Fort Lauderdale, FL (July 20, 2008) -- During its 50th annual Convention and Trade Show in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the Photographic Research Organization (PRO) presented to its Founder Edwin London the first ever Lifetime Leadership Award. PRO presented this award in a special surprise ceremony to celebrate London's 50 years of dedicated service to the photo specialty retail channel.
"His unwavering commitment as a founder, president and financial advisor to PRO for five decades has been priceless to us. Today we had the opportunity to thank Ed for his drive, personal sacrifice and endless hours spent for the benefit of others in our industry," said Mike Worswick, president of PRO.
"Ed London was not only a founder of this great retailer organization, he has been a guiding light of PRO and its members and it's a pleasure to have had the chance to honor Ed's 50 years of service in this very special way on PRO's 50th Anniversary."
About Ed London
In 1958, a group of six independent retailers joined together to create PRO with the goal of helping to find ways for member retailers to be more profitable and successful in business. One of those forward-looking retailers was Ed London. London became the second president of PRO in 1962, a position he held for 21 years. At the same time he ran his own chain of seven New York City retail stores called Fotoshop. He served not only PRO but was president of the Photo Marketing Association (PMA) in 1977-1978.
London is known as a brilliant man who investigates, interprets data and makes hard business decisions. His business skills have become well known beyond the photographic industry. In the late 1970s, he became involved with the financial services firm of Gelfand, Rennert & Feldman, LLP where he remains today. London's diplomacy and business skills allow him to provide financial and business management advice to a number of the most important musicians and performers of our time. His honesty, candor and concern for those around him made him successful both in the photo and business management fields.
Even after he sold his own retail stores nearly 30 years ago to pursue his other business interests, he continued to work for PRO as their president as a labor of love. London continued to help PRO because of the deep friendships and unique relationships that he had formed. In 1983, he turned over the presidency of PRO to Utah retailer and PRO member Ron Inkley. Today, London still reviews the financial statements of every PRO member as he sets credit lines in consultation with PRO VP of Finance, Ralph Calderon Jr..
Photographic Research Organization, Inc. (PRO), a national retail cooperative founded in 1958 by six retailers, celebrates 50 years in business this year. Currently, PRO is the largest cooperative buying, marketing and distribution company in the photo specialty channel. It currently has 155 member firms and affiliates operating more than 400 stores throughout the United States.
It is owned and managed by some of America's most innovative independent specialty photo retailers. Known as "imaging experts" in the local markets they serve, member stores offer a full line of traditional and digital photographic cameras, lenses and related equipment and accessories. Additionally, PRO member stores offer on-site film processing and digital imaging services as well as a complete range of supplies designed to enhance the picture-taking experience.
Market driven and quality conscious, PRO creates and distributes a wide array of premium quality photographic equipment and accessories through member retail stores and affiliates under the company's signature PROMASTER brand.