James E. Hammer to Accept 2008 Vanden Brul Award, April 23

RIT’s E. Philip Saunders College of Business honors Hammer Packaging entrepreneur

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James E. Hammer, president and CEO of Hammer Packaging Corp., has been recognized by Rochester Institute of Technology for his business success in the Rochester community. The E. Philip Saunders College of Business at RIT has named Hammer as recipient of the 2008 Herbert W. Vanden Brul Entrepreneurial Award. He will be honored during a noon luncheon on Wednesday, April 23, at Oak Hill Country Club, 346 Kilbourn Road.

RIT’s Vanden Brul Award annually goes to a successful individual who developed a business that improved the Rochester economy or whose innovative management skills have changed the course of an existing business. Past recipients include Richard Kaplan, president and CEO of Pictometry International, Arunas Chesonis, chairman and CEO of PAETEC Corp., Philip Saunders, chairman of Genesee Regional Bank and CEO of Griffith Energy Inc.

“I was very honored to be considered for the award,” says Hammer, who is carrying on the printing tradition his great-grandfather founded in 1912. “But as a commercial printer we’ve come a long way since seed packages.

“We’ve continued to invest in state-of-the-art technology,” says Hammer, who joined the company in 1969, and led it for the past 25 years. “Last year, Hammer Packaging installed the first Web Offset Press in North America for shrink-sleeve labels—the kind you find on bottles of water—which fit snugly around for a 360 degree review of the product.”

Saunders College of Business Dean Ashok Rao says, “Jim Hammer is an unusually creative and innovative individual. He has survived and prospered in a very tough business environment by identifying niche opportunities, taking calculated investment risks and growing new ventures in those niches.

“He has stayed in Rochester in large part because of his connections to RIT. We look forward to continuing our mutually beneficial relationship.”

Hammer agrees he is no stranger to RIT. “We work closely with RIT’s co-op program, especially students from the School of Print Media, and have quite a few RIT alumni working in our manufacturing plant, which also is located on a parcel of land we purchased from RIT. So you can say we have an ongoing connection.”

To attend the Vanden Brul award luncheon, contact Donna Slavin at (585) 475-2199 or dslavin @cob.rit.edu.