Remembering Art Diamond: Scientist, Entrepreneur, Humanitarian, and Master Craps Shooter

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by Charles Brewer, President, Actionable Intelligence

by Charles Brewer, President, Actionable Intelligence

On August 24, Arthur “Art” Diamond passed away at his home in Ojai, CA. He was 85 years old. I knew Art for more than a decade and—both personally and professionally—I’m better off for having known him. He was a kind and generous man as well as an accomplished scientist and successful entrepreneur.  Art taught me a lot about being a successful businessman, but more importantly he taught me how to be a better person and he did that more through deeds than through words. Remembering Art, Dr. Harvey Levenson, professor emeritus of California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, wrote, “The graphic communication industry and the world are better places because of Art Diamond.” I couldn’t agree more.

With a career starting back in 1955, Art was a 61-year industry veteran who worked with both analog and digital imaging technologies. According to his curriculum vitae posted on the Diamond Research Corporation (DRC) website, Art earned a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering from the Polytechnic University of New York in 1951 and a master of science degree in the same field from the University of Rochester in 1958. A post on the Recycling Times website says Art also achieved the rank of sergeant in the U.S. Army and he headed the Scientific and Professional Personnel group at the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland when he was honorably discharged in 1955.

Art Diamond

Art Diamond

A pioneer in reprography, Art was awarded 15 U.S. patents and authored nearly 100 articles, talks, and publications related to imaging materials and processes. He was also the editor of the reference text, Handbook of Imaging MaterialsArt worked at various laboratories, including Kodak Research Laboratories in Rochester, NY. He went on to become chief chemist for the Times Facsimile Division of Litton Industries in New York City, research manager at AM International in Mount Prospect, IL, and chief chemist at Telautograph Corporation in Los Angeles. In 1968 he founded DRC, where he worked continuously on the development, manufacturing, and marketing of imaging materials until the time of his death. Art also established a number of trade shows and industry events, including the Toners and Photoreceptors conference, which began in 1984, and spun the Tiara Group out of DRC in 2001 to manage his events business.

Art Diamond Remembered

Tributes in praise of Art both personally and professionally have been coming in from around the world and across the industry. Hailing him as a “father-like mentor,” a column posted to the website of China’s Recycling Times, where Art served as senior consulting editor until December 2015, credited him with being “instrumental” to the success of Recycling Times magazine. An obituary posted to The Recycler website, the leading news provider to the European remanufacturing industry, recognized Art as being an “integral part of the first industry trade show in Europe in Brussels.” In the United States, Karen Perry, publisher of The Recyclers Network, property of the Asay Media Network, remembered Art on the website as a mentor and said that he will be “missed by many, but never forgotten.”

Ms. Perry is only one in a long list of people who felt Art was their mentor, myself included. In a post on the Recycling Times website, Dan Burmeister, director of sales for Kodak’s extended materials business, also referred to Art as a “mentor” as well as “one of my best friends” and “an industry legend and one of the greatest people I have ever known.” Remembering the gift Art made to California Polytechnic’s Raymond J. Prince Graphic Arts Collection, which included Art’s substantial scientific and technical library, Dr. Levenson observed that he was “an intellectual, a critical thinker, an educator, and a humanist,” and concluded that “Art Diamond was a ‘philosopher of imaging.’”

My association with Art Diamond goes back over a decade. I first met Art in 2005 at the International Imaging Technology Council (ITC) conference and trade show in Miami Beach. At the time, I was working for Lyra Research as an editor of The Hard Copy Supplies Journal and Art was on a panel discussing one of his favorite topics—toner. Our friendship began in earnest the next year when Art invited me to speak at his long-lived Toners and Photoreceptors conference in 2006. The conference brought together technical and marketing executives form both OEMs and third-party supplies organizations and it gave me a deep understanding of electrophotographic imaging. I can still remember my hand cramping up as I tried to scribble down the seemingly endless stream of information the speakers shared.

After that 2006 event, Art invited me to participate in a number of conferences hosted by the Tiara Group. Along with his longtime Tiara Group partner and close friend Terry Gorka, Art invited me to speak in China as well as at a number of Tiara Group events across the United States. He also became my “go-to guy” when I needed insights into various consumables, including inks, toners, or finished cartridges. When I decided to leave Lyra Research in 2008, Art supported me as I established Actionable Intelligence and continued to invite me to participate in his events. He was always there with valuable advice. He once told me in passing that the best thing about being self-employed is that one could work exclusively with people that one likes, and that has stuck with me. Of course, Art could say that because Art liked so many people.

Any remembrance of Mr. Diamond would be remiss without mentioning his fondness for shooting craps at The Rio in Las Vegas. I can’t count the number of times he told me, “Yeah, I’m a player at The Rio.” As much as the imaging industry will miss Art, I think it’s safe to say the staff at The Rio may miss him even more. I met with him at various eateries within the facility and virtually everyone there knew Art. When I spoke with him for the last time earlier this summer, Art concluded the conversation by saying he was feeling a bit weak but as soon as he got his strength back, he’d be heading to Las Vegas. Naturally, I took that to mean The Rio.

Several years ago, Art was honored by California Polytechnic with the establishment of the Art Diamond Cal Poly Endowment, which allows contributions to support education to be made in Art’s name. He was thrilled. The Art Diamond Tiara Group/Cal Poly GrCI Endowment Supporting Research, Education and Training in Toner, Photoreceptor, and Inkjet Technology was established to grant scholarships to certain California Polytechnic students and to support further research into testing, product evaluations, and related services in the areas of toners, photoreceptors, and inkjet. The link below provides more details.

Rest in peace, Art.

Click here for more on the Art Diamond Tiara Group/Cal Poly GrCI Endowment.

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