Mrs. Love was the widow of the founder of Printpack, J. Erskine Love Jr. They married in 1954, two years before Printpack was founded in 1956.
“Our mom’s passing marks a milestone in the history of our company, as she was a founding partner with our dad when Printpack started in 1956. Much of the initial investment in the company came from a small dowry from her father, so to say that Printpack is deeply indebted to Gay Love for our success over the last sixty-plus years is an understatement,” says current Chairman and CEO, Jimmy Love.
Gay Love was highly engaged with her husband in developing relationships with some of Printpack’s earliest customers, helping establish Printpack’s reputation as one of the clear leaders in the flexible packaging industry.
“Printpack absorbed a major shock when Erskine Love passed away suddenly of a heart attack in February of 1987, but no one was more committed to our mission and confident in our success and future as a family owned business than she was,” stated Jimmy Love.
She assumed the role of Chairman of the Board, with her eldest son Dennis Love becoming CEO, and served for over 18 years before retiring to become Chairman Emeritus in 2005.
Printpack has thrived and prospered over the 33 years since Erskine Love’s passing, from annual sales of less than $200 million in 1987 to approximately $1.3 billion today.
“More important than our size, though, is the philosophy on which our business was founded. Our focus on people, our core values and principles, and the way we think about our family business today, are all based directly on the personal values that our parents shared, practiced, and demonstrated throughout their lives, which remain firmly embedded in Printpack today,” says Jimmy Love.
Philanthropy was a guiding principle of Mrs. Love, and she was actively involved in a wide range of community and charitable organizations, numerous of which the Love family continues to support today through Printpack and the Gay and Erskine Love Foundation. For her wide-ranging and long-term impact on the Atlanta community, she was recognized as “Philanthropist of the Year” by the Atlanta Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals in 2002.
Summarized by Jimmy Love, “Most importantly, our mother, Gay Love, was an active, engaging, and loving mother of six, grandmother of twenty-one, and great-grandmother of seven (and counting), who was fondly known to both family and friends as ‘Gayma.’ She loved traveling the world, but with her expansive family, her weekly calendar was filled for much of the last four decades attending swim meets, tennis matches, soccer, baseball, and lacrosse games, concerts, plays, graduations, weddings, baptisms, and birthday parties, and she rarely missed anything.”
Printpack recognizes with gratitude the contributions of Gay Love, truly the “Mother of Printpack,” for her full, inspiring, and well-lived life.