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PIA GATF Honors Harpers for Dedication to Flexo Education

Published: 09.28.2007

Charlotte, N.C., September 28, 2007 - At a special event hosted by Printing Industries of America and the Graphic Arts Technical Foundation (PIA/GATF) during Graph Expo at McCormick Place in Chicago, Ron and Katherine Harper were honored with the 2007 Education Award of Excellence for industry representatives.

Founders of global anilox supplier Harper Corporation of America, the Harpers received the award for nearly two decades of dedicated support of flexographic education at both the high school and college level.

The award, a beautiful, large three-dimensional plaque measuring 15" x 18" reads: 2007 EDUCATION AWARD OF EXCELLENCE; Presented to Ron and Katherine Harper For Outstanding Industry Contributions. It was presented to the Harpers by Jim Workman, Vice President, Training, of the PIA/GATF Foundation.

Guest speaker Bettylyn Krafft, chairman of the Phoenix Challenge Foundation, told the assembled group, "It is so fitting that Mr. and Mrs. Harper are recognized with this award. Without the Harpers, flexo education would quite simply not be where it is today. The entire industry owes them a debt of gratitude."

Krafft also explained the structure and mission of the Phoenix Challenge Foundation and its work with high schools and post secondary schools throughout North America. Ron and Katherine Harper assisted with the foundation's creation, and have been avid supporters of the organization throughout its decade-long history. Through the Phoenix Challenge Foundation, the Harpers recently established the Katherine Harper Teachers' Education Fund to help address the need for broader and more intensive flexo education for instructors.

This foundation is just one of the many areas where the Harpers have impacted flexo education. In 1990, the couple recognized the need for more high school vocational programs, and donated their time, attention and funding to establish a flexographic printing program at a Charlotte-area high school. Since then, they have been instrumental in setting up educational programs at other area schools. Today 21 high schools and 32 colleges in the U.S., Canada and Argentina have vocational programs based on the ones the Harpers helped initiate.

Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC) in Charlotte and Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C., are also beneficiaries of the Harpers' commitment to education. CPCC's southwest campus is called the Harper Campus and it houses the Harper National Flexographic Center. On Appalachian State University's campus, the building that houses the school's graphics education program and administrative offices is Katherine Harper Hall.

DiTrolio Flexographic Institute in Chicago recently dedicated its own Harper Flexo Lab to honor the support Ron and Katherine Harper have shown the school. Similarly, the Flexo Trade School in Fort Mill, S.C. will dedicate its Harper Flexo Lab made possible by the couple's generosity in October.

For further information, please contact Jazmin Kluttz at 704-588-3371 or jkluttz@harperimage.com.

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