Imaging Industry Icon David R. Metz Retires

Imaging Industry Icon David R. Metz Retires

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Dave Metz (right) receives NPPA’s Joseph A. Sprague Award with Joe Elbert, Washington Post

Woodbury, NY—Dave Metz has been a singular figure in the imaging industry for more than 40 years. He has been widely acclaimed for his impressive technical expertise, his incisive marketing acumen and his uncommon skills as a communicator.

Metz’s reputation as a brilliant innovator, a superb manager and a guy who gets things done is near legendary. And to say that he is a people person is an understatement. He’s always been warm, friendly, outgoing and approachable. But his signature understated humor, innate sense of empathy and unfailing compassion for others are what really sets him apart.

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Dave Metz with General Tommy Franks at White House Press Photographers dinner

Dave Metz first joined Canon back in 1977 as a technical representative in the Chicago branch, but his photographic roots go much deeper. In his student days, he was staff newspaper and yearbook photographer at Hobart High School in Hobart, Indiana. Starting in 1964, he also worked part time at Gary Camera in Gary, Indiana. There he did darkroom work for a number of local studios.

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Dave Metz in high school, 1964, in Hobart Indiana

In 1976, after earning a bachelor and master degrees from Purdue University, he did postgraduate work in photography at Valparaiso University. In 1981, Metz was promoted to national technical manager for Canon and was transferred to the New York headquarters. From 1981–2006 he received regular promotions at Canon as his responsibilities increased. He was eventually named director and assistant general manager for Professional Products

His major achievements at Canon include the following: he was the founder of Canon Professional Services; he developed Canon’s technical representative program; he supervised the development of the Canon Explorers of Light; and he directed Canon’s support of special events, including the Olympic Games and the NFL Super Bowls.

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Metz working the Canon service center at the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics. Also shown are Bill Wuest, Canon National Technical Manager, and Canon tech reps Bill Kendall and Tom Sweeny.

On the technical side, Metz contributed to the development and launch of the Canon EOS 1 system in 1991 and subsequently the DCS 1, DCS 3 and follow-on DSLRs.

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Metz demonstrating the Canon EOS 1 system to the staff at the New York Times.

In 2003, Metz received the prestigious Joseph A. Sprague Memorial Award from the National Press Photographers Association for his lifetime support of the photojournalism industry. In 2005 he was one of only 12 recipients of Canon’s President’s Award, bestowed by Canon’s CEO Fujio Mitarai for excellence in marketing and promotion of Canon cameras in the professional marketplace. In addition, he received the National Award from the Professional Photographers of America for meritorious contributions in 2007.

After leaving Canon in 2007, Metz founded Dave Metz Consulting LLC. Four years later, he signed on with Sigma Corporation of America as director of Market Support Operations. While there, he was instrumental in solidifying Sigma’s position as a world-class photo-optical company. He introduced a technical representative program, the Sigma Pros professional endorsement program, and managed Sigma trade show participation nationwide. Metz also contributed to the U.S. launch of the Sigma Global Vision lens series.

Metz Looks Back

We asked Dave Metz to look back on his long, illustrious career and relate what gave him the most personal satisfaction. “Having had the opportunity to work with some of the world’s greatest photographers, from household names too numerous to mention to hundreds of others grinding away at daily newspapers and working at hometown wedding and portrait studios across the country,” he said.

“For a boy from a small town with very limited horizons, all these photographers helped me to expand my vision and to understand the role of photography in our culture.

“Finally, the great experiences I’ve had with nearly 100 tech reps at Canon and Sigma, virtually all of whom have been dedicated workers, highly skilled photographers and great teachers.”

It is that humility, gratitude as well as wisdom that defines Dave Metz. We wish him all the best as he rediscovers his first passion, taking pictures.

Dave Metz can be reached at dmetz@optonline.net.

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