Leaving behind a lasting impression.
Frank's impact on TLMI goes well beyond membership numbers. Under his leadership, in 2007, TLMI established its Quarterly Index & Trends Reports, and published new editions of the North American Label Study in 2007 and 2013. Notably, the 2013 edition was distributed to members at no cost, which was a TLMI first. The inaugural North American Digital Label Study was published in 2015 and plans are underway for a first TLMI Labeling Adhesive and Labelstock Trends Market Study.
Over the last two decades, environmental stewardship and sustainability across all industries have become increasingly more important. Recognizing the impact packaging companies can have in contributing to a greener world, with Frank at the helm, in 2004 TLMI gave out its first Environmental Leadership Award. And in 2009, The LIFE (Label Initiative For the Environment) certification program was launched. To date, there are 61 LIFE-certified TLMI member facilities finding cost-effective ways to reduce their company's environmental footprint.
As he bids farewell to his role as TLMI President, the footprint Frank Sablone is leaving behind transcends the programs he worked to establish and the record numbers in membership and meeting attendance he helped to set. What's most noteworthy is the lasting impression he's made with the individuals he's worked with, helped, mentored and laughed with.
In the pages that follow are heartfelt sentiments and well-wishes for Frank. The contributions are from people who are joining L&NW in saying goodbye, congratulations and thank you. Together, these anecdotes and memories paint a picture of a man dedicated to making TLMI the best association it can be, and one who did it with hard work, passion, humor and integrity.
Steve Katz, Editor, Label & Narrow Web
TOM COBERY, FORMERLY OF ALLADIN LABEL AND LABEL ART, TLMI CHAIRMAN 1996-1998
In late 1997 I was in Mexico City on company-related business. As the President of TLMI (now referred to as Chairman), I received a phone call from our Executive Director who informed me that he had accepted a position with one of our members and therefore was resigning. It was a total surprise.
As I hung up the phone, my thoughts went to what a profile for the new Executive Director should be. On the flight home I jotted down some notes:
--We needed a person who could relate and work with individuals who were strong-willed, had achieved success in their careers and often had strong opinions on any subject matter you might want to discuss.
--The individual needed strong communication skills, both written and oral.
--The individual should have the ability to form a consensus with diverse and strong-willed people who made up our Board of Directors.
--I felt the person should come from outside the industry, with experience dealing with people mentioned above.
--Being a golfer, although not critical, certainly would help.
I had met a man I thought might meet these standards. I had met him when both of our sons were Tiger Cubs, and as it turned out, the boys ended up on the same Little League team as well. His name was Frank Sablone. Frank had worked as the VP of Development for Joslin Diabetes Center, a globally recognized research center dedicated to curing diabetes. He had been the VP of Development at Franklin Pierce College, located in New Hampshire, and was presently working as the VP in charge of development at a college in Ohio.
I convened a meeting of our Executive Committee to begin a search for a new Executive Director. The committee consisted of George Noah, Suzanne Zacconne, Mike Dowling and me. We interviewed a number of very qualified candidates, many from other associations and varying parts of the country. I shared my thoughts about Frank with the committee who agreed we should interview him.
Frank's interview went exceptionally well. He talked about his interactions with very successful people and how he confronted them when they made strong recommendations on how the institutes should be run as he asked for donations. It was evident that his written and oral communication skills were outstanding. It was generally felt that Frank was our best candidate. Frank had met all of the criteria I had jotted down on my flight from Mexico City. There was only one stumbling block. Mike Dowling had asked all of the candidates, including Frank, one question concerning the architectural design of a very important infrastructure issue within our country. Not a one had known the answer and Mike felt that was a problem. The question was, "Why are sewer covers round"? (I am not kidding. This really happened, and yes, I now know the answer.)
I asked Mike if this was a deal breaker. He said it could be, but seeing that Frank's golf handicap was, I believe a 5 or 6 at the time, he would overlook the fact that Frank did not know the answer to this significant infrastructure issue.
Frank has been an excellent leader of TLMI. He brought a new and well-needed level of professionalism to the organization. His interaction with our members has been outstanding. He is revered and loved by all.
Frank has made significant improvements to our meeting content, not just with speakers, which have been outstanding, but also the general content of the meetings. He leaves our organization in a strong financial position. He has hired and brought excellent staff to help run the organization. In short, Frank has done an outstanding job and leaves a foundation with a lot of strength for the next President to build on.
I will miss Frank and want to thank him for a job well done and making me look like I knew what I was doing when I recommended him to the then Executive Committee.
SUZANNE ZACCONE, FORMERLY OF GSI TECHNOLOGIES, TLMI CHAIR 1998-2000
Seventeen years ago, Tom Cobery and I had the pleasure and pain of interviewing candidates for the new Executive Director position at TLMI. It was a transitional time in our association's history--the choice had to be right. We were careful and steadfast in selecting just the right person. We interviewed several candidates and were both happy to agree on Frank Sablone. He was smart, qualified, easy to have a conversation with, and he had the qualities needed to work with a new President and a changing environment every two years. I especially liked that he was Italian and Tom liked the fact that he was also from Boston. I wondered if we could collectively suffer two Bostonians always talking in Boston-speak. (I promise I won't pock the caa too faa.)
We both were intrigued that he didn't wear socks.
Frank was one of the first people on the scene for every meeting and event and would watch the Baby Boomers, Gen X'ers and Y'ers come dragging in an hour after he'd finished his second cup of tea. And he'd always have something cheerful to say before 8 AM. Sometimes it was irritatingly cheerful, especially for those of us who are night owls. He's definitely not one of those people who comes in early but makes up for it by leaving early. After all, who else would have the hospitality suite in their room for all of these years? Here is one of many places where we all can agree that Julie has been an absolute saint.
Frank was always there, remembering the important details, all of our individual needs--reasonable or not--and making it all look effortless, grinning from ear-to-ear. I once asked him why he was always so happy, and he told me, "You might as well smile because you're here anyway, and there's no point in bringing anybody else down by complaining." That is a remark I always associate with Frank. And far from bringing anybody down, he has held up TLMI and kept the team on a steady course for years.
Frank has provided all of us with some funny moments. Looking back over his career with TLMI, we all have stories about special times with him. To Frank, I want to say how much we admire your dedication to your colleagues and this organization. You have been an integral part of our growth and prosperity. It's impossible to measure or describe what you have meant to TLMI all these years. And I know I speak for everyone when I say this is a bittersweet moment--saying goodbye to a friend and coworker who has meant so much. But we are all happy that you and Julie will have time to kick back, pursue new dreams and enjoy your grandchildren.
JOEL CARMANY, CONSOLIDATED LABEL
TLMI has flourished under Frank's tenure with the organization. Frank has always tried to accomplish goals for TLMI that give more meaning and knowledge to the members. I served on the Board of TLMI and Frank has always made sure we kept a stable membership base to guarantee success for the association. We have had many great meetings that he and his staff have helped put together. I have many great relationships with fellow converters that have been built from going to the meetings--which is one of the major benefits of TLMI.
On a personal note, Frank always calls the recipients of the Eugene Singer Award, so I would always look forward to getting his congratulatory call. On the golf course, Frank is always recovering from some type of problem or hasn't played in weeks--meanwhile he makes every putt and walks away with my money. Oh well, that's the way it goes. I have enjoyed knowing Frank for the last 20 years and wish him the best for his retirement.
CRAIG MORELAND, COAST LABEL COMPANY, TLMI CHAIRMAN-ELECT
As a business owner you are always looking for--and especially treasure--those rare people who always do their best, who spend company money as if it were their own, and who unwaveringly look out for the best interests of the organization. At TLMI we have been fortunate to have exactly that kind of person in Frank Sablone. TLMI has benefitted greatly from Frank's work during his tenure here, and he leaves TLMI better and stronger for his considerable efforts. Last, but certainly not least, it's important to recognize that with Frank, we also got a big bonus because along with Frank came his wife Julie, who made her own significant contributions to TLMI while making every member feel like family every time we saw her. TLMI will miss them both.
CHERYL CAUDILL, MULTI-PLASTICS
As a young, 28 year old kid, Frank recognized and encouraged my involvement with TLMI. He has been supportive of me throughout my years as committee co-chair and board member, even though he may not have liked or agreed with all my ideas. I want to wish Frank and his wife, Julie, many happy years enjoying the next act of their lives. Thank you for your dedication to TLMI!
RANDY AND GERI WISE, HYDE PARK LABEL CO.
What can you say about Frank Sablone? He is truly one of the kindest, most genuine guys we've had the pleasure of knowing. In the 15 years we have been members of TLMI, Frank's commitment and dedication never waned. His passion for TLMI is evidenced by the sheer fact that he turned TLMI into one of the highest regarded organizations in our industry. Although we wish him all the happiness possible in his retirement, we also want him to know that he will be dearly missed! Love you, Frank.
KAREN MORELAND, ROTOMETRICS
Congratulations Frank on leading TLMI through 18 remarkable years, through thick and thin! Your dedication, service and leadership have made it a pleasure to be a part of TLMI. Remember, retirement means no pressure, no stress, no heartache ... unless you play golf. (Gene Perret)
DWANE WALL, CREATIVE LABELS OF VERMONT
I have been involved with TLMI since 2004, and a member long before that, starting in 1994. About two or three years into his job at TLMI, Frank got a call from me. The state's attorney was shutting down my business because the adhesive from our labels migrated through a milk jug. I told Frank I needed help. I said, "This can't just be me--I need help."
On the other end of the phone, I found a calm, sympathetic voice. I was terrified, and Frank listened. He said he would get to the right people and get back to me. And he did just that. With Frank's help, as an industry, we solved the problem and my little label company was able to live on. Years later at a networking event, he confided in me that as he was new to the industry, he was more scared than I was. We laugh about it now, but it just goes to show that a man of compassion can also be a man of action. Enjoy your wife and grandchildren, and God Bless.
CALVIN FROST CHANNELED RESOURCES GROUP
I have known Frank and Julie Sablone for as long as they've been associated with TLMI. Originally from eastern Massachusetts, they were living within the cornfields and pig farms in central Ohio when Frank was asked to take the presidency at TLMI. They moved to the metropolis of Naperville, a city within a city. Boy, what a cultural shock. Eventually they returned to Gloucester, a wonderful old fishing community, back where they started, in eastern Massachusetts.
Frank reorganized TLMI. He re-energized a sleepy organization into a dynamic, functioning group. He managed volunteers to provide creativity and contribution to the packaging world. It was during his tenure that narrow web technology showed dynamic growth. He and TLMI were part of this trend.
Frank has succeeded at all of this with a sense of humor, yin and yang, and a management style that lets TLMI constituents know he is a boss with one purpose: to make TLMI the best association ever. Julie has played a supportive role every step of the way. She's assisted in every function making us feel at home with smiles and hugs. Known affectionately as "Mrs. LIFE," she worked closest with Frank as the "go-to" person for information and process help on LIFE (Label Initiative for the Environment), TLMI's environmental management system. She's helped Frank make TLMI a success over the last 20 years.
I wish Frank and Julie relaxation and happiness in their years to come. Hit'em straight, Frank, and Julie, take care of those grandchildren and keep the home fires burning.
ART YERECIC, YERECIC LABEL, TLMI CHAIRMAN 2010-2012
Frank's leadership and dedication to TLMI and our volunteer members have created an environment for industry success. Always a team player, Frank deflected credit from himself and gave recognition instead to his staff and the TLMI Board. Insisting on high ethical business standards and strong fiscal responsibility, Frank helped build an organization that is very responsive to member needs and delivers excellent education and networking opportunities.
Julie and Frank have bled TLMI black and gold for almost two decades. While their everyday involvement may be drawing to a close, their impact on our Association will continue long into the future. We wish them both, and their family, the very best of health and happiness.
PAUL TEACHOUT, NILPETER USA
I have had the opportunity to work with Frank over the past 16 years while serving on the TLMI Awards Committee. I can tell you that it has been a wonderful journey. His dedication and passion for TLMI and our industry have brought great rewards to our entire organization.
Frank has been a great leader, coach and mentor to me personally, and I cannot express enough gratitude to him. His support over the years has been unwavering and he has influenced me in many ways--from my professional life to my personal life. Both Frank and Julie have earned a well-deserved retirement and time to enjoy all that life has to offer. Best wishes to Frank and Julie with all your new adventures, and thank you for all the friendship and support over the years. Keep it in the short grass and enjoy the beaches!
MIKE BUYSTEDT, FLINT GROUP PACKAGING & NARROW WEB
Being an active member in TLMI for over 30 years and on the TLMI Board when Frank was hired, I can say with confidence and experience that Frank is the best director TLMI has had in the last 30 years. Knowing Frank and Julie for 18 years I have too many stories to mention, but I can tell you that we have broken a lot of bread and together have been through the good, the bad and the ugly.
Under Frank's leadership, TLMI has become one of the leading trade associations in the graphic arts industry. Frank helped direct the association to be run by committees that are important to the members and to the current state of the industry, and this includes all of the dynamics--political, environmental, technological, regulatory--that affect our members.
It has been a pleasure working side-by-side with Frank on Technical Meetings, Awards judging and TLMI strategic planning processes. Frank, the association will miss you. I wish you and Julie the best in the next chapter of your life.
COLIN PHILLIPS, HERMA UK
I have known Frank and his wonderful wife Julie for many years now. Frank was one of the first from TLMI who welcomed me to the US organization. I have been a FINAT member for the past 18 years, and due to Herma's global expansion, the time seemed right to start visiting the American equivalent of FINAT.
From the beginning, Frank made me feel very welcome. Both he and Julie really looked after me, which gave me great confidence and immediately made me feel like part of the label family over-the-pond. Frank still ensures that I am looked-after and felt welcome, not just at TLMI, but also at the Labelexpo events in Chicago. Frank is a very warm, considerate and friendly guy, and a pleasure to know.
I have always been impressed with Frank's commitment, dedication, work ethic and organizational qualities that he possesses. Each TLMI event that I have attended over the last decade or so has been a very memorable occasion.
TLMI events have been very worthwhile not just on a personal basis, but also for our business back in the UK. It has been beneficial talking to TLMI members who Frank has kindly introduced to me, who have shared stories and experiences. I will always be indebted to Frank for this. With Frank's retirement, the association will have some big shoes to fill, as he has also worked very hard over the years with FINAT to bring the two organizations closer than ever.
I will never forget the year that Frank had arranged for the Pink Flamingos to perform at the TLMI Annual Meeting, and I have to admit it was a fantastic evening where the FINAT members were the noisiest group and outperformed our US counterparts! One of the funniest memories I have of Frank happened several years ago at the FINAT Congress in Antalyia, Turkey. I was injured during the annual FINAT football match, and having required hospital treatment I ended up in a wheelchair for the gala dinner. After the dinner, the evening's entertainment was down on the pier at the beach. It was very difficult for me to maneuver myself around the pier (to music) in my wheelchair. That is, until Frank thought it would be the highlight of the Congress to push me in my wheelchair over the edge of the pier into the sea! Thankfully, I was saved by Frank's thoughtful wife, Julie, who grabbed her husband's arm at the last second and I stopped inches away from the edge. Flow on earth I did not end up in the sea I will never know. So, there are two points to this story: First, thank you, Julie. And second, I think I still owe you one for this, Frank!
I think the only time Frank does get slightly annoyed is when I beat him at golf. However, the sad thing is that it still hasn't happened yet. I have had the pleasure of a few rounds of golf with him and what a pleasure that was, we just need to do it a little more often. Just one day I want to beat him and win some of my money back. Frank, you're a great guy and you deserve a great send off into your retirement to spend time with your lovely and growing family. Best wishes--you will certainly be missed in our industry.
DAN & MARY O'CONNELL, ACUCOTE
Frank, congratulations on your imminent retirement. You have been a wonderful steward for TLMI and a magician at balancing the needs of the converters, suppliers and the association in general. To say that you are leaving our association in a much better place would be a gross understatement.
There are so many memories over the last two decades that it is hard to choose a moment to share. That being said, I'll never forget, that as Chair for the 25th Meeting, when I proposed to you the idea of having Robert Kennedy as the keynote speaker and Chuck Lavell from the Rolling Stones as the meeting closer. What a meeting it was! Thanks for the memories, now go make some more in retirement. And please play a lot of golf so Julie can have a break. Congratulations.
MICHAEL LANE, CEO, LOFTON LABEL
I first met Frank Sablone at Labelexpo in Chicago in the fall of 2012. His broad smile and approachable manner created an inviting atmosphere in the TLMI booth. In a few short sentences, Frank quickly outlined the advantages of TLMI and its member-driven organization. I have been in a number of different industries over the course of my career and have found trade associations to offer real value when you are working to come up to speed on industry drivers and critical issues. TLMI, under Frank's executive direction, certainly fits that billing.
Frank creates an atmosphere of trust and camaraderie across the association. I originally became involved within TLMI's Marketing Committee and have since come to serve on its Board of Directors. Frank Sablone is a professional who understands how to work with the variety of personalities across North America, from his key role behind the volunteer leaders of the group, to ensure a highly functional, well run association.
I wish you the best of luck in your retirement--the industry will miss you, Frank.
JEFF DUNPHY, SMYTH COMPANIES
I have worked with Frank Sablone on the TLMI board for 10 plus years and have known him for over 15. Frank's work as the President of TLMI has been exemplary, and to replace him will be no easy task. The changes that took place within TLMI over the years really have Frank's mark all over them. He really helped TLMI to become the most successful trade organization in the industry. Frank's attention to detail and his amazing ability to retain facts and information from past encounters really set the organization on a path to world class performance.
But these are not the things I will remember Frank for. Over the years my family and I have formed a terrific friendship with Frank. Whether it be the many rounds of golf we got to play on world class golf courses, or visiting Frank at his home in what is truly one of the great spots on the Eastern Seaboard. The many great dinners we've shared with him and his wife, Julie, and the special family events we were so privileged to attend. Frank is a true friend and his retirement will not change that of this I am sure. I am also sure that I am not the only person who can tell this story. Frank has made many strong friendships at TLMI throughout the years with many folks and the organization and all his friends are sure to miss him.
JENNIFER DOCHSTADER, LPC, INC., TLMI CONSULTING EDITOR
In September of 2006 I walked into TLMI's booth at Labelexpo and struck up a conversation with Frank Sablone. It was the last day of the show, and my last stop before I had to catch a cab for the airport to return home. During our chat I mentioned to Frank that if the association's consulting editor job ever reopened, I would be interested in being considered as a candidate. The rest is history. I've been working with Frank and as TLMI's Editor for the past decade and it has truly been one of the most worthwhile and enjoyable experiences I've had in my career in the industry.
Frank is one of the most gracious people I have ever worked with. He is unwavering in the support of his people and tireless in his commitment and dedication to TLMI. Those of us who are staff members often laugh when we get together about Frank's off-hour emails; working with Frank means you're going to be getting messages at 4 AM and most weekends. He is constantly thinking about ways TLMI can better meet the needs of its members and how the association can expand its offerings and resources.
I wish Frank all the best in his retirement and next chapter. I will miss Frank and Julie's presence at association meetings and events fiercely. I speak for many in saying that TLMI is a better, stronger and more successful organization than ever, and that much of that is due to Frank Sablone's 17 year tenure at the helm of this great association.
JAKOB LANDBERG, SALES & MARKETING DIRECTOR, NILPETER
Frank has always been a perfect gentleman. He welcomed me into TLMI by being friendly, humorous and supportive. Frank is a good chemistry person--a master in knowing how to include you and pair people up that fit together. For me, he is an institution, and so is Julie who completes him perfectly.
KURT WALKER, PRESIDENT EMERITUS, FINAT
For many years, FINAT and TLMI have worked together successfully for the benefit of the label industry. Many things have changed over the years, with different personalities leaving their mark, but people like Frank Sablone gauranteed our continued partnership and kept the focus on the long-term issues affecting our industry. In many meetings on different subjects, FINAT found in Frank an engaged and reliable partner. For us, he is the anchorman of TLMI. Many thanks, Frank, for what you have done for TLMI and the international label community. I wish you and Julie all the best in your busy retirement life, and I'm still looking forward to beating you somewhere in a golf match.
DAN MUENZER, CONSTANTIA FLEXIBLES LABELS DIVISION, TLMI CHAIRMAN
One of the first comments made to me when assuming TLMI's Vice-Chair position was that someday I would be responsible for mentoring Frank Sablone's successor, which would be no easy task. In early 2015, the association required me to assume the chair position earlier than expected, which meant I would have to help find his replacement, too. I knew right away it would be a difficult assignment, but at the time I had no appreciation for the influence Frank has had on TLMI or the love and respect he has garnered during his 17-year leadership. I do now.
When it was announced Frank would be stepping away from managing TLMI's day-to-day operations at the end of 2015 I was inundated with questions and concern. People I knew, and even more I didn't, were sending me emails and phone calls voicing their love and respect for Frank's efforts and wanting to make sure we didn't mess up the transition. As the year has passed and the replacement search commenced, the outpouring of admiration for Frank has intensified. In retrospect, I wish I had kept a diary of my discussions with all of the well-wishers as a testament to Frank.
We all hope our careers ultimately end up having a positive impact on others. I have learned firsthand that in Frank Sablone's case, it is an understatement. It has been a pleasure working with Frank during my time in TLMI, but I really thank him for giving me this opportunity to witness firsthand how he has impacted not only TLMI, but countless individuals, during his illustrious tenure. Well done, my friend. Your shoes won't be filled. We can only hope for tasteful flip-flops.
BRUCE BELL, BELMARK, INC.
Frank has always kept the lid on during difficult circumstances, works well with a variety of people and has been a fun person to work with. His bride, Julie, has supported him and our association all along the way.
I worked most closely with Frank when I was a Board member and was asked by Tom Cobrey, our Chairman at that time, to champion a new TLMI scholarship program for college and university students who demonstrated an interest in our industry. Frank was supportive and helped coach me through the vision, the structure, the developmental phase and ultimately the annual awarding of scholarships to deserving students who have gone on to work and contribute to our industry.
Frank has to feel good about his contributions, the many good relationships established over the years, the growth of TLMI and our industry in general, and also pocketing his golf winnings from unsuspecting members!
IBAN CID, GERMARK, S.A.
I have known Frank for many years now, though I don't recall exactly when we first met. I know I was young, and single at the time. During my tenure as FINAT President, Frank gave me some tips on how to manage an association such as ours, and many of his ideas we have since implemented. Frank has left his footprint and mark on FINAT, whether he knows it or not.
Frank and Julie are like my American family. They have always been there to say to me, "No, no, no, no, Iban, Iban, Iban," when they thought I may be doing something wrong--unless it had to do with my golf game. On the golf course, knowing how bad a golfer I am, Frank always includes me in his group. And he always goes out of his way to offer advice and help me improve my game--a very difficult task!
Julie and Frank have treated my wife Esther and I as their Catalan children, always taking care of us during our visits to the US. In closing, I offer a tip to use for your years to come: Retirement can be great if you find out how to spend your time without spending your money.
All the best in your new life--"Arreveure!"
STEVE LEE AND ROBERT SMITHSON ON FRANK SABLONE:
STEVE: Throughout my involvement in TLMI, Frank Sablone is one of the best things that has happened to the association. I have seen him in action with hotel management, when I would review slides before the Awards Dinner--he was determined and sometimes ruthless with them. When Frank was unhappy, his head would get beet red--I thought his tie was too tight! Frank was indoctrinated to the Awards Judging and he had a blast through the years I served as Chairman. His job was to keep the judges in line. He would keep score at one of the two tables and listen to the judges' jokes about each other's products pertaining to a label we would be judging.
ROBERT: I distinctly remember the first time Frank worked with the TLMI judging committee. It was his responsibility to read out the entry sheets on how the label being evaluated was produced. At this time, having virtually no knowledge of the industry, he carefully focused and read out his first submission form. "Category: Line and Screen Tone Prime, 150 line screen." He then blurted out--with his vocal Italian arms flailing the sheet across the table--"Ceramic ANAL-lox?! What type of association is this?!" The entire team of judges was in tears, laughing at him.
STEVE: I remember early on at one of our TLMI Awards judging dinners, he let Robert and I order the wine. Well, we have been known to order some higher-priced than normal bottles, and when he saw the first two we ordered, he cut us off. The next year we were advised that we are paying for whatever we order. After that, we were barred from ordering at that dinner forever, period.
KAREN PLANZ, AKA K2, FORMER TLMI OFFICE MANAGER
I had the extreme pleasure of working with Frank as TLMI's office manager for ten years. It was a great ten years getting to know Frank, our members and his wonderful family. He brought TLMI to new heights by expanding our committees and their effectiveness, providing more take-home value from meetings, revamping our website, providing members with reports and information to help them grow their businesses. and most of all, kept communications open at all times. The members could count on Frank to keep TLMI moving forward.
On a personal note, Frank allowed me to grow by listening to my ideas, giving me direction, and always making me feel appreciated. He stood by his staff members, and understood us as "people." We celebrated our success, talked about our failures, knew each other's families, laughed together and at times were sad together--we became a family.
I recall a meeting in Boca where the staff rooms were off the hospitality area. After everyone had left, Frank, Julie, Laurie (TLMI secretary at the time) and I were still going strong, so we sat at the table and solved all the world's problems until 4:00 AM. Fortunately, it was the last night of the meeting and I can assure you the plane ride home was with my eyes closed.
Frank is the kind of "boss" and leader everyone wishes they had. I would like to thank him for giving me the most enjoyable ten years of my working career, respecting me as a person and co-worker, letting me know he valued my work, letting me grow in my position, sharing my family with him and him sharing his family with me. I will always cherish my years with TLMI because of your leadership and friendship. Have a tequila shot on me. I remain, K2.
FRANK GERACE, FORMERLY OF MULTI-COLOR CORP., TLMI 2008-2010
I have known Frank Sablone for almost 18 years. We both began our careers in the label industry in early 1998--Frank with TLMI and myself with Multi-Color Corp. For most of those years, I worked closely with Frank on the TLMI Board of Directors. Over that time, I watched him lead and manage TLMI's transformation into a highly respected, financially strong, professionally-managed trade association.
When I think of Frank Sablone, the word that keeps coming to mind is "authentic." Upon first meeting him, it was immediately obvious that he is not a copy or an imitation. He is a quintessential original. It was always a pleasure working with him, because I knew, regardless of the circumstance, I was getting the unfettered and unrestrained truth. Frank approaches everything with a high degree of passion. He is so transparent; you can see it in his face, his body language, and his verbal communication. It probably also has something to do with his Italian DNA!
Frank's level of commitment to TLMI and its membership is extraordinary. He always took personal accountability and ownership of the organization. He treats each and every member --whether supplier or converter, small or large--with the same level of dignity, respect and service. Frank stands steadfast by his values and principles and cannot be bulldozed into doing anything otherwise. TLMI's ongoing strength and relevance is a testimony and credit to his stewardship. Frank's love for TLMI is clear and visible and it was always more than a job for him. His high level of personal accountability and membership focus is on display as TLMI continues to grow and provide unparalleled ongoing value to its supplier and converter members and affiliated partners.
Yes, over the years I have not only observed Frank professionally, but how could I not befriend such a man. Those same, wonderful personal qualities transferred themselves into a long-lasting friendship. We don't see each other as often since my retirement, but we keep in touch and check-in with each other regularly. A note or call from Frank always includes some form of humor that lightens the day, and his laughter is contagious.
Frank, we thank you for your dedicated service and all that you have accomplished for our industry. Well done, my friend. I will forever cherish my years spent with you on the TLMI Board and our enduring friendship. I wish you, Julie, and your family all of God and life's blessings. "Cent'anni"--May you live a hundred years!
DAVE MCDOWELL, MCDOWELL LABEL & SCREEN PRINTING, TLMI CHAIRMAN 2012-2014
Twelve years of continuous service at the Board level has given me the opportunity to work closely with Frank and to appreciate all that he has given to TLMI as its President. Frank is truly a dedicated servant who works tirelessly in the background and has been a great ambassador for TLMI. He is always there to support the Board members and especially the Chairman, as he says, "to make us look good."
TLMI is a better organization because of Frank's service, and for those of us who have had the privilege to work closely with him, we too have been enriched.
My being from Texas has been somewhat a challenge for Frank, as I am not very politically correct, I love guns and don't play golf. However, I do pronounce words with the letter "R." Nevertheless, Frank has always supported me, even to the point of wearing a Texas-sized cowboy hat.
Frank's support was never more apparent than during my Chairmanship. When I had a battle with cancer and spent seven months in the hospital, Frank was there to support both me and TLMI, and see that our great organization never missed a beat.
In short, Frank makes it look easy. Frank and Julie are my dear friends and my life is truly blessed by their being a part of it.
ANDREA VIMERCATI, PILOT ITALIA, FORMER FINAT PRESIDENT
I first met Frank and Julie at the TLMI Annual Meeting in Orlando in October 2006, when I decided to see with my eyes what the association on the other side of the pond was doing for their members. This was in preparation of my presidency of FINAT that would start a few years later.
Since then, I have attended numerous Congresses and Meetings, and have always been surprised by the quality of places and events, and the atmosphere I could take in. As in the movies, at these events the actors are just as important as the director, and this is the role that in my view Frank has played with great professionalism and passion. Yes, passion--what is commonly identified with Italy, and something that we have in common, started the sparkle of our friendship. And friendship, once it's won, it's won!
If you need and want to become a leader, you have to live and work with them. It's a fundamental part of life--leaving your youth behind and starting to work as an adult. I will be forever grateful to Frank (and to the whole world of associations) for giving me the tools I was looking for.
But living and working are boring, without laughing. When I remember the times spent with the Sablones and the people they have been able to attract around them, I start smiling. All of our moments and discussions were filled with smiles and laughter, even the (few) ones where we were not on the same page.
I believe FINAT and TLMI have had some benefits from our friendship, as in the five years we have worked closely, both associations have had the chance to exchange know-how and experiences that made each grow and learn from one another.
If I feel part of a country I have always watched only on TV, and have made so many friends within it, I have to thank Frank and Julie. FINAT and TLMI will miss them, as will I.