Dealerscope Hall of Fame - Don Patrican
When John Gitelman recalls his first encounter with Donald Patrican, it's his demeanor and sport of choice that come to mind. It was while Gitelman was on a job interview with instant camera giant Polaroid that the two first met.
"I was interviewing with someone who worked for him ... and in comes this really tall guy with dark eyes," said Gitelman, then trying out for the position of associate product manager. "He threw the (basket)ball at me and I spun it on my finger. ... His exact words to me were 'you look developable.'"
And despite the Polaroid-ish pun, that's what Gitelman turned out to be. Now, with the company's annual sales of more than $2.1 billion in 1997, Polaroid is considered among the worldwide leaders in its niche, instant photographic materials, but also blank media/video tape, a subject near and dear to the pair's heart. Together, Gitelman and Patrican spearheaded Polaroid's efforts toward blank media back in the 80s, winning prime marketshare in a growing and competitive industry in a company accustomed to only one playing field.