In Memoriam: Ivan L. Weinstock, 1930-2006

He was a friend to many, a mentor, and a member of our family.

Ivan L. Weinstock, consultant to the publisher of Occupational Health & Safety and a leader in the publishing sector of the safety industry for more than 40 years, died Dec. 12, 2006, in Cleveland, Ohio. Services were held Dec. 15 at Berkowitz-Kumin Bookatz Memorial Chapel in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.

Weinstock formerly was publisher of Penton Publishing Co.'s Occupational Hazards magazine. Among many professional honors he received, he was the first Honorary Member inducted into the National Industrial Glove Distributors Association's--now the International Glove Association's--Hall of Fame, in 1991, and was inducted into the American Advertising Federation Fifth District's Hall of Fame in 2002.

"I was with him in September [2006] at The Motivation Show in Chicago. Every person who ever met Ivan always remembered him. They did. And he remembered them. He had the best memory," said Publisher Susan Stilwill, who noted she and Weinstock joined Occupational Health & Safety during the same week in May 1998. "In his first year with OH&S, Ivan and the team drove the magazine into the number one book in the marketplace in market share and pages, where it has remained for more than eight years.

"He was great with ideas," she added. "He had more energy than anyone I've ever met and just could run us ragged. He's the person who came up with the idea of the Safety Marketing Group and Safety Equipment Distributors Association special sections and developed the incentive business for us, including a special section with the Incentive Gift Card Council. And this year, for the first time, we'll be working with the International Glove Association in February; he's their hall of famer. And the AAOHN Show Guide, which we're working on for April.

"He was one of a kind," Stilwill said. "When you asked him for his ideas on something, he'd write you five pages of ideas.

"Ivan was a friend to many, a mentor, and finally a member of our family. His positive attitude and laughter were contagious. Ivan never forgot a name or person, and no one will ever forget Ivan. His spirit touched and will live on in so many of us."

"He was a tireless advocate for safety and health, and a friend to many people in the safety business," Dan Shipp, president of International Safety Equipment Association, said in a message to members.

"Ivan was always a very smart and warm and engaging person who was certainly a friend to the incentive market, as well as the safety market," said Karen Renk, executive director of the Incentive Marketing Association. She said he gained the incentive industry's trust by working diligently for the benefit of all concerned. "Whenever he would approach me with an idea, it was always, 'Karen, do you think this would be beneficial to your people?' That was a really refreshing way to do business," she said.

George Hayward, a good friend who is president of United Sales Associates in Cincinnati, said Weinstock was "a tremendous giant, I think, not only professionally but as a person. He walked with that surrounding him. He didn't look like a giant, but he was one." Hayward recalled how Weinstock had stepped forward before anyone else to help SEMAA, the Safety Equipment Manufacturers' Agents Association, succeed in its early days, and how he'd volunteered wholeheartedly, contributing speeches, articles, and one-on-one advocacy on SEMAA's behalf.

Once, during a NIGDA conference, the keynote speaker suffered a broken leg on the eve of his two-hour speech and couldn't attend. The association's leaders were stumped for a stand-in. Hayward suggested they ask for help from Weinstock, who was already present at the conference, and he agreed. "I've had several people [recall the speech] since I sent out an e-mail on Ivan's passing," Hayward said. "He had no notes. It may not have been two hours, but it may have been. It was not self-serving. I remember how saved we were and that it was one of the best speeches or talks we ever had."

The Weinstocks, Ivan and Sheila, would light up the room at every meeting they attended, Hayward said. He said Weinstock respected his competitors and was "a specialist as a generalist" who knew the history of every company in the business and cared about the lives and circumstances of everyone he encountered. Those qualities made him a peerless salesman.

"If you were in competition with Ivan, you might as well forget it," Hayward said. "There's an example of one relationship that you couldn't beat."

Weinstock had begun his career as a production manager/associate editor for Industrial Publishing Company in 1955. The company later merged with Penton Publishing. He was named publisher of Occupational Hazards in 1963 and publisher of Government Product News in 1970. In 1984, he added the same title for Foundry Management and Technology. In 1989, Weinstock was promoted to Group Vice President of the Service Industry Group at Penton, with responsibility for Contracting Business, The Foodservice Distributor, Government Product News, Heating/Piping/Air Conditioning, Lodging Hospitality, Managing Office Technology, Occupational Hazards, Restaurant Hospitality, and School & College. He became president of that group in January 1991.

Weinstock was a member many business organizations, including Sales & Marketing Executives (former president); Business/Professional Advertising Association; Cleveland Advertising Association (former Board Member and President); and the National Fire Protection Association. He received ISEA's Distinguished Service Award in November 1990 and was appointed to the board of directors of the Safety Equipment Institute in December 1991. He is an Honorary Lifetime Member of SEMAA and, in 1997, was the third person to be named an Honorary Member of the Safety Equipment Distributors Association. He served on the past presidents' council of the Cleveland Advertising Association.

His wife, Sheila, resides in Shaker Heights, Ohio. They have three children, Elizabeth, Lee, and Matthew, and two grandchildren, Frank and Lillian. Weinstock was a graduate of Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, and served in the U.S. Air Force with the rank of first lieutenant.

This memorial appeared in the January 2007 issue of Occupational Health & Safety.

This article originally appeared in the January 2007 issue of Occupational Health & Safety.

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