S: TedSpeak: The Incomplete Guide to Things Ted Stahl Taught Us
1: ABOUT THIS BOOK Note from the Editor Karin Bellinghausen Thanks to all of the family members, friends, GroupeSTAHL team members, industry colleagues and anyone and everyone who contributed to this book. It can't be accomplished in one volume and certainly isn't complete, but this tome is an attempt to record for posterity some of the lessons and values we've learned over the years from Ted Stahl. Some of the lessons are humorous, some are touching, some make you scratch your head in wonder, some are just plain genius--like the man himself. Since it has been my honor and pleasure to work with and"interpret" Ted Stahl for over 25 years now, the things I have learned from him have helped shape who I am. Much more than someone who has given me an opportunity to earn a living for many years, Ted is a friend and mentor that teaches me something every time I speak with him. And I know I'm not the only one that feels this way. Which is why, on the occasion of this very special birthday, we thought it would be fitting to let Ted know just how many lives he has touched. You don't have to know Ted for long to understand that he has a lot of wisdom to share. We thought it was time to take all those crumpled napkins full of scribbles and the results of countless hours of brainstorming and put them in a proper book. It's not perfect, it's not complete, but for now, it's done. Here's YOUR book Ted. Karin P.S. Special thanks to Carleen Gray for coming up with a great title and to Missy Marino and Dane Clement for the fantastic cover art. | Happy 70th Birthday Ted! With love and gratitude from Klaus, Karin, Nikko, Lily, Issy and Max Bellinghausen | Ted at work restoring one of his tugboats.
2: Who Taught Ted? The fact that Stahls' has been a family owned business since 1932 plays a big role in our culture and Ted's teachings. "Importance of family" was high on the list for many contributors to this book. "Never forget your roots." "You didn't get where you are today out of thin air." | Ted and Brian Stahl with mother RIcki. | Parents Ernie and Ricki Stahl | A.C. Stahl started it all in 1932
3: Another New York Cocktail Please! Tammy recalls: Like Anne Gojcaj, I too recall the many brainstorming sessions on napkins/coasters after a long day working the booth at trade shows. Some 25+ years ago, Anne, Ted and I were in California, amidst a brainstorming session, when Anne and I decided to order a Long Island Iced Tea. Ted had never had one but he ordered one as well...and he liked it! After the third one, he forgot what it was called, and kept trying to order another "New York Cocktail" from the waitress. I have referred to that drink as a New York Cocktail ever since... | TAMMY DUFFINEY There are SO many things I learned from Ted, especially in the early days. Some that come to mind are: The customer is always right! Be respectful of your co-workers, even if they disrespect you. Be a "doer." Take a class, read a book, expand your knowledge...even if it isn't job related. Ted's World Travel Tips: Ted says: Women should only order a 1/2 liter of beer when traveling abroad, rather than a liter. To make a long story short: After a 6-hour delay at London's Heathrow Airport, and then four hours out over the ocean, extreme plane failures caused us to turn around and make an emergency landing in Scotland. Needless to say, we all ordered a full liter of beer when we hit the ground, just before getting on another plane...and Ted's words were ringing in my ears! Ted taught me how to value the company's money, as though it were my own. I recall reading the many books he would give me, like "How To Be An Effective Negotiator." Plus he's given me advice on everything from how to get customers out of the aisle and into our booth at trade shows (he used to tell me I could talk my way out of a paper bag), to helping me pick shingles for my first house! Thank you Ted, for everything! Happy Birthday! | Tammy accepts the plaque declaring her team winner of the Western Olympics 1988 (a company event) as Ted, Brian Stahl and Gail Petrella look on.
4: From the Desk of BRIAN BAKER Plato the philosopher once said; “The higher the number, the more the wisdom.” Ted is a person of high intellect with simple yet complex convictions. He is dedicated to preserving history and sharing with it all that is no longer told. He is a soft spoken man with a warm heart and a concern for all he loves. He stands firm and tall and gives hope and help in the darkest of nights. He celebrates everyday with a flare brighter than the sun. No matter the challenges that would have made others stop or change direction, Ted hits the GAS and shoots through another wave, riding the swells of life until the destination is met. I have learned so much and admire the genuine quality of a man I can call my friend, mentor and second dad. We have seen much together and have traveled far but each time is always something new and exciting. Ted continues no matter the challenges he faces. He always encourages your progress and celebrates it, even if it's just an inch or two. So, with this special thought, thanks for all you continue to do, I have learned much and will apply to my life what has been learned and share with others the wisdom of a man known as Ted Stahl. With the utmost respect, Brian Baker | Since wisdom never dies nor do the memories-- Talawego my friend, and thanks for keeping history alive. | Editor's note: Talawego = TedSpeak for: Until we meet again.
5: SCOTT FRESENER On the fine art of smoking cigars: Ted, you and I go back a long time, but it was not until the last few years that I got to know you better. Other than seeing you as a mentor and having received a lot of advice and help from you over the years (I hear these are called “tedisms”) – you taught me one very important thing – how to smoke cigars. I had never smoked a "real" cigar until you introduced me to the fine art at the Atlantic City ISS Show a few years back. I am like an addict now. I’m hooked! Thank you.. and my local cigar store thanks you! Let’s smoke again the next time we meet. Happy Birthday, Scott Fresener | “You taught me one very important thing – how to smoke cigars.”
6: On Being Part of the Family from GAIL PETRELLA MEABROD: You don’t have to work at Stahls’ for 35 plus years to feel part of the Stahls’ family. I was given the opportunity to travel to Germany and France with Ted, Brian, and Jan Stahl in the early 80’s during their first trip to the European offices. Our days were spent in business meetings, touring the facilities, and being introduced to management and employees. Everyone was thrilled to meet Ted and Brian. I felt proud to be in such esteemed company and at such an early age, LOL!!! Once business was concluded for the day, we had time to see the countryside, experience their typical day, shop, eat and drink. Warm beer, wine, and cordials after dinner kept us laughing and the conversations interesting (I’ll just keep some of those funny stories to myself). The family of Stahls’ is worldwide and I have always felt an important part of it. Thank you Ted for your guidance, enthusiasm, and notes on paper napkins! | Remember when about 20 of us were signed up for the Dale Carnegie course? Many of us were not thrilled with the idea, but Ted and Brian believed investing in your employees was worth every penny. I didn’t think I could handle it, but found it very rewarding after all. I was partnered with Hayley (Mills) Skinner. My working relationship with Hayley strengthened as a result. Ted’s ability to foresee opportunities is incredible! Happy 70th Birthday and many, many more! | Gail and Paul Meabrod, with daughter Melanie in 2010 | Gail Petrella and Ted Stahl at company Christmas Party circa 1984
7: More of Ted's Teachings ...from Brent Kisha: Things Ted taught me after 20 years of service: 1. Entrepreneurship 2. Out of the box thinking 3. Be kind 4. Be happy 5. Be a good listener 6. Take care of the customer | An award presented to Stahls' Decorating Fulfillment Center for helping NIKEID surpass $100 million in annual sales through partnership, quality product & innovative spirit. L to R: Paul Begyn, NIKEiD; Bethany Stange, StahlsDFC; Michelle Dean, NIKEiD; Marianthe Tufts, NIKEiD; Lisa Leone, StahlsDFC; Brent Kisha, StahlsDFC; Dan Robinson, StahlsDFC.
8: Blair Gilbert and Ted in 1984 at a company Christmas party event. | "Quid, me Vexari?" | Blair Gilbert's Story: Ted was involved for many years with the Unlimited Hydroplane races that took place on the Detroit River. When I first met him, he invited me to go out with him on his boat, which was named Quid Me, Vexari? Well, the boat broke down and that's when I learned why the boat's name meant "What Me Worry?" (from the old Mad Magazine mascot) We had to go to great lengths to get the boat repaired, (it's a long story) but the whole time, Ted was calm and worry free. Happy Birthday Ted!
9: Ted and his brother Craig unwrap their gifts--clock radio telephones! | Office Christmas party 1984
10: from Mark Venit: Ted frequently communicates his ideas through sketches, diagrams and flow charts--often making complex concepts clearer and simpler to understand. | Mark Venit visits Ted in St. Clair Shores and checks out one of his classic cars. | Mark commissioned this custom graphic in honor of Ted's 70th birthday.
11: from the National Sporting Goods Association What Ted Taught Us: We’ve only known Ted briefly, but what he has taught us on the staff of the National Sporting Goods Association is that you can be an outstanding leader who has built a tremendous multi-national business, and still be as humble and gracious as ever. We appreciate Ted’s strong leadership and support of the sporting goods industry, and we hope he has a wonderful 70th birthday! Matt Carlson, on behalf of the entire NSGA Staff Team | Matt Carlson President and CEO National Sporting Goods Association | Bruce Hammond and Ted at NSGA Conference 2011 | Jim Baugh, Wilson Sporting Goods, Tom Raynor, Fleet Feet, and Ted Stahl, were inducted into the NSGA Hall of Fame on May 3, 2011, | Larry Weindruch, Ted, Karin Bellinghausen at NSGA Conference 2011
12: The Stahl Family (Ricki Stahl seated in center, Thanksgiving 2010)
13: The GroupeSTAHL Family (GroupeSTAHL trade show team at Long Beach Imprinted Sportswear Show, January 2010)
14: “People can tell if you're smiling over the phone.” | Oversized direct mail piece circa 1988 that featured people from many GroupeSTAHL companies. Customers loved it!
15: “Don't just stand there, go out into the aisle and get customers in the booth!” | “You have to let people use the heat press. You have to put samples in their hands and let them feel the product.” | Classic TedSpeak
16: BRIAN SUKARUKOFF Lessons learned from Ted: I would like to start by saying, that I am honored to be sharing some of my lessons learned from Ted Stahl in a book that will be shared with others, and look forward to a final publication in which I will be able to read the experiences and lessons they learned. I sit here today, April 25, 2012 as the Chief Executive Officer for GroupeSTAHL. I can start by saying, that without any doubt I never imagined that our first introduction to Ted in a hockey arena many years ago would've led to this. Ted has a very unique wisdom about him, he has the ability to drive people to open up their minds to be creative by simply listening to what they have say. Many people enjoy hearing themselves speak, providing their opinion, or developing their own ideas. Ted has the ability to use few words and in some cases only a noise or expression to get your mind working, he is terrific at listening. Both Ted and I have shared the opportunity of being entrepreneurs, both building businesses while maintaining a balance with family. A lot of what I've learned from him has taken place during social events, non business related. We were in completely different types of businesses yet had very common goals. As an entrepreneur many lessons are learned on your own, but it was these simple conversations at different events that have helped me mature as a leader. He has helped to teach me the importance of listening and allowing others to create their own success, whether it be in their own business or their job. I must say that his ability to do this is quite unique and could almost be considered sneaky, the word sneaky is meant respectfully. For those of you who know or have worked for Ted you know that he can lead a conversation by sitting back in his chair and using different smiles. It is not unusual for Ted to provide his opinion, but finish by saying "the decision is yours", or "you probably already know that." I guess we could consider him a stealth manager. Although you may not always see him, his input and wisdom seems to always be there. | ...the lessons I can learn from Ted have only just begun...
17: Throughout one's life there are certain people that we look up, I can honestly say that Ted is one of those people. He has helped me to better understand the meaning of teamwork in the importance of management as it relates to a coaching staff. An analogy that he often uses when speaking before group, discussing his experiences and their relationship to hockey. He is without a doubt a man with patience, a personal trait that we have all learned from. As I have only been working for Ted for six months now, it has become quite obvious that patience can be measured in several ways. I can clarify this by saying his mind never stops, he always has a pen and note card available to record his ideas and thoughts. These thoughts are often written in a language designed by Ted, a combination of incomplete words, some diagrams, a little bit of doodling and delivered like a drive-by shooting. My comments are in fun, although true, and meant very respectfully. I am the third CEO in 10 years, I hope that there is no pattern? Because I see this opportunity through my eyes as an entrepreneur and look forward to helping lead the group of companies moving forward. As I see it, the lessons I can learn from Ted have only just begun, he will forget more about this industry than I will ever know, but the challenge to succeed and continue Ted's success is my driving factor. But in the world of business, who knows, maybe I won't be the CEO when this is published, only time will tell. But at the end of the day I can honestly say that I have learned a great deal from Ted! I am also quite confident that I will never have the ability to create new words like Ted can, and I look forward to the writing and publication of the" Dictionary of Ted". My comments, some serious and some in fun, but all meant respectfully. Ted is not only a gentleman, he is a true mentor, and I am thankful to have had the opportunity to be part of this book and more important a friend of Ted. Sincerely, Brian Sukarukoff | BRIAN SUKARUKOFF Lessons learned from Ted continued....
18: CARL AGOSTA I’m not sure I could list in words all the things that I have learned from Ted. Although I graduated from college, I have learned more about sales, marketing, and customer service, as well as strong company values, integrity, and work ethic--from Ted then I ever could from a book or a lecture in a class. Here are the most important things I learned from Ted Stahl after 22 years of service: The ability to do public speaking events and presentations That communication--both internally and externally--is important, whether the news is good or bad. That the Stahls’ name is synonymous with quality, high service level, innovation and vision. Under promise and over deliver! | Carl Agosta at an NBA Jam Session providing on demand heat printing, pictured here with Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs | Ted's Sales Secret #1 Use a rock from outside to demonstrate the quality of Thermo-FILM at trade shows.
19: CARL RECALLS Some funny moments with Ted: Being up late with Ted having a few beverages in the hotel bar, only to get a call in my room at 2am just after the “meeting” to say: “Lets meet for breakfast at 6am to continue our discussions.” Being invited on his boat with other staff and undoing “most of the dock lines,” but somehow we missed the main dock line on the bow. As Ted pulled out of the slip it came out with the boat. OOPS! Ted didn’t even flinch and even laughed about it. Being told to take the wheel on one of those same boat trips as he got an emergency call from down below. Come to find out the emergency was that the blender was not working. Also, understanding that when we returned to the dock after our boat trip that it was only halftime of the evening, and there would be a lengthy continuation of the evening events around the fire. Thank you Ted for everything! Carl
20: MARY GAGLIO: There are so many things I have learned from Ted. Here are a few Ted inspirations that come to mind: “Know thy customer & listen to your customer and they will tell you how we can improve.” “No one will slap your hand for taking a risk.” | “Be kind to everyone” | Part of the customer service team in St. Clair Shores, Michigan at Stahls' ID Direct. Bottom Row L to R: Jodi Weiler, Alison Zuccaro, Mary Grimm, Karen Mattox-Warne, Lauren Finn, Hollie Reece Top Row L to R: Nick Horvath, Mary Gaglio, Joe Nakozy, Carol Hutnick, Mark Merola, Julie Purta, Lucy Foster, Cheryl Stewart, Shelly Hartwell, Kathy Hilgendorf.
21: CAREY KUMMELMAN: Many years ago, when I first started to attend Trade Shows I always admired the fact that Stahls' always spent a great deal of time and effort educating the public about their products. Ted was always there to encourage his staff. In my wildest dreams I never expected to become “one of the family” however, about 10 years ago GOD brought us together and what a BLESSING it has been. Happy Birthday Ted, and may GOD continue to BLESS you and your family with good health. | Daisy Hatcher: “Always remember the importance of your family.” | “What did you learn today?”
22: RICHARD GREAVES In the early 1990's I was an outside guy that worked off and on for a year as part of the Stahls' Road Tour, teaching screen printing skills that complimented the Lightning Graphics System. Ted was wonderfully, a boss of a different color, but the sort I loved. Ted is the first person I knew that drank cold coffee before it was popular. Several times I saw him reach into his briefcase and give out a bootleg copy of inspirational cassette tapes from authors like Brian Tracy to promote learning and further study. Summoned to a mid-afternoon meeting, he motioned me to his car. We drove home, and picked up players for a hockey practice where our only real distraction was to occasionally cheer. If I was in Saint Clair Shores, I knew he would be available for a discussion where I knew I had his attention. I had a compelling desire to perform for him and never wanted to disappoint him.. I saw things happening at Stahls' everyday. As a leader, Ted was the fastest I've ever seen to veto or implement ideas into action. He wasn't that animated in person, but you felt and saw the giant wake of what he was focused on. You may not like that style if you couldn't keep up with his changes as he reinvented the business everyday. He didn't say yes to ideas easily, you had to come up with workable plan. If you pitched an incomplete idea, you got immediate well thought feedback - especially if he wasn't pleased, but you kept your dignity. I remember pitching an idea at a dinner to no real response, but he woke me up the next morning with a status report on how the plan was coming along. NEVER have I had a boss jump on an idea so quickly. These traits are unique in the many bosses I've had as an employee or consultant. I loved working for Ted. | EDUCATE | Carleen, Bob and Sue were part of the traveling seminar program that started back in the early 1990's. Above, Larry Simon explains Lightning Graphics to customers.
23: “Don't take yourself too seriously.”
24: “The only way to predict the future is to invent it.” | INNOVATE! | BE CREATIVE | Thomas Karr, Josh Ellsworth, Ted, Mr. Kamada Yushiteru and Mr. Mikiya Yushiteru meet at the GroupeSTAHL booth during the 2010 FESPA in Munich, Germany. | From Tim Weaver: “I was glad to run into Ted at the 2010 FESPA in Germany, since it marked the anniversary of 20 years prior, when he took me to my first international trade show in the same city! All the best to you and Happy Birthday Ted!” | Ted talks shop with David Villareal of Mexico and George Berczely of Argentina at FESPA 2010.
25: BRIAN MCLEOD Congratulations on your 70th Ted! I will always remember my first meeting with Ted at a trade show, when he was introducing Stahls' Thermo-FILM to the industry. At the time I was struggling on how to best number and personalize hockey uniforms for the Canadian Market. Thermo-FILM was the best product I had ever seen for this purpose and it has been a major building block for Stahls’ growth over the years. Ted was someone who I immediately recognized as a special person. Ted’s focus on people is truly extraordinary and the number of people who have made Stahls’ their home for decades and the number of people who return to Stahls’ (myself included) are testaments to a special environment that Ted has built. I am sure that like me, many or most of the people that have worked closely with Ted will tell you that he has been the most influential person in their business life. Treating suppliers and competitors with respect is rare in business today, but it has always been a core principle at Stahls’. | BMC's favorite Ted quotes: “There are lots of proofreaders in the world but very few original writers.” I also remember that over the years if Ted overheard gossiping he would say: “We don’t need any of that washerwoman talk.” Referring of course to the conversations that the maids would have over the back fences while hanging out the wash for their employers. And of course: “Be kind to people!” | Jan Starr, Ted, Brian McCleod and Carleen Gray share Ted's NSGA Hall of Fame Plaque in St. Clair Shores.
26: Robin Bull, center, with GroupeSTAHL team members in Munich, Germany during the 2010 FESPA. | from ROBIN BULL: When Target Transfers became part of GroupeSTAHL, I wondered what differences it would make to us. Although we are several thousand miles away and in a different time zone, Ted has always taken a great interest in us, and our development. Over the years I have received many calls from Ted, and his approach has taught me to think differently and to try and “see” the big picture. I will always be grateful to Ted for both his patient mentoring, and his caring about us even though we are one of the smaller players within GroupeSTAHL. Robin Bull Managing Director Target Transfers Ltd United Kingdom | “Think differently and try to see the big picture.”
27: These are NOT our beers. Seriously. Just photo props. | “When in Germany, you have to try to speak German and eat what the locals eat.” | Carleen Gray, Karin Bellinghausen, Josh Ellsworth, Bill Whitley and Brett Stahl experience German culture during the 2010 FESPA in Munich.
28: “Always have a camera.” | Karin Bellinghausen and Carleen Gray prove Ted's point that it is always good to have a camera handy. Munich's Hofbrauhaus 2010. Photo credit Ted Stahl.
29: “Surprise victories are often the best kind.” | Bill Sherwood, Ted and Riley Hopkins at the Concourse d' Elegance 2010 in Pebble Beach, California, where the one of a kind 1919 Meissenhelder won an unexpected second place ribbon.
30: “Don't forget to have fun.” | Jason Murphy pointing out a humorous wall graphic of Ted that makes a point of one of his most famous marketing slogans: "It all starts with a heat press." | A group of ladies in the production department in St. Clair Shores, Michigan (late 1980's/early 90's) dressed all in black to celebrate a co-worker's birthday. Ted joins in the fun.
31: “TedSpeak” as recalled by some folks at TRANSFER EXPRESS: “Always have a sense of urgency.” “Always put yourself in your customer's shoes.” “I've always admired Ted's relationship with his family and the strong emphasis he puts on that aspect of his life.” “...the best way to get out of a speeding ticket is to always keep a pack of diapers in the car...” (authors unknown) | MENTOR, OHIO: Excellence in teamwork at Stahls' Transfer Express is recognized at the 2011 "Ernie Awards," named after Ted's father Ernie Stahl. The awards are presented every year.
32: “The folks in Canada really know how to host a hockey game.” | Ted and Mary outside the Scotiabank Place in Ottawa, Canada before the 2012 NHL Allstar Game.
33: What I Learned from Ted by BEN ROBINSON: Ted has taught me to never stay satisfied. I have always admired his drive for all of us to be the best at what we do. And because of Ted's sayings like "There's a big target on your back," or "If you don't react they will eat your lunch," and "It's just the tip of the iceberg," I have personally wanted to be ahead of the curve with innovative products and services. Coaching baseball for years taught me how to win with my team's strengths, but Ted has taught me how to stay on top for many seasons. Happy 70th Ted! I couldn't work for a better family. | “If you don't react they will eat your lunch” | Ben Robinson and Ted at the world premiere of the Hotronix Air Fusion during the ISS Atlantic City Show in 2012.
34: “Carpe Diem” | Ted and Roger Bialic, circa 1977 | Ted and Brian make improvements to the building at 20600 Stephens in St. Clair Shores, around 1988. | Ted and Paul Meabrod at a company picnic in the late 80's.
35: “Seize the Day” | Brian Stahl cooking in the Canadian woods, July 1977. | Ted 1978
36: from ISABELLA RODEGHIERO, Italy: Ted taught me to enjoy the good things in life and to have fun while working. | Artwork created in honor of the company's 75th Anniversary.
37: from ANNE GOJCAJ Some of our better brainstorming sessions were written on napkins or coasters. “If you believe in something – just do it.” “The customer signs our paycheck.” “Always put yourself in the customer's shoes in everything we do.” “Be kind to someone today” Quote to share: “Blessed is the person who is too busy to worry in the daytime and too sleepy to worry at night.” | Anne Gojcaj, back row, second from left. pictured with GroupeSTAHL management from around the world in the early 2000's.
38: CHERI JOHNSON Things I’ve learned from Ted That there is still a use for a physical phone book. “Don’t we have a phone book around here?” Boblo is no longer home to any amusement rides. A single act of kindness goes a long way. I’ve learned what the Great Race is and that even if you don’t participate, there’s still a lot of work to do to get ready for it. | CHERI JOHNSON Things I’ve learned from Ted: That there is still a use for a physical phone book. “Don’t we have a phone book around here?” Boblo is no longer home to any amusement rides. A single act of kindness goes a long way. | I’ve learned what the Great Race is and that even if you don’t participate, there’s still a lot of work to do to get ready for it! | The 1941 Packard, all original, never restored engine, paint and interior, driven by the Spirit of Stahls Team in the Great Race 2012.
39: SEAN OAKLEY “Ted Truths” “Don’t sweat the small stuff” “Don’t live with the past in front of you” Sean’s advice to Ted: “Buy Gold. Well, maybe not anymore. ”
40: We then went to the arena to find our seats which were low down and not far from center ice. In other words they were fantastic seats! I couldn’t help but see the price on the ticket and I won’t mention it here, but suffice it to say it was expensive. Here is the thing: despite my being a big NHL fan, this was the first hockey game I had ever been to in my life! Couldn’t afford it most of time and never seem to have the time later in life. THE GAME WAS ELECTRIFYING. Ted regaled me with some of his extensive hockey knowledge and was supportive of my cheering for plays that were not favorable to his team. This was the game where the Pens tied up the series and went on to win The Cup. While creating this unforgettable hockey experience for me, Ted did not forget the Imprintables staff. He paid for many mementos, pucks, hats, pennants, etc. and instructed me to make sure each worker was taken care of. This is something I have seen with Ted time and time again: he is always kind to, and remembers his front line employees. He could never go on the show Under Cover Boss because to many employees have been recipients of his kind attentions and genuine caring cannot be disguised. | In 2009 the Pittsburgh Penguins won the Stanley Cup besting the Detroit Red Wings. The fourth game of the final round against the Wings was to take place at the Melon Arena in Pittsburgh. Ted had recently found out what a fan of the Pens I was and as a total surprise the day before the game he invited me to go with him, Mary and some of their children. I was totally surprised and thoroughly excited. I couldn’t say no to an offer like that, even though I knew it was a family affair. I met Ted in Pittsburgh at the appointed time and he took me to a very fancy dinner near the arena, where we saw Red Wing organizational executives dining nearby. He and his entire family were very accepting and made me feel very comfortable. | The Ted Stahl Experience by Dan Seward | Ted's sons Daniel and Trevor visit a customer in the Pittsburgh area while they are at a 2009 Stanley Cup game.
41: Ricki Stahl blows out the candles with grandchildren Trevor Stahl, Kari and Dale Schives, Daniel Stahl and Kaitlin Stahl. | Ricki, Ted and Mary Stahl in 2002 at an event celebrating the 70th anniversary of Stahls'.
42: LAURIE GONZ To talk and spend time with Ted Stahl taught me customers could be good friends. I have many great memories of stories shared, but what a wonderful treat it was to sit with Ted and Mary and their family with my son at the 2007 NHL All Star Game in Dallas. We will always remember that special evening. Happy 70th Birthday! All my best wishes Laurie Gonz - Impressions | “...to treat people well, to listen closely, to be generous with your time and resources and to love your family, friends and company.”
43: Marilyn Elliott arrives at the GroupeSTAHL family event at Cedar Point Amusement Park. | Brian and Sally McLeod and family at Cedar Point in 2008. | “Company gatherings that include your whole family are important.” | Brent Kisha and kids at the GroupeSTAHL family picnic.
44: TedSpeak from CARLEEN GRAY "Cause something to happen." "Don't step on little people." "You have to THINK"!!! "Just try it, and if it doesn't work, try something else."
45: MARCIA DERRYBERRY EDITOR in CHIEF IMPRESSIONS MAGAZINE “Ted is a visionary who continues to push the industry to new heights with his passion for advancing the art of apparel decoration. Throughout his success, he remains one of the kindest individuals in the industry and it is my privilege to know him.”
46: To go along with that baby face he still has, Ted’s excitement for classic cars and less-than-ordinary boats matches his enthusiasm for business. When I first met Ted back in the 70's, he was as gracious and friendly to me then as he is now. I still think he’s one of the good guys of the business world. I remember his pride as he talked about his family’s hard work and inventiveness in their early days of producing athletic lettering and his feeling of responsibility to continue what they had started. He loved to show off some of that old equipment. And if you go to Canada with him, be sure to stay seated for an hour or so after he introduces you to some of that potent Canadian beer. | by Bob Wieber President/CEO National Business Media, Inc. | About Ted Stahl:
47: Ted Walks the Talk "Don't be afraid to try something you've never done before." Like participating in a vintage car road rally in June 2012.
48: ERIN STAHL Things I've Learned from my Dad: | I learned how to be a pirate (at Grandson Noah’s themed birthday party Oct 2005) | I learned how to relax with a friend and a good book. | I learned how to track a runaway dinghy after a night of fun and distraction.
49: ERIN STAHL Another thing I learned... ...not to leave a vehicle running in a parking lot. Background story: 1970’s or 1980’s at the YMCA in Mt. Clemens, I was earning my Pollywog swimming badge. I was told that my dad was so excited (or perhaps running late) that he left his van running in the parking lot with the driver’s door wide open while he came in to watch me. It was no surprise that it was stolen.
50: One must challenge themselves before you can challenge others. Story Line: May 7, 1990: I had just completed two interviews for a sales position in Stahls’ Canada with Peggy Dwyer, then Brian McLeod and made the 35 mile trip back home to Livonia. I no more got in the door and the phone rang. It was Peggy Dwyer who requested that I return to Stahls’ because Ted Stahl wanted to interview me as well. Back those days, our conference room was on the second floor just above the main entrance. Doris, our receptionist, told me that I was to go upstairs and wait briefly for Mr. Stahl to arrive for my interview. After about a 10 minute wait, in comes Ted Stahl in a golf shirt, cargo shorts and dock sider boat shoes. Ted says to me “So I hear you are the outstanding new sales person that is going to bring in more sales then anybody that we have here at our wonderful company”. “I can hold my own”, I said in response. “Fine”, says Ted. He then takes his ceramic coffee mug, and pushes it to my side of the table, followed by: “Please give me 10 good reasons why I should buy that mug from you”. | After briefly stuttering I said: “Well, um, a, this may take a bit of time to hit all ten” Ted then says: “Well, it has been said you have all the credentials, and I have all the time in the world!” Over the next 5 minutes, I finally reach ten. Relieved, I sit back in the chair relaxed, and with a sense of accomplishment, ahhh it’s over! Nope, not so fast. Ted then says: “Wonderful, you did a fine job and you should be proud. Honestly, you should have no problem achieving the next objective.” “What’s that?” I exclaimed. “You have given me ten good reasons why I should by this mug from you. Now, I want you to create 10 more reasons for every 1 that you have listed.” I honestly thought I would die. Man, you have got to be kidding me? (Thinking to myself of course) “This will take some time, so I will give you a few days. Let talk about it this Wednesday” On Wednesday, I return, somewhat defeated as I had only came up with 58. Surely I would look like a failure and ultimately not secure the sales position. Ted views the first page, and then briefly turns to the next two pages to see how long the list was. He paused, and then said “Congratulations”. I about passed out. “Congratulations for what? I fell short”. | Things That Ted Taught Me From Mark Furdero
51: “Always be kind to others, especially those less fortunate.” “Patience isn’t just a virtue, it’s a must, because everything and everyone has its time whether you like it or not.” | “On the contrary, you are to be complimented. You see, most people wouldn’t have reached the first ten. You on the other hand were challenged and stepped up to meet that challenge. If we were in the business of selling mugs, we just received an additional 58 extra ideas to sell. You should be proud!” He gets up out of the chair and walks to the door. Before he left I said: “So do I have the job?” “Indeed, just promise me one thing” “Sure, I replied” “Never stop challenging yourself and one day if you become a manager here, always challenge your associates.” “You see Mark, great things are accomplished for all when we are forced to do things we didn’t think we could do. See you tomorrow, 8 O’clock sharp. GOD BLESS YOU TED! You hired a young man who thought he knew everything there was to know about sales and taught him a discipline that would last a lifetime. Never be satisfied, there is always more we can do! Happy Birthday my dear friend! It has been a pleasure to work for you over the past 24 years, and an honor to be your friend! Mark Furdero
52: Ulrike André I started working for STAHLS’ International in 2004. My objective was to write all PR, create a catalog (in two languages) and design a booth for FESPA 2005, the show in Europe for our industry. I remember meeting with Ted for the first time to discuss the layout for the booth I had in mind. Renderings in hand, a vision in my head, we sat down. He took a look at it all, listened to my presentation and asked me one single question: “What will you do [with the booth] if the space rented at a trade show is only 3m x 3m?“ I had not thought of that. Back to the drawing board and a few weeks later we met again. This next meeting went smoothly and swiftly. The booth was approved. FESPA 2005 opened its doors and Ted came to Germany to visit the show. He took a look around, walked, touched and finally said to me: “I don’t think there is anything you missed or did not take into consideration – thank you and congratulations on doing such a great job.” Three months of planning, discussing, working with (new) colleagues in a new (to me) industry, organizing, communicating, flying to Germany to make sure we were on track, four months of very long hours and hard work – all came together in that moment! Ted had challenged me to find the best solution, he raised the bar. That in itself was a great experience. When he acknowledged that I had succeeded in reaching his set goal: great satisfaction, pride and a desire awakened to continuously raise the bar. | Ted had challenged me to find the best solution, he raised the bar.
53: DAVE WHEATLEY “Cherish your mother.” “Don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions.” “At times, saying nothing is more valuable than trying to come up with the perfect words.” “Understand what the customer is thinking and feeling, then you can help.” | “Climb up on the table and let them know what you think” | Most importantly: “What did you learn today?”
55: “Companies try to fit everyone into this nice little mold. If you don’t have some renegades around, you’re not going anywhere. We have a few of those.” A TedSpeak shared by Greg Peirce
56: Things I Learned from Ted Stahl by JOSH ELLSWORTH I’ve heard Ted say “entrepreneurial spirit” lots of times. While he’s used it in different contexts, the meaning remains the same; developing, having and keeping an entrepreneurial spirit is important! I always enjoy reading Ted’s predictions. Over the years by making predictions and acting on what he sees he’s become known as a visionary and innovator. Actually, nearly every conversation I have with Ted is about what’s next. From this I’ve learned that if you want to be a part of the future you need to spend time in thought about it, talk about it and do your best to influence it. A couple of funny ones: Never leave a full glass of grappa unattended at a table, even with friends. (FESPA Trade Show in Munich Germany , having after dinner drinks with Ted & Ben Robinson – either could be guilty...maybe they split it?) If you’re getting the wrinkles out of your suit coat in a hotel room by hanging it in the bathroom with the hot shower running, always remember to turn off the shower before you leave for the evening. (Long Beach Trade Show, Hyatt Hotel)
57: ...from this I’ve learned that if you want to be a part of the future you need to spend time in thought about it, talk about it and do your best to influence it.
58: JASON MURPHY Ted released me from my cage, taught me to think outside the box. As Ted once told me “Box? What Box? Jason, there is no box, get the box out of your head, its holding you back!” Ted taught me to listen to the customer, I mean really listen to what they want and how they feel about the market place. | “Box? What Box?” | I Will Never Forget: I had the honor of joining Ted at the NSGA Conference when he was inducted into the National Sporting Goods Association Hall of Fame in 2011.Watching Ted receive that award was the most memorable moment I have had in the decorated apparel industry. I haven't felt more proud to be a part of a such a special team since I was in the Navy. I am truly honored and blessed to be a member of the Stahls’ team and to have Ted as a mentor and a friend! Thank you Ted! Jason | Jan Starr, Jaime Flores, Jason Murphy, Ted Stahl, Dave Wheatley at the NSGA Management Conference 2011 in Tucson, AZ.
59: from ELAINE SABLES SOME HIGHLIGHTS: On Business: 1. Create the Future: Have Vision 2. Follow Through, Make It Happen... ...It Will become Reality 3. Create Demand: Convince Customers They Need Something and Deliver It 4. Be Original: Create new terms using unique nomenclature 5. Seek and Capture Opportunity...before it passes you by! On Life: 1. Family is #1 2. Remember your roots, it builds your character 3. Give Back 4. Work Hard and Play Hard Happy Birthday Wishes from me and a big thank you for the lessons learned! Elaine | “Create the Future: Have Vision”
60: from Thomas Karr When we met, Ted always tried to convince me (us) how important it is to have kids. And now since we have one, he keeps telling me I should stop smoking so I can see my grandkids! | One of Ted's favorite photos, with Thomas Karr and former CFO Roger Bialic in the late 1990's. | Breaking ground on a new building for Stahls' Germany, with Thomas Karr, and Ted's children Daniel, Kari, and Trevor.
61: Ten Things Ted Taught Me by GREG PEIRCE Ted has been my boss, mentor and friend for 14 years. During that time he has given me so much It's difficult to quantify everything he has taught me. Some advice he has given over the years follow: 1. Make no apologies for who you are and what you believe. 2. Strong leaders never apologize, it's a sign of weakness. 3. People, even extremely talented people crave leadership and direction. 4. Be passionate, not emotional. 5. Don't make business decisions based on emotion. 6. Don't do things for recognition, if you're successful, recognition will follow. 7. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. 8. Believe in yourself and everything else will fall into place. 9. One personality trait that is increasingly difficult to find these days is common sense. Please just find me someone with common sense! 10. Give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day, teach a man to fish and he'll eat for a lifetime. I could go on and on since Ted has always selflessly given so much of himself through the years. In all honesty, a large part of who I am today, is due to Ted's mentoring and friendship. Thanks, Greg | FROM CLINT PHILLIPS: "Give staff the ability to think and create and the freedom to make mistakes. You can’t create anything if you’re always worried about making little mistakes." | Greg Peirce, Ted and Clint Phillips celebrate the launch of CADWorxLive at the Sky Room in Long Beach in 2010.
62: PEGGY DWYER Stop “Waiting for Godot” – he would always reference this famous play when you would state that you were waiting for something – just do it! He taught me that customers are the ones that drive your business and should be a part of every business decision you make. I believe this 100% to this day. | JUST DO IT!
63: GREG KITSON Here is my favorite memory of Ted. In the early 1990’s shortly after I first started writing for Printwear & Impressions Magazines I was walking down the aisle at an industry trade show. I heard someone very quietly say “Hello Greg!” behind me and turned to see Ted Stahl standing there. Ted then proceeded to comment in quite a bit of detail about a recent article that I had authored. He very politely pointed out some additional information that he thought would have made the article a better read. He closed our brief meeting by offering to me the ability to ask anything of him or Stahls' in support of our industry. I don’t think I said more than a handful of words at the intersection of those two trade show aisles, but I will remember forever what a real pro Ted Stahl is. I can only aspire to be the true gentleman that he is. My best to all my friends at Stahls', Greg Kitson President Mind’s Eye Graphics, Inc. | I will remember forever what a real pro Ted Stahl is.
64: “Cherish Your Friends” | Ted and Roger Bialic (former CFO of Stahls' who lost his battle with cancer). Without Roger's help in managing finances, acquisitions and working with banks, the company would not be where it is today. He was a dear friend and valued business partner.
65: MARY PRABEL One of the main things I remember that Ted taught me is to: “Make your own decisions.” We don’t always have to ask upper management for permission just let them know what we did and if we fall someone will be there to pick us back up. That’s why we were put in the positions we were because they knew we all had good heads on our shoulders and would make positive decisions to help improve the company. | CHERYL STEWART After 20 years of service at Stahls', Ted has taught me so much without even speaking to me directly. The best I think is: “Believe in yourself! There is always a way to make your vision work.” No matter what it is, you just have to look at it from all direction and one of those directions will always work.
66: “You don’t need a white board if you have a paper plate.” Cheers, Rob Gardiner Stahls’ Canada | CHRIS LUCIDO I learned that a Duesenberg isn’t just a really cool hollow-body bass guitar.” | Have a healthy respect and appreciation for history. You can learn a lot from the past.
67: CYNDI MILLS Ted has taught me many things but these stand out: He would always say “read this” and would hand me a book, magazine article or something related to our industry. Put the customer first! | Richard Genrich Ted and I share a passion for youth sports. We also share the idea of the right way to coach, teach, and mentor children, using sports as a vehicle or conduit to focus on the quality of the experience. “Genuine relationships bear the most fruit for all.” | READ
68: NICK HORVATH Always try to re-invent yourself. The customer signs your paycheck. We are the leaders in the industry largely due to customer service. Thermo-FILM is the #1 selling heat transfer material. Make every customer experience an extraordinary one. | Genie Balabuch The customer always comes first! Always try new ways of doing something, because you don’t know if they will work if you do not try. | JACKIE WOODSIDE Ted has taught me that someone can be amazingly successful and remain the practical person they started out as. | Jackie Woodside of Stahls' ID Direct receives a Cowbell Award for excellence in customer service, presented by Brian McCleod and Jan Starr. May 2012
69: DARCIE TUPPERSTRAUB I think the most important thing Ted has taught me is the importance of placing family over everything else in your life. Customers constantly make references to Ted being rich and powerful, a leader in the industry, etc., but when his mother passed recently, he was just another person, grieving like we all do when we lose someone we love. What I loved was that he wasn’t afraid to let us see that side of him and shared his grief with us and the customers reading his blog. The other thing that I’ve observed from Ted, although I can’t say I’ve really learned it yet, is to believe in your ideas and pursue them vigorously, bravely and without concern about whether other people think they make sense or not. I guess that is what it takes to become a leader in the industry. | ...believe in your ideas and pursue them vigorously, bravely and without concern about whether other people think they make sense or not. | Ricki Stahl pictured in the lobby of Stahls' ID Direct with one of the kick-presses used to cut lettering many years ago.
70: remembered by KARYN STANO “When traveling for business you should plan on things going wrong...” “Be sure to close the car door "before" you go into the building for the work day.” “When you LOVE your job, it's not work...” “You can make something happen.” “Be persistent with your ideas, it will pay-off.” | TED SAID:
71: “Never buy a new boat, there are plenty of good used ones out there...” | and most importantly... | Below, Brian Elliott helps Ted with the restoration of one of two tugboats he chose to bring back to life.
72: Dearest Ted, The effect on those you meet, and have met, has more of an effect than you will will ever know. You are a great man in the full sense of the word and I wish you the warmest regards from my family to yours on this very special day! Yours Sincerely, Martin, Claire, Dominic and Isabelle Borley PS. Ted you recently sent me a book entitled “What would Steve (Jobs) Do?” For many years I have been asking myself “What Would Ted Do?” When you write your memoirs Ted, I’ll be first in the queue! God Bless Regards, Martin
73: MARTIN BORLEY Things Ted Taught Me “Never Give Up” “Have a Healthy Disregard for the Impossible” “Hard Work is the Most Rewarding Thing I Know” | From the heart: I have personally always had a fascination in reading and researching about the life and times of inspiring and successful people. Andrew Carnegie, Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Lincoln, Henry Ford, Winston Churchill and Steve Jobs to name just a few. It always intrigued me since childhood and have wanted to fully understand the mentality and drive, that drove these incredible people to go the extra mile, so that I might some day, in some small way emulate my hero's and inspire others. Though my time spent with Ted over the years has unfortunately been brief for me. His drive, family history, vision and sheer likeability has spurned me on to try harder, and to push myself and the business forward especially at times when my back was against the wall. I have to say that meeting Ted and working along side and for him, within this great family of ours has been an honor and a privilege. This opportunity has given me the chance to work with a new hero within in my lifetime, and for that reason will be forever grateful.
74: From Ciro Visone Ted’s warm way of personal dealing with all customers was what I learned at trade shows attended with him long time ago; also how he was part of our industry, respecting all players, including competitors, even in private conversation, and being deeply respected. And his passion for the Red Wings and Ice Hockey, a sport I was not familiar at all before meeting him. But what I really owe him is what he personally thought me as a real "Detroiter": how to safely drive a “real” car with a hard clutch. Happy Birthday Ted. And many, many more! Ciro Visone
75: Frank Brücker One thing I was told by our "old" team members who know him personally is that when he visited Germany he was fond of the "Kinder Überraschungseier" (chocolate eggs with surprise toys inside)and went to the supermarket near our facility and bought their whole stock of these. The shipping department at Stahls' Germany then had the challenge of shipping the fragile "surprise" chocolate eggs to the US so that he could give these as presents to colleagues! | Ted likes to share simple joys with others. Like the chocolate, prize-filled Kinder Überraschungseier found in Germany.
76: "Tedisms" from JON DEIMEL My favorite is – never burn a bridge – you never know when you will be in contact with that person again. Second one is – we don’t worry about what happened at the bar the night before – as long as you get up and get to work.
77: JAN STARR I savor my relationship with Ted for two very different comments in particular. After every important meeting, trip or trade show he would ask “What did you learn?” It was an inspiration to always get the very most from every occasion. After every dinner, he would ask “Do you think they serve sherbet for dessert here?” It was a reminder to always search for enjoyment in business.
78: Craig Stahl Gail Petrella Kelly Bauser at a trade show in Toronto, Canada in the early 80's. | “Everyone has to know how to take an order.” | It's All About the Customer | Ted works the phones in the mid 80's.
79: FROM CUSTOMER ROSARY McCASKILL (blog comment) Hi Ted, I’m so overwhelmed right now. I was browsing and saw you posted our pic on your (blog)wall! That means so much to me. I actually got teared up because you spoke so well about me. I have printed it out an now you an I will be hanging it on my wall. That was such a lift up for me. I should give myself more credit for my work. Thank you so much again! | “Without the customer, we wouldn't be here. ” | “It's the customers we have to thank. Thank you, thank you, thank you.” | Rosary McCaskill presents Ted with a blinged up towel at the 2011 SGIA show in New Orleans. | Ted meets with a customer who has done business with Stahls' for over 50 years at the SGIA New Orleans.
80: “Enjoy the little moments in life.” | Granddaughter Savannah Moore wishes Bailey could come inside to play. | Grandchildren Noah Stahl, Emmalyn Stahl, William Stahl, Brecken Schive, and Emery Schive keep Mary and Ted hopping, especially on holidays like Easter.
81: “Family is a precious gift. Cherish one another.”
82: “Always stay young at heart.”
83: “Bonfires are always appropriate.” (Even on the ice)