Robert “Bob” Finn, former owner of Cincinnati-based supplier Finn Graphics (PPAI 113736, S5), passed away on March 21. He was 84.

A veteran of the promotional products industry, Finn joined his brother Chuck in purchasing the
family business Finn Graphics, Inc., shortly after some college and job pursuits. The company was founded by their father, John Finn, in 1940. The company is led today by Finn’s son Brian.

“My father was a big part of the promotional products industry and always felt strongly about contributing to the core beliefs of PPAI through our partnership,” Brian says. “He mentored and kept in touch with many employees and people from the industry. Bob believed that there were no customers, vendors or competitors, only relationships and friends to hold or to make. He was always fair, honest and able to make people laugh. Bob was able to take the edge out of a room or awkward situations by throwing a quip or joke and then to follow it up with a solution or idea for the project at hand. He cared about his employees, as well as his customers getting a fair shake.”

Bob Finn’s time in the industry includes working with Brunswick to adhere a Budweiser label to a bowling ball for a commercial, with Saudi Arabia Air on plane decals, and even working with the Cincinnati Bengals to get the stripe design to work on the helmets.Finn Graphics is also a long-time member of PPAI and Finn’s history with the Association extendedback to when its big show—what has now grown into The PPAI Expo in Las Vegas each year—was a room show held in Chicago hotels. Finn also served on the PPAI Board.

Those in the industry who knew Finn shared their memories:

“He was always the most engaging, gregarious and funniest person at the event but also took time to speak thoughtfully about business in the industry.”—S.D., The Allen Company

“Bob loved to tell his story, even if you’ve heard it before, he frequently related a current situation to how his experience brought him to the point of the conversation and as a supplier partner, always wove that into the recommended solution. His ability to solve problems and craft an amazing solution for literally every challenge. What I am going to miss most is his ‘Bob-isms,’ every conversation would have a ‘so on and so forth’ or ‘alrighty row’ in there somewhere.”—M.E., Shumsky

“After nearly eight years as an employee at Finn company, I resigned to go into my own business. I mentioned to Bob that I bought a large format offset press to allow us to go after some higher end commercial work, but getting that work was a challenge. Bob began sending work to my new company and really gave me the help I needed in those early days.”—G.E.,Kaeser& Blair

Finn is remembered as a great storyteller because of the experiences he lived and the friends and connections he made throughout those journeys. Outside the office, he loved playing golf and softball, coaching his kids in baseball and soccer, spending time with his friends, five o’clock cocktails and telling jokes.

Finn is survived by his wife Mary;his children: Erin, Patricia Thornton and her husband Steven, Brian and his wife Rebecca, Kevin and his wife Leslie; grandsons Jacob, Zachary, Andrew and Bode; and his brother Charles and sister Virginia.

In lieu of flowers the family ask donations be made to Elder High School in Cincinnati, or a charity of your choice.