A brief history of The Cannata Report Awards
In 1985 we decided to conduct a dealer survey because there was no major effort in the industry to build any kind of content to track how dealers were performing. The focus was on the copier and fax manufacturers and dealers were thought of as wearing white socks and gold chains.
We sent out questionnaires in February 1986 addressing 1985 performance and announced the awards ceremony was to be held at a breakfast at the July 1986 NOMDA Convention in New Orleans.
We wanted to explore revenue, measure dealers’ attitudes towards the manufacturers they represented, and the business areas they were involved with. Many had their roots in typewriters and calculators as well as stationery and office furniture.
We sent a questionnaire to our subscribers, of which there were approximately 250, and 36% responded. Respondents averaged 18.4 years in business, had a sales volume of $6.9 million, and employed 25 sales reps and 33 techs. In our most recent Survey, the average revenue was $16.3 million. The manufacturers represented in that first Survey were:
We asked if their copier manufacturers provided good communication and 34.2% responded none. Do you get the idea? When it got down to the question of manufacturer of the year, 23.7% responded “none.”
We presented four awards and the winners were:
- Overall Manufacturing Excellence – Canon U.S.A., Inc.
- Copier Manufacturer of the Year – Mita Copystar
- Typewriter Manufacturer of the Year – Panasonic
- Facsimile Manufacturer of the Year – Ricoh
We continued to conduct our Awards Breakfast at the NOMDA shows until 1998, when it became apparent that those days of great crowds and huge events were gone. In 1998, Carol and I decided to host an awards dinner at the Parker Meridian in New York City. We honored Sam Kusumoto, president and founder of Minolta in the U.S. with our first Lifetime Achievement Award.
In 1999, we moved to the Marriott Marquis and added a charity to the awards dinner. The first was Child Help USA, an organization that takes care of battered women and children and does an outstanding job. In 2002, we presented our second Lifetime Achievement Award to Paul Shields of Copytronix in Jacksonville, Florida. He had contracted ALS and could not make it, but his son Bob accepted on his behalf.
The cost of doing this event in New York City was increasingly expensive, and thanks to advice from a friend, we moved our 2007 awards dinner to Nanina’s in the Park in Nutley, New Jersey. That move cut our costs in half, and we had a much better atmosphere and environment to conduct The Cannata Dinner.
In 2010, Lou Scantland reached out to us and asked if we could raise money for an endowment in Chester Carlson’s (the inventor of the electrophotographic process, renamed xerography, that is used in copiers) name at the California Institute of Technology (Cal Tech). This was the university that Carlson attended. Lou asked if I could make the arrangements, and he would help raise the money. We had to raise $150,000, and Cal Tech would match it. We ended up short, and Lou more than made up the difference. He did not want any recognition for this, and to me that puts him in a special class of people who do things because it is the right thing to do.
We honored Ed McLaughlin with our third Lifetime Achievement Award at our 2011 dinner. He had just stepped down as president of Sharp. I asked Rick Bastinelli of Centric in Owings Mills, MD, to head a committee of Sharp dealers and come up with a suitable gift for Ed. The committee raised $10,000 (just among themselves), and with Carol’s help, gave him a wonderful gift of a Cartier watch.
In 2013, Haruo Murase of Canon received our fourth Lifetime Achievement Award and CJ joined our company later in the year. In 2014 CJ began making over what was an Awards & Charities Dinner into a premier event. Carol and I are indeed proud of what our son accomplished and continues to do.
The high spot for me was last year at our 34th Annual Awards & Charities Dinner. CJ invited sons and daughters of dealers to present our awards. It was a huge success. Each year Carol goes one step closer to perfection. Adding a Women’s Influencers Brunch on the day following the awards five years ago and an after party three years ago is all icing on the cake.
While this year, there is sadness because of the pandemic, and our event was virtual, it was still a fun night.
Winners of Multiple Executive of the Year Awards
Rick Taylor – 11
Brian Merriman – 6
Laura Blackmer – 6
Bob Magrino – 2
Mike Stramaglio – 2
Mike Marusic – 2
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