Six years ago, when Jerry Minarik, the previous owner of PrintComm, joined the Silver Pen Peer Group, he met an outstanding gentleman named Joe Metzger. He invited Jerry and me to come down to Toledo to tour his operation and gain insights from his people. A lot of people say they’re interested in helping people and sharing knowledge. Joe has taken that philosophy to a very high level.

When Jerry sold the company to me, I got to join the Peer Group. Belonging to this peer group has been really beneficial. I get to rub shoulders with eight extremely high quality print company owners. We share ideas, war stories and knowledge. I’m not trying to undervalue any of the peer group members, but one of the big plusses has been getting to rub shoulders with Joe Metzger on an ongoing basis.

Those of you who know Joe know he is a force of nature. He is one of the most dynamic print company owners I have ever met. He transitioned his family’s business from typesetting to service bureau to print and mail company. They didn’t even print until about 15 years ago, and last year they were number 206 in Printing Impression’s Top Printers in the US.

Joe is an idea guy. He’s a leader. He’s selfless. He has always been about helping others be the best they can be. He is decisive. He challenges everyone to grow. He holds people accountable.

He has been battling cancer for a couple of years. During that time, he has regularly blogged about his battle along with sage words of advice and insights. He doesn’t talk about printing. He talks about stuff that matters like spending time with family, keeping the proper work/life balance, getting check-ups and cancer screenings, and figuring out what’s really important. He is a really good communicator. The philosophy he shares causes me and others to really put things in perspective.

Joe, I wanted you and everyone to know how thankful I am that the Lord let me cross your path. I will forever be grateful for the help you have offered me personally.

Joe, we are all praying for you.