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Ben Franklin Society Berber Award Honors Ara Izquierdo

Press release from the issuing company

Pittsburgh, PA, October 20, 2008 -- The Ben Franklin Society, an honor society to the Printing Industries of America/Graphic Arts Technical Foundation (PIA/GATF), is very pleased to announce that the 2008 Naomi Berber Memorial Award recipient is Ara Izquierdo of the Printing Industries Association, Inc. of Southern California (PIASC).

Ms. Izquierdo is vice president of industry relations at PIASC and has served that association for more than 37 years, during which time she has been a leader in the association's career awareness and industry education areas. Foremost among the many programs she has initiated and worked is RAISE, PIASC's educational program. This program's activities include an annual Surplus Drive to encourage local printers to donate printing supplies to graphic arts school programs; technical and academic competitions for students which annually see 1,000 students enthusiastically participating in a competitive learning process; arrangement of guest speakers and plant tours; and scholarships and grants for both students and instructors. In addition, she maintains a systematic outreach program, going to every high school counselor in the area with constantly updated career materials and producing a regular newsletter for graphic arts instructors of all levels. 

Ms. Izquierdo initiated a literacy campaign throughout southern California by distributing bookmarks, posters, and labels to all public libraries in the region. Through her efforts, PIASC participates as a sponsor for The Los Angeles Times' Holiday Book Drive, which collects over 600,000 books to distribute to elementary schools. These activities continue on an annual basis.

After the passage of NAFTA, she created an initiative to help PIASC members learn how to do business in their neighbor to the south, facilitated by her long-standing contacts with CANAGRAF, the Mexican printing industry trade association. Ms. Izquierdo is a 2003 recipient of the Industry Person of the Year Award from the Los Angeles Industrial and Technology Education Association (LAITEA); in 2004 she won the Industry Person of the Year Award from the California Industrial and Technology Education Association (CITEA); and in 2006 she was the industry recipient of the PIA/GATF Education Award of Excellence.

"We are thrilled to be recognizing Ara Izquierdo with this award," says Susan Kinney, president of The Castle Press and Berber Award judging committee chair. "She has worked tirelessly on behalf of our industry, especially in the area of education and ongoing development of programs that support the future of our industry. Her efforts have made the difference of whether these outreach programs survive or not."

Established in 1976, the Berber Award recognizes the contributions of women to the graphic communications industry. To date, it remains the industry's only award that specifically honors women's achievements. The engraved Berber Award plaque will be presented to Ms. Izquierdo at PIA/GATF's Fall Administrative Meetings, November 12-16, 2008 in Las Vegas, NV. This forum hosts an impressive audience of industry leaders, including boards of directors and committee members for PIA/GATF, the PIA/GATF Ben Franklin Society, and the Print and Graphics Scholarship Foundation (PGSF).

For more information on the Naomi Berber Memorial Award, please visit www.gain.net or contact Deena Hower at 800-910-4283, ext. 702 or [email protected]