3 May 2017
Industry looses one of it's giants Dick Kouwenhoven of Hemlock
VANCOUVER—
winner of first Printer of the Year Award in Canada
First Printer of the Year in Canada
 Last week Dick Kouwenhoven who built Hemlock Printers of Vancouver passed away from cancer. He put Hemlock on the map as one of western Canada's highest  quality  printers. A sheet fed shop of about $30 million a year. They have won almost every award in the industry. Dick was big supporter of the industry especially  CPIA and BCIA. You could always find him at almost all industry conferences or trade shows. He was one of the first to set up sales office in the states.
One of many industry awards
One of many industry awards
Dick imagrated to Canada from Holland in the 60's to Vancouver. He was a typesetter by trade. He took a job at a small store front printer called Hemlock Printers. Later became a partner and then became the sole owner in 1968. Hemlock grew during the 70 and 80's. With his brother John he built the company into a major force in the Vancouver market. He was named the first "Printer of the Year " by Graphic Monthly in 2002. He was involved doing a seminar with Ducan McGregor ( Arthurs Jones) at one of the Print World show that drew in more than 450 people ( standing room only). He was always raising the bar, putting quality first.
Comments:
4. Jay Mandarino says:
14 May 2017 at 8:33 AM
Dick Kouwenhoven was a great leader and one of the most respected gentleman in our industry! If you never had a chance to meet or talk with Dick you truly missed a great experience! He was an incredible, unique, special, knowledgeable and amazing person that has touched so many of us! A true gentleman with a enless flow of integrity! It was honour to call him a friend, mentor and one who I will always will remember and look up too! He was so proud of his amazing family ,the company he created and all of his team who were referred to as the great Hemlockers!!!!!!!!!!!! Our industry has truly lost a great man that gave so much back and expecting nothing in return. He sat on many printing organizations and committees always giving back. He created with his team one the most award winning companies know all over the world for their high quality craftsmanship! Dick and I would exchange a funny joke or some business chat as he was someone that was easy to talk with. He was the best and most supportive listener one good ever know. Whether at a printing conference, awards show or at an industry event he always made time to talk with others about best practices with a great smile and humour. Before Drupa one year we had the houour of touring his home town in Delft which was a treat . He shared many stories which showed his history in printing and how he got involved in this industry. We stayed there for a couple days which was both very entertaining and educational. Dick was founder of one greatest printing companies in the world and will always be remembered. I owe part of my success to his wisdom, advice and mentorship he offered unconditionally ! I will always hold a special spot in my heart for Dick and miss him very much! Our industry was lucky to have someone like Dick and we need more people out there like that! Jay Mandarino President & CEO C.J. Graphics Inc.
3. Admirer says:
5 May 2017 at 12:15 AM
Will be missed. Had a real passion for the industry you do not see often.
2. Competitor says:
5 May 2017 at 12:09 AM
A real gentalman. Even his competitors liked the guy. Just a class act
1. Cpwdesigns says:
4 May 2017 at 6:35 AM
Sadly, a great loss ~ a true class act of the printing industry. Loss of an inspiring leader. Sincere condolences to his wife and family. ~ Catherine Wilson
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Canadian printer says:
Kind of fun seeing a Canadian printing clean up at an American awards....
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