QUADRACCI--Betty Ewens. Betty died peacefully in her Wisconsin home, surrounded by family and friends, on Monday, December 9, 2013, at age 75. She is survived by her children, Elizabeth (Chris) Quadracci Harned; Joel (Caran) Quadracci; Kathryn (Raja) Quadracci Flores; and Harry Richard (Emilio Cabrera) Quadracci; grandchildren Ellie, Kit, William and Alec Harned; Meghan, Halle and Danica Quadracci; and Isabella, Kaitlin and Harry Flores; brothers Jim (Pat) Ewens and Tom (Ellen) Ewens; sisters Jane (Dion Kempthorne) Ewens, Sue Ewens and Sister Mary Ewens; and many nephews and nieces. Betty was preceded in death by her husband and partner, Harry V. Quadracci, with whom she co-founded Quad/Graphics in 1971. With little money and big dreams, they launched Quad/Graphics in Pewaukee, WI., with 11 employees. The Quadraccis and their team persevered during the company's early, lean years to build a premier printing company. Today, Quad/Graphics is a leading global printer and media channel integrator with approximately 25,000 employees in eight countries. Betty was Quad/Graphics' matriarch and will long be revered for helping create the company's culture, which takes better care of employees' needs, including providing onsite childcare, which Betty first championed in the mid-80s; treating employees with dignity and respect; empowering employees to make decisions and innovate solutions; and providing employees with continuous training and education. A member of Quad/Graphics' board of directors since 2002, Betty played a pivotal role in the company's 2010 transition from a privately held company to a family controlled publicly traded company, which enabled Quad/Graphics to acquire its next largest competitor and further secure its leadership of the printing industry. For nearly 30 years, Betty was president and publisher of Milwaukee Magazine, acquired by Quad/Graphics in 1983. During her tenure, the magazine garnered hundreds of awards, including a Best Editorial Gold Medal for Betty's publisher's letter "The First Amendment Starts Here." Betty's creative inclinations led her to found Quad/Creative, a graphic design firm, in 1985. Betty served on the Milwaukee Art Museum's board for many years. In 1997 she and Harry spearheaded a $10 million matching donation from Quad/Graphics to kick off fundraising for a major museum addition. Designed by Santiago Calatrava and completed in 2001, the Quadracci Pavilion is a widely recognized symbol of Milwaukee. Betty also served on the boards of Artists Working in Education, a Milwaukee non-profit; the Greater Milwaukee Committee; and Milwaukee Women Inc., which she founded. Betty also led the Windhover Foundation, a philanthropic organization funded by the Quadracci family. Betty was one of the first Montessori teachers in the U.S. and helped establish the Waukesha (Wis.) Montessori School in 1964 and the Waukesha Head Start program in 1968, now the nation's oldest continually operating Head Start program. Visitation will be held at Blessed Teresa of Calcutta Catholic Church in North Lake, WI on December 13, from 3-7pm and December 14, from 9-10:45am. A Funeral Mass follows Saturday's visitation at 11am. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Children's Hospital Foundation, PO Box 1997 MS3050, Milwaukee, WI 53201; Women's Center of Waukesha, PO. Box 554, Waukesha, WI 53187; or Waukesha Montessori School, Att: Bill Walsh, 2600 Summit Ave., Waukesha, WI 53188.
Published in The New York Times on Dec. 12, 2013