According to Wikipedia, the concept of “15 minutes of fame is short-lived media publicity or celebrity of an individual or phenomenon. The expression was coined by Andy Warhol, who said in 1968 that “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.”
So perhaps this last weekend represented at least a portion of my 15 minutes! My claim to fame was being named the NAQP Printer of the Year– an award given to an individual who has been the leader of a successful printing business along with having given back to the industry through both community and industry service. To be sure, this is a pretty neat accomplishment and as I had suggested within my acceptance comments, it is also very humbling.
Interestingly enough, in addition to my being acknowledged this weekend, my wife Julie was also recognized – and not just once, but two times! First she was inducted into the Soderstrom Society– a printing industry group of individuals who have shown a devotion to the betterment of the industry over their careers. And then, Julie was presented with the first ever Graphic Arts Accreditation for a two-year College program – she is the Department Chair for Rock Valley College, where she has taught for 10+ years. This was awarded through the Accrediting Council for Collegiate Graphic Communications.
My intent of sharing all of this is not really to draw attention to myself or Julie, or even to pat ourselves on the back – we have had many congratulations already! Rather, it is to reflect back upon our 15 minutes and suggest that when all is said and done, it really is true that you end up getting so much more in return for what you give.
Over time, each of us can choose to either get involved further within the company or organization that you work at, or take the seemingly easier route of just doing what you are asked to do. We can look to attend seminars, conferences or other industry meetings with the intent of learning and meeting others that perhaps already know much more than we do, or we can decide that all of this is just more work. Or, when the opportunity comes to sit on the Board of a local nonprofit group or trade association, we can jump in and see what it is all about, or be fearful of becoming involved.
It can be a lot more work – in fact a little overwhelming at times! And yet, with each new endeavor, we really do learn something that can be used in the future. We meet great people and when a project is completed, we feel a real sense of accomplishment. While we do not really get involved just for the sake of receiving recognition, inevitably though, that is what can happen.
So for all of the many people and organizations that have helped Julie and I to grow over the years, I say thank you!