June 17, 2004 -- The printing industry mourns the passing of former PIA President, Ray Roper. Roper suffered a fatal heart attack on June 15 after his morning run.
"Our industry suffered a great loss with Ray's passing. His contributions to PIA and the association community were substantial and our hearts go out to Judy and the entire Roper family" noted PIA President and CEO Michael Makin.
A devoted husband and father, Ray is survived by his wife, Judy, their three sons (Greg, Mark and Doug) as well as four grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, the family has established a foundation for underprivileged children in Ray’s name. Those wishing to make a contribution can do so as follows:
The Ray Roper Memorial Scholarship Fund
Bank of Lancaster
Attention: Joy Allen
P.0. Box 1869
Kilmarnock, VA 22484
A wake will be held on Friday, June 18th from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Demaine Funeral Home, located at 520 South Washington Street in Alexandria, Virginia (703) 549-0074. Funeral services will be held on Saturday, June 19th at the St. Francis de Sales Church in Kilmarnock, Virginia, located at 154 E. Church Street (804) 435-0568.
From 1987 to 2002, Roper served as President of Printing Industries of America (PIA). Under his leadership, PIA underwent a period of great growth and expansion including the consolidation with the Graphic Arts Technical Foundation, the purchase of the headquarters building in Alexandria, the launch of GAIN and the formation of the Digital Printing Council and the E-business Council. Roper also established relationships with international printing organizations.
During his career Roper received many awards including in 2003, the Graphic Arts Leaders of the Americas (GALA) North American Award from the Printing Association of Florida, Inc. (PAF). In his comments, Mike Streibig, President of PAF said, “This is one of the highest honors that can be bestowed upon a member of our industry. I can think of no more deserving a candidate than the man who has presided over the world’s largest graphic arts trade association for the past 15 years."
After obtaining his Bachelor’s degree Mr. Roper was employed by the St. Louis - San Francisco Railway as a Terminal Manager. Later, he was promoted to the position of Assistant Director of Management Training and then Corporate Minority Affairs Officer.
Roper entered the field of association management in 1969. He served as the Chief Staff Executive of the United States Junior Chamber of Commerce, the Society of American Florists, and the Chief Operating Officer of the National Association of Realtors.
He served as Secretary of the Graphic Arts Education and Research Foundation, a charitable trust, which awards grants for graphic arts education and research. Roper also served on the Industry Advisory Committee of the Rochester Institute of Technology, North America’s foremost institution of higher education in graphic arts.
Roper served as Chairman of the Paper Industry Association Council, which is composed of about twenty trade associations whose members either produce paper or use paper in the manufacture of products. The Council is the forum through which these associations exchange views and develop consensus on major issues facing paper-related industries.
Roper twice chaired the Inter-Association Council on Paper and the Environment, an organization composed of associations from the printing, publishing and paper industries. The Inter-Association Council serves as a key information source on environmental issues for its' members.
Roper represented the industry at the international level. He was a member of The Organizing Committee of Comprint International for over a decade. Comprint International is a conference of top printing and publishing executives from throughout the world, held every four years. Roper worked with other industry leaders from throughout the world on the development of a global organization for the printing industry, The World Print and Communications Forum.
In 1976, he was awarded the Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation. Roper was named to the original class of Fellows by the American Society of Association Executives in 1986, in recognition of his contributions to the field of association management. In 1991, the American Society of Association Executives awarded him its highest award, the Key Award, in recognition of his professional achievements. In 1995, Association Trends magazine named him Association Executive of the Year.
Throughout his career, Roper was involved in civic and philanthropic activities. He served as a consultant to local, state, and federal government agencies. Roper held leadership positions in the Boy Scouts of America, the United Way, the Rotary and the Chamber of Commerce.
A graduate of Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, Roper served on the college’s Board of Governors. He also attended the Graduate School of Marketing at the University of Illinois.
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