A colorful career celebrated

Bob Trinklein, center, color line manager, stands with other Colortech employees and management Friday to celebrate his retirement after 10 years with the company. From left to right, Adam Rankin, Beth McGhee-Folsom, Trinklein and Colortech President Alex Rom-Rosinski.

It’s the end of one chapter – and the beginning of a new one.

After a decade as the color lab manager for Colortech, Bob Trinklein celebrated his final day on the job with a few of his friends, a cake, an aerial photo of his lab, a plaque celebrating his accomplishments – and tributes from his Colortech family.

“Bob’s been a mentor to this community and this company,” said Rhonda Bailey, human resources manager. “We’re going to miss you and the impact you made on our lives.”

“I have so many co-workers in this room, and I’m going to miss you all,” Trinklein said. “You made me feel valued.

“Thank you all.”

Day after day, Trinklein’s lab made colors for commercial products, color matching and using pigments for creating unique formulas for those products. During his time with Colortech, Trinklein’s lab created the yellow color for French’s Mustard as well as the brown bottle for Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup. His lab also created colors for McDonald’s straws, and he spent six months in Singapore sharing his craft.

“It takes five years to get good at this, and another 15 to get really good at it,” Trinklein said. “I have a person in my lab whose been doing this for 25 years.”

“He’s had the opportunity to touch people all around the world,” Colortech president Alex Rom-Rosinski said. “Our entire industry is better for having him.”

While his career has seen several victories, there have also been setbacks. Through it all Trinklein has persevered to finish a fulfilling journey.

“I was let go by my former employer because of the economic crisis of 2008,” he said. “I didn’t know where I was going next.”

When he considered Trinklein for the color lab manager position, Rom-Rosinski was surprised by what he had in front of him.

“Everyone can buy a building and equipment, but you have the right person,” he said. “(Trinklein) has a unique skill set, and he’s a great person.

“We were very fortunate to be able to get someone like him at that time.”

A family tragedy caused Trinklein to think about what his next step in life should be.

“My wife Rose passed away about three years ago,” he said. “It had me thinking about the future.”

From there, he knew the time had come to enjoy life to the fullest with his children, grandchildren and a new love.

“It just got to the point I’m healthy and happy, and I have the funds to keep going,” Trinklein said. “I’m in a good place now.”

Though he is ending a 40-year career in the color industry, Trinklein is doing anything but staying home. He’s taking his electric bass to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland for a performance in September, and he’ll be performing in Community Theater with Encore and the Theater Guild.

“That means I like drama,” Trinklein said.