Nov. 10, 2013 @ 05:00 AM

THUMBS UP: Remembering Ed Swartz

Lee County lost an industrial giant this week with the death of Ed Swartz, the force behind Static Control Components since its founding more than a quarter century ago.

Swartz was a genius in innumerable ways, but he was also the kind of man for whom a thesaurus is tailor-made. It would take a great number of words, some of them pretty obscure, to adequately describe Ed Swartz to someone who’d never met him.

One of them would certainly be the word “driven,” a trait he possessed which would help be responsible for Static’s amazing growth and influence in the imaging systems market. Swartz’ demand for getting things right, for doing things right, for control, and for perfection was and is one of Static Control’s hallmarks. A statement released by the family this week hinted at that by saying: “Today Static Control manufactures virtually all the components needed to remanufacture a high quality toner or ink cartridge, from the toner to complex electronic circuits. Ed’s vertical integration approach meant that products were designed, engineered and manufactured in-house to ensure the highest quality products for customers around the world. Ed knew the importance of a talented team and early on assembled great talent in many disciplines, from engineering to sales and beyond, in order to continue to advance the cartridge remanufacturing industry.”

Static Control, and Swartz, have been industry giants for a long time. As Static Control grew, it would have been easy for Swartz to pack up and move the company elsewhere, near a population with a larger workforce or into a community with more amenities for the engineers he hired from all over the country and the world. But he stayed loyal to Lee County — and we’re all the better for it.

Swartz, like encounters with him, won’t be forgotten. If you’ve ever been on the wrong end of one of his tongue-lashings — and the list of those is long — it’s something you could never forget. But when Ed was right, he was right. One of our more memorable conversations with him occurred a few years ago, when The Herald approached him about an interview about the state of the U.S. economy, and the impact of the nation’s growing debt, and China’s investment here. Swartz ultimately decided to pull out of taking part in a story because — “What I would have to say would scare people too much,” we remember him saying.

Pure Ed.

We’ll miss him, too.

THUMBS UP: Our veterans

Monday is Veterans Day — a day to remember those who have so honorably served in the military on behalf of our great nation.

Today’s Herald features a special section titled “Heroes,” which honors our veterans and those who currently serve our military. It is our honor to recognize these men and women who have so valiantly served.

To all of our veterans, thank you for your service to your country.

“...It is a proud privilege to be a soldier — a good soldier ... [with] discipline, self-respect, pride in his unit and his country, a high sense of duty and obligation to comrades and to his superiors, and a self confidence born of demonstrated ability.” — George S. Patton Jr.