It is with great sadness that the Specialty Advertising Association of Greater New York (SAAGNY) announces the passing of Past President, Hall of Fame Member, and Honorary Life Member, John Pagano. John was a tireless volunteer, industry legend, and a friend to many. Our deepest sympathies to his wife Laura and his daughters.
As his family announced the passing of John Pagano, CAS, the promotional industry took time to pause and remember a friend, a mentor, and a larger than life personality whose presence cannot be replaced.
John began his career after college at Latama Inc., which he left to form JAC Marketing. He will best be remembered as one of the northeast’s most well-known and respected multi-line representatives. His storied career covered many years and many miles, and ultimately lead his enshrinement in the SAAGNY Hall of Fame.
His family has been overwhelmed by the remembrances and words of support and kindness…many tinged with tears and even more with humor. John’s no-filtered approach to speaking his mind might have raised a few eyebrows over the years, but people always knew where they stood with him. When she learned of John’s passing, Eileen Lynch of Bic Graphic said, “May he rest in peace – but he is probably telling God a thing or two”.
Perhaps it was his outspokenness that lent itself to his becoming such a renowned mentor and friend to so many people. Whether you wanted it or not, John was at the ready with constructive criticism and helpfulness. Mike Schenker, now of GCPPA, remembers how, when John was a multi-line rep working with him, he would critique Mike’s presentation, clothes, shoes…all for what Mike believes was his ultimate betterment.
John’s personality might have only matched by his personal style and flair. Ike Haskins, a former industry supplier rep, remembered, “He would always straighten my tie and say, ’Now you're ready…go get’em Ike’. I know there is an angel in heaven straightening his wings saying, ‘Now you're ready…go get’em John’”.
John’s status was never in question. Christine Lovell of ASI said, “John was a rock star in our industry and a person that was loved by everyone. His smile was infectious and he will be missed”. Former industry supplier Rick Friedman remembered, “We traveled together for three to four months a year. I have such vivid memories of those great times. An awful lot of my younger life was spent being schooled and taught by (John)”.
John Pagano will be remembered for his legacy of greatness, warmth, humanity and professionalism. He leaves behind his wife of 25 years, Laura, and his daughters Patty, Francesca and Catherine, as well as their spouses and children, and an entire industry who will remember his grace, style and personality.
Funeral services were held privately. The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.