POPAI Mourns POP Industry Leader Ralph Stern



Today, POPAI would like to send condolences to the family of Ralph Stern who passed away on November 27,2013. Ralph was a partner at Merchandising Display Corporation, an employee at Henschel-Steinau, past Chairman of POPAI and Hall of Fame honoree.

“Ralph was a great supporter of POPAI and the industry,” says Richard Winter, President of POPAI. “I personally appreciated his counsel as I entered this role with POPAI.  Like many others, I will miss his friendship.”

We at POPAI would like to take this time to honor such a well-respected business leader and very involved in POPAI’s CPP Programs. Not only did he lead the POP industry, but taught the future of it. His latest adventure for the industry was teaching as an adjunct professor at the NYU Stern School of Business — retiring  just this past June.

In honor of Ralph’s work in the POP industry, we would like to share some words from his colleague and past employer, Gary Forman, CEO of Henschel-Steinau:

Our friendship and love for each other has always been important to each of us. Ralph retired after selling his company, MDC about 20 years ago.  Retirement lasted about 6 months and Ralph decided that he had to be back in the display business.  He then worked for Henschel-Steinau until his 80th birthday making major contributions to our company in helping to advise Aaron, run the sales team and manage many accounts.  Where most people at 80 would take it easy and enjoy life, that was not for Ralph.  He then helped a friend write a book and became an assistant professor at NYU, teaching merchandising.  He worked there until about 2 years ago.  Ralph was a giant of a man.  He was a decorated World War II hero, an outstanding head of a major POP company, a dear friend to all who came in touch with him and the most humble person that you could ever meet.  He always made people around him feel very special.  We would speak on the phone at least once a week and he always wanted to know what was going on at our company and with all of the people.  He truly cared about each of us and wanted to see us succeed.  Most simply stated, Ralph Stern was a “good man” and will be missed by all who came in contact with him throughout his life.

It is without a doubt that Ralph will be missed in the POP industry, so we’d like you take this time to remember such a great man.

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