Jack Klasnic: "He Was Our Champion"
Jack Klasnic's death in December at the age of 76 has stirred reflective comments from in-plant managers and consultants around the country who knew him and appreciated his devotion to the in-plant industry. His consultancy came to the aid of many in-plants, helping them stay in business and teaching them better management styles. The seminars he led over the years taught countless managers how to strengthen their in-plants—and how not to kill them.
"I still remember 20 years ago...attending several of his seminars," recalls Alvin Griffin, director of Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools' Graphic Production Center. "Even then he was an industry leader, direct in his approach and direct in his presentation. When it came to in-plant management his word was gospel, and I often referenced his point of view when presenting equipment proposals or business plans to upper level management. Every industry needs a champion, and he was our champion."
Giving presentations alongside Klasnic in those days was Consultant Howie Fenton—just a "kid" at the time.
"I met Jack Klasnic in the early '90s at a show called Type-X, Art-X, Graph-X," Fenton says. "The show was owned by Frank Romano, and most of the speakers wrote for Frank’s publications. I would typically see Jack during lunch when all the presenters met. Try as hard as I could to avoid him, he always found me.
"At 30 years old, I was considered the baby in the group. Jack took it upon himself to 'school me,' as he put it. He would sit down right next to me and start a barrage of questions involving financial management of in-plants. He seemed to relish the fact that he could stump me or worse, get a wrong answer from me. This went on for years until I finally learned to answer all of his questions correctly.
"Jack was smart, passionate and relentless in his teachings. I thought of him like a kooky uncle. If you didn't get something right, he would good-heartedly lambaste you into submission. I would call Jack a curmudgeon, but that might insult all the other curmudgeons. But there is one thing that I will forever appreciate about Jack; he taught me how to understand the financial management of in-plant printers. He will be missed."
Related story: In-plant Consultant Jack Klasnic Passes Away