by Patrick Henry May 20, 2003 -- The Association of Graphic Communications (AGC) hosted its 51st annual Franklin Event at the Lighthouse, Chelsea Piers, New York City, on May 15. The event, attended by more than 450 people, featured an appearance by George E. Pataki, Governor of New York, who was the recipient of one of several awards given by AGC in recognition of outstanding public and industry service. Against a backdrop of New York City's Hudson River waterfront, the three winners of AGC's 2003 "Power of Communication" awards: Robert J. Stabler, Agfa North American Graphic Systems; Angelo Rivello, Newsweek; and Francis R. Costello, R. R. Donnelley Print Solutions. Governor Pataki accepted the Franklin Award for Distinguished Service, created to salute prominent public figures "for their ingenuity and multiplicity of services to their nation and the world." The first Franklin Award was presented in 1952 by Printing Industries of Metropolitan New York, one of AGC’s predecessor organizations. Francis R. Costello, R.R. Donnelley Print Solutions (left), accepts the "Power of Communications" Award in the print category from Kevin Hickey, Conde Nast Publications Inc. AGC "Power of Communication" awards went to three industry leaders in, respectively, print, publishing, and supply: Francis R. Costello, president, consumer magazine services, R. R. Donnelley Print Solutions; Angelo D. Rivello, senior vice president, distribution and worldwide manufacturing, Newsweek; and Robert J. Stabler, president, Agfa North American Graphic Systems Business Group. Robert J. Stabler, Agfa North American Graphic Systems, proudly displays the suppliers' edition of the "Power of Communications" Award. He was introduced by Joseph Demharter, Pitman Co., who said that "civility under stress" and a "deep sense of responsibility" were the hallmarks of Mr. Stabler's management style. Sandy Triolo, CEO, and Victor Triolo, president, First Impressions Lithographic Co., became the first recipients of the newly-minted AGC Service Award, recognizing volunteerism on behalf of AGC by a member company. The ceremony included posthumous tributes to Harry V. Quadracci, founder of Quad/Graphics; and to Marty Wagman, postpress sales manager, Heidelberg USA. AGC also presented cash grants to Literacy Partners, a literacy-promoting group; and to NYC Schools, a public-private initiative supporting the city’s school system. George E. Pataki, Governor of New York, enfolds Sandy Triolo in a gubernatorial embrace as he presents AGC's "Service Award" to Mrs. Triolo and her husband, Victor Triolo, left. At right is Marty Maloney (Broadford & Maloney), co-chair and chief organizer of the Franklin Event planning committee. AGC represents graphics businesses in the New York-New Jersey metropolitan area and is a regional affiliate of Printing Industries of America. The group staged the Franklin Event with the support of 32 corporate sponsors including printing companies, equipment vendors, publishers, and paper merchants. Welcoming the attendees, Susie Greenwood, president of AGC, said that the strong turnout and the broad corporate support were "proof positive that the tough times have made our Association stronger." Governor George E. Pataki helps Victor Triolo and Sandy Triolo flourish the Service Award that they accepted in recognition of their contributions to AGC as the co-founders and owners of First Impressions Lithographic Co., a full-service printing and direct-mail company in Plainview, N.Y. Mr. Triolo spoke on behalf of graphics education, declaring that the industry must encourage young people to see printing "as the first choice for a career, not as a last resort." "Our solidarity has never been more evident," Ms. Greenwood said. She also used the occasion to summon the industry to "Graphic Communications Day," an AGC-sponsored conference and expo that will take place at Madison Square Garden in New York City on Nov. 6. Lester Samuels (Pictorial Offset Corp.), chairman of AGC, also called the success of the Franklin Event proof that AGC members had emerged from the traumas of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and the ensuing business downturn for printers throughout the region. "We’ve joined together to make something really good out of something really bad," he said. Lester Samuels, chairman of AGC, presents a statuette of the Franklin Award's namesake to Governor George E. Pataki, who said that printing's patron saint had always been a personal hero of his. The Governor delighted the audience by relating how his Irish grandmother had taught herself to read with the help of "Poor Richard's Almanack," Franklin's famous book of weather forecasts and wise maxims. Mr. Triolo echoed the hopeful sentiment in his acceptance remarks by declaring that the answer to the question, "Does the printing industry have a future?" is, "Damn right it does—and it’s a bright one at that." "We want the printing industry to continue to grow and thrive in New York State and New York City," concurred Governor Pataki. Patrick Henry is the director of Liberty or Death Communications: (718) 847-9430; [email protected]