Services for Teletech’s Jeffrey Huffer Nov. 1

Jeffrey Huffer, Teletech Video president/owner for the past 21 years, who was known as much for his flamboyant shirts as he for his even, calm demeanor, died Oct. 26 in his home after a lengthy battle with liver disease.

Mr. Huffer, 58, had been on a liver transplant list for some time when he succumbed to complications, said Chris DeWinter, Teletech’s development director.

“While Jeff didn’t have a lot to do with running the day-to-day operations as his illness progressed, he had a strong management team in place and continued guiding them. His presence will be missed,” DeWinter said.

Mr. Huffer had been ill for 20 years with liver ailments and for the past eight to ten years he had been on a heavy medication regimen, noted his son, Michael, Teletech’s motion graphic artist, who is now the third generation of Huffers to own and operate the company.

Back in the 1970s, Mr. Huffer’s late mother, Lois, had been a vice president of EVS, a film duplication and distribution company. When Lois Huffer was enticed to leave EVS and establish a duplication and distribution division for Telemation, a major full-service company in Glenview, Jeff Huffer went with her.

From 1982 to 1989, the mother-and-son team built Telemation’s D&D division into a formidable competitor among the some 15 area companies in the back end of the business. When Telemation was acquired by an investor who sold its various divisions piece-by-piece, the Huffers bought the D&D division.

In 1989, they opened Teletech on the ground floor at 540 N. Lake Shore Drive, a building familiar to Mr. Huffer who had attended classes there when it was owned by Columbia College. Over the years, Teletech expanded its space several times and now also occupies offices on the second floor.

Teletech transitioned in tempo with the changing technology and five years ago, keeping standard and HD duplication as its core business, but adding a thriving creative content division. It’s headed by Chris Palese, also a second-generation film careerist, whose family similarly was in the film processing business as Cinema Video back in the day. The company currently employs 13.

Mike Sordill, VP/broadcast traffic, has worked for the Huffers since 1975 called Mr. Huffer “a true and reliable friend.” They had known each other for 43 years, since they were college students, at Northwestern and Columbia College respectively.

Sordill said he’ll also remember him “for his eclectic custom cut shirts and lately for his taking to wearing hats. Jeff was like his mother in that he liked to be fashionably dressed.”

Surviving Mr. Huffer are his children, Mike Huffer and Melissa Huffer, a recent University of Missouri graduate, their mother, Kim, and a sister, Martha.

Visitation and services will be held Monday, Nov. 1 at Dunnellon Funeral Home, 10045 Skokie Blvd., phone 847/675-1990.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to the Walter Payton Liver Center, care of the University of Illinois Medical Center, 1740 W. Taylor St., 7th Floor West, Chicago 60612.