“Ridgeway had just purchased the old Borden chemical pigment plant in Cincinnati, Ohio,” McPartland said. “I interviewed with Dave Klebine, who was sent down from Ridgeway, PA to be the site manager. I remember this like it was yesterday, sitting across the desk from Dave. Dave hired me on the spot. I was the third person hired to work in the Cincinnati facility, and Dave and I are still good friends to this day.”
It proved to be the start of a great career in the ink and pigment industries. Ridgeway was part of Flint Ink’s CDR Pigments subsidiary, and this was the start of McPartland’s long career at Flint Ink.
“I was fortunate enough to work for Flint Ink for 33 years,” he said. “I worked my way from chemical operator to national sales manager. Along the way, I worked 16 years in operations and 16 years in sales. Chemical operator, department supervisor, modulator, QC manager, supply chain manager, plant manager, Midwest regional sales manager for 10 years and a national sales manager for six years.”
When Flint Group exited the pigment industry at the end of 2017, McPartland joined up with Wise Technical Manufacturing as vice president.
“David Wise was a long-time customer and personal friend, and he offered me a great opportunity to join his successful growing business,” said McPartland. “At the time, Wise Technical was serving coatings, agriculture and lubricant markets. Graphic arts was a good fit for our 70,000 square foot manufacturing facility in New Albany, IN.
“This was a full circle moment for me since I called on this facility during my days at Flint Ink,” McPartland added. “The plant was built under Howard Flint’s direction, and at the time was a state-of-the-art publication gravure ink plant commissioned in 1980. In 2008, I informed David that the plant in New Albany was going on the market, which he then purchased in 2009. In 2019, we purchased Ink Production Services (IPS), a UV curable manufacturing facility in Cincinnati, OH.”
Along the way, McPartland has worked with some of the top leaders in the industry.
“I have been very fortunate to work for and under some of the industry icons over the years,” McPartland said. “David Wise, Dave Klebine, Tom Ashe, Ron Gallas, Duke Thompson, Rucker Wickline, Jim Garner, Howard Flint, Tom Rogers, Craig Foster, Ken Horton and my father William McPartland, just to name a few.”
McPartland observed that in his 37 years in the ink industry, he’s seen the landscape change due to the overwhelming impact the internet/digital media has had.
“One of the largest impacted markets was publication gravure,” he added. “The sheetfed ink market has taken a large hit due to inkjet technology. On the upside, packaging inks and energy curable have seen significant growth and will continue to grow into the foreseeable future. This is why our company strategy is to invest in these markets.”
McPartland has numerous interests outside of the industry, with family, cars and motorcycles among his favorites.
“I enjoy spending time with my wife of 40 years, Charlene, my children Bill Jr. and Elisha, and my grandchildren Mia, Alice, and Zoey,” McPartland noted. “I am a car and motorcycle enthusiast. I like muscle cars; I currently have 12 cars and three motorcycles in my collection. I belong to the Good Guys Car Club and National Street Rod Association.
“I’m involved with our local car show, The Pumpkin Run Nationals, which we have raised more than a million dollars for the Shriners Children’s Burns Hospital in Cincinnati,” he added. “I like riding street bikes and dirt bikes. Many don’t know this, but I raced motocross since I was 12 years old and still ride dirt bikes to this day. My wife and I enjoy taking evening rides along the Ohio River on my Harley. I’ve enjoyed watching my son’s baseball career through college and he still plays in an adult baseball league to this day.”
In recent years, McPartland served on the NAPIM Board of Directors. He said that receiving the NAPIM Pioneer Award this past year was the latest highlight of his career to date.
“I am very humbled to be recognized by my peers in winning this award,” McPartland said. “It is nice to be recognized for my many years of dedication and hard work in this industry. My plan is to continue working hard to support, improve, and service the ink industry. I have a deep-rooted commitment to our customers and suppliers for the continuous improvement of our industry.”