Hall of Fame Inductee: The Legacy of Kirkwood Printing’s Late Edward ‘Eddie’ Kelley Lives On

For Edward P. “Eddie” Kelley, getting inducted into the 2018 Printing Impressions/RIT Printing Industry Hall of Fame was a dream come true. He learned of the honor just a couple of weeks before he passed away from cancer, this past May, at the much-too-young age of 53. Kelley was president of Kirkwood Printing, but his title didn’t even begin to reflect the impact he had on those who knew him.

A fourth-generation printer, Kelley was born to Charles and Catherine Canzano in 1964 and began working for the Canzano family business, Acme Printing in Wilmington, Mass., following graduation from vocational school. His career started out in prepress, but he moved into sales following the death of his father, and that is where his gifts emerged. A born storyteller, he was extremely successful at sales, forging close relationships with customers and vendors, as well as with fellow employees.

“Eddie’s father died when he was 22; that was a big turning point for him,” recalls Robert Coppinger, CEO of Wilmington, Mass.-based Kirkwood, and a good friend. “It forced him to grow up and get serious; shortly afterward, he moved into sales. Getting into sales transformed Eddie. He was a natural, and people were drawn to him. Eddie knew every aspect of the business, plus he had a big personality. He excelled at it.”

In 2004, Kelley, Coppinger and a third partner, Will Winship — all sales executives with Quebecor World Color, which had inherited Acme Printing in 1999 following an acquisition — purchased Kirkwood Printing, a then-$9 million concern with a stellar reputation. It’s worth noting, especially if you are a die-hard Boston Red Sox fan like Kelley, that the purchase was finalized on October 27, 2004, the day the curse of the Bambino was lifted with the baseball team’s win over the St. Louis Cardinals for the World Series championship.

“It was a pretty good omen for us,” notes Coppinger. Kelley was willing to take risks, he adds, believing that without risks, success doesn’t come into play.

read more/source: https://www.piworld.com/article/kirkwood-printings-late-edward-kelleys-legacy-lives-on/

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