Tom Wright of Neenah steps down this week from Neenah.
Here is the farewell we published in the May/June 2015 print and digital editions of Graphic Design USA magazine:
We dedicate this edition of GDUSA to Tom Wright, a firm believer in and advocate for graphic designers and their central role in the graphics arts, in business and society, in commerce and culture. The Director of Design at Neenah Paper worldwide, Tom is stepping down July 1 to spend more time with his wife and family and to pursue his many personal interests. Tom has more than three decades of hands-on experience in numerous design disciplines, a passion for paper, and a delight in value-added printing and specialty production techniques. Over those years, he has continually built Neenah’s leadership brand in the creative marketplace, and has been a pioneer who took Neenah down a path of many firsts in the paper industry, from developing innovative and educational promotions to building meaningful relationships with industry organizations and associations to creating venues where creativity could thrive to connecting paper with new technologies. He is also renowned for building relationships with customers, industry leaders and some of the most talent designers in the world. As a result — and this may be his most lasting legacy — he has encouraged and inspired generations of designers to get the most out of themselves. In announcing his retirement to the Neenah family, Kingsley E. Shannon, Senior Director of Marketing – Fine Paper, wrote: “Tom is a one of a kind leader, visionary, collaborator, business partner, manager, teammate and friend. His 35 years of hard work paves the way for future generations of paper and packaging lovers ….” Upon hearing of Tom’s decision, I was asked to record my reaction. “Tom Wright will be sorely missed,” I said, “because he is quite simply the best at what he does.”