Bernie Knill, longtime chief editor of this publication, passed away last month after a brief illness. Below are some reminiscences from friends, family and colleagues who worked with him over the years. — Ed.
“I actually started my professional career in trade publishing (with HBJ Publishing, which became Edgell Communications) because of my dad.
“One year, my Dad and my publisher, Ben Miyares, were up for the same Neal award. My Dad won, and I was afraid that, when I got to work the next day, all my stuff would be in a box outside my office! (It wasn't. Bernie and Ben had mutual respect.) One year, my dad won two of the 15 Neal Awards handed out that year.”
— Barbara Rook, daughter
“Bernie was unforgettable. I saw him as a faithful, passionate evangelist for proper material handling. I remember working with him years ago, when I was just starting out in the industry. Bernie was a person who always made you feel important, no matter what.”
— John Nofsinger, CEO, Material Handling Industry of America
“Bernie Knill was a career-long mentor, champion and friend of our industry and mine. Ever the staunch supporter, he rarely missed an AIM meeting or the opportunities it provided for networking with the innovators and entrepreneurs who shaped the AIDC community — and then telling the world about them and us. We'll miss Bernie but will never forget the ever-present twinkle in his eyes, his keen insights or the contributions he made to our industry. We extend our deepest sympathy to his wife Sally and his extended family.”
— John Hill, vice president, TranSystems, and charter member of AIDC 100 (association for automatic identification and data capture)
“Bernie Knill was quiet and reserved but a matter-of-fact person who commanded my respect and all who came in contact with him. Bernie will continue on the roles of the AIDC 100 for his many outstanding contributions, and his presence will be missed by our entire industry.”
— Dick Meyers, chairman emeritus, AIDC 100
“Bernie was more than a writer covering a story. He was a concerned citizen of the material handling community and wanted to make sure that his readers really understood how using the new AID technology could impact the design of entire systems.”
— Rick Bushnell, president, Quad II, and member of AIDC 100
“Bernie Knill played the typewriter like Mozart played a piano. Both composed masterpieces in their heads and were the rock stars of their day. From the 1950s until the turn of the 21st Century, Bernie rocked material handling, raising the seemingly mundane to high relevance for the readers of this magazine.”
— Tom Andel, former chief editor, MHM
“My first impression of Bernie remains as clear today as it was 25-plus years ago. The day he hired me, he said, placing his left hand on his desk, ‘I give you the assignment, here, and you hand it back to me, here,’ placing his right hand about two feet apart. ‘What happens in between, I don't really care about. You just don't miss a deadline.’ I kept that thought in my head every day I walked into the office. And I don't think I ever missed a deadline.”
— Clyde Witt, former chief editor, MHM