Friday, January 25, 2008
HENRY FROEHLICH, 1922 ~ 2008
He was subsequently elected to membership in the Pioneer Club in Japan, an honor bestowed on a few leading Japanese Camera Industry leaders and only 10 foreigners.
He merged Konica Camera Company with Berkey Photo in 1962 which then also marketed other Japanese photographic products. He went on to become President of Berkey Photo, a position he held until 1982.
As his next business venture, he founded the Froehlich FotoVideo Corporation. There he pioneered the concept of film-to-tape transfer, and developed unitized equipment systems which could perform this service within the retail environment of camera stores and minilabs.
In 1987, when the exclusive distribution rights for Mamiya Medium Format cameras and Toyo Large Format cameras became available he formed a partnership with Paul Klingenstein and Jan Lederman to establish a new company called Mamiya America Corporation (MAC). Within the next few years they made these products the market leaders in their respective fields.
At its 1988 convention, PMAI (Photo Marketing Association International) presented Henry Froehlich with its Distinguished Service Award.
His interest in photography was not only business, but was on a deeply personal level as well. He formed many long-term relationships with retailers, photographers and other industry members, some of who became close personal friends. From its inception, he was an advocate of The International Center of Photography because he believed it its principles. He became involved in their activities and was a member of its President's Council.
As the years went by, the name of the MAC company was modified to MAC Group, and more lines were added to its product offering, such as Prototo, Leaf, Sekonic, PocketWizard, X-Rite, Eizo, Pantone, Multicart, Tenba, and Induro. In each case, Froehlich assisted these brands in improving their market position.
Froehlich's vision never wavered: “Our mission is to supply professional photographers and educational community with the tools they need to create an image”. That, and his credo to “Under promise, and over deliver” serves, to this day as a model for his associates to follow.
In 2006 Froehlich retired as Chairman of the Board of the MAC Group.
He will be remembered for his philanthropic efforts on behalf of numerous organizations including The Blue Card, whose purpose is to provide financial assistance to needy Holocaust survivors, as well as award winning Theater by the Blind.
He is predeceased by his brothers Albert and Max.
He is survived by Marian Froehlich, his wife of 57 years, his son Peter Froehlich, daughter Carol Froehlich-Hull, grandchildren Lindsey, Max and Sarah, and great granddaughter Alexandra.
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