operations Management from the University of Dayton.

This isn't the first time Metzgers has experienced a loss in our family and business. We walked down this road before after losing our father and the founder of our company, Norbert Metzger. It was his mission and his vision that Joe and I built on. With Joe's passing, our family is now more determined than ever to see that vision through and take Metzgers even higher up that list of the Top 400 printers.

Joe would say, "Live every day to its fullest." Be assured that we intend to do that in our own lives and with our company as we move forward firing on all cylinders.

All of us at Metzgers extend our heartfelt appreciation for your kindness and unwavering loyalty. Thank you for your continued confidence in our family and the entire Metzgers team.


Tom Metzger
COO (Co-owner)

Toledo BladeJoseph J. Metzger [1964-2014]; Print shop co-owner grew family business



By Eric Vessels on May 08, 2014

I was very saddened to hear this news. Joe has been a longtime friend of WhatTheyThink. One of our very first interviews way back in 2001 was with Joe: http://whattheythink.com/articles/160-joe-metzger-metzgers-printing/

I've been lucky enough to see the Metzgers operation up close and personal. I'll always remember the excitement with which Joe explained their Packo's pickle fulfillment operation. I even walked away with a jar of sweet hot!

Joe is well known for his permanent smile and passion for the industry that he shared with everyone he met. It is hard to lose colleagues like Joe who meant so much to our industry.

The WhatTheyThink team sends our deep condolences to Tom, the entire Metzger family, and the Metzger's team in Toledo.


By Kate Dunn on May 08, 2014

I had the pleasure to sit with Joe on several industry panels throughout the years. I always learned something from him and appreciated his passion for his business and our industry. My prayers go out to his family at this difficult time and trust that they will be strengthened by the many contributions Joe made and legacy that he leaves behind.


By Howie Fenton on May 08, 2014

I had the privilege of knowing Joe for over 20 years. We discovered each other in the late 90s when imagesetters became the hot new technology. I was the editor of a magazine and Joe and I talked about how to use the latest technology to benefit printing companies.

A few years later, while working on a nearby assignment at the University of Toledo, I visited Metzger's and saw firsthand the insight and business acumen that Joe brought to his business. Like many successful business people, he searched for and found a unique niche. At the time, it was using half sized presses, with the polyester plate material that allowed Metzger’s to sell faster turnaround, short run length, printing services.

About a year ago, I was thrilled to see Joe attending a lunch time presentation at Graph Expo. In a huge room filled with people, his bright smile and infectious laugh was clearly visible as he sat at one of the front tables and we chatted before the presentation.

The presentation was all about how leading companies outperform the rest of the industry. Several times I pointed to Joe’s table and talked about his on-call staffing strategy which he coined, “the mom squad,” or his philosophy of good versus bad overtime, and how companies can integrate video into their website.

A few years ago, I signed up on the Caring Bridge website when I learned of Joe's illness. Like many others, I have been following his inspirational roller coaster ride. My condolences go out to all of his friends and family and, while I am sad to hear of Joe's passing, I take some small comfort in knowing that he made my world and many others a better place.


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