Alan Crane: A Remembrance
Crane was known as a mentor to a great many people. “Dad formed unique relationships with a couple of the publishing houses in Chicago producing packaging trade magazines,” explained Bruce. “Whenever one of the publishers hired someone new—in editorial or art production—that individual would spend a week at Crane Carton. They would shadow our people, learn about the equipment and get to know our supervisors. We developed a syllabus for them, and over time, we had a couple dozen of these publishers’ new employees through our doors.”
John Norgard, president of Converting Technology, an ICG-approved supplier, also found a mentor in Alan Crane. “Before I started this business, Alan spent some time telling me all the ins and outs of running a business, and that discussion meant a lot to me,” he recalled. “He was a pioneer. His foresight and determination forged an industry that provided stable employment and advancement opportunities for many people. Because of Alan’s openness, I now think about my generation’s responsibility to pass on our knowledge and experience to the next generation of workers who have chosen a career path in the packaging industry.”
Andrew Willie said Crane was a valuable ICG member, with his many contacts and his thought-leadership. “He recommended other companies that would be a good fit for our group, and one of his greatest contributions was the idea of a buying consortium,” he said. “Alan was the first to bring it up—how we could expand the benefits of the group by leveraging our collective buying power.” His vision came to fruition when the ICG’s purchasing program launched in 1999.
“Alan left a positive influence on everybody he met. He was a very bright and successful man. He had the respect and affection of his entire workforce, all of whom he considered like family. And though he was a fierce competitor in everything he set out to do, he was also a giver. He gave of himself and helped other people every chance he got,” said Charlie Hirsh.