The International Photographic Council (IPC), a non-governmental organization of the United Nations, bestowed its highest honor—the annual Hall of Fame Award—upon Fred H. Lerner, Co-founder, President, CEO, and Director of Ritz Interactive, Inc. The award honors legendary contributors to the photographic industry. Advertising and marketing executives, manufacturers, dealers, distributors and industry press gathered in February at the United Nations in New York City for the awards presentation.
Fellow Hall of Fame honoree Ted McGrath, President and CEO of T.M. Associates, introduced Lerner. “Fred is a legend in his own time and would have been successful in any endeavor. To my dear friend Fred Lerner, who has dedicated himself to the worlds of peace and photography, it is my pleasure to induct this great man into the International Photographic Council,” said McGrath.
Lerner started his career at Berkey Photo in New York and went on to work at Berkey Photo locations in Virginia and California, where he currently resides. In 1977, he founded Lerner Photo, specializing in photofinishing for camera stores, and co-founded Rabbit Photo, Metro Photo, and digitalMAX in Australia.
When the Qualex division of the Eastman Kodak Company acquired Lerner Photo in 1992, Lerner stayed on as President and CEO of Kodak Processing for seven years. Recognizing the potential of the Internet, he co-founded Ritz Interactive with his long-time friend, David Ritz. Ritz Interactive operates RitzCamera.com, WolfCamera.com, CameraWorld.com, PhotoAlley.com, BoatersWorld.com, FishingOnly.com, eAngler.com, Greg Norman’s ShopAtShark.com, and other award-winning online-shopping sites.
Lerner is Past President of the Photo Marketing Association (PMA) and now serves on its Board of Directors. He is also a Board member of the International Photographic Council and serves on the Rochester Institute of Technology McGhee Chair Advisory Committee.