2004 HALL OF FAME Peter McLean — Industry Finds McLean

While working toward his business degree at Pace University in Pleasantville, NY, McLean lands a job with 3M. After nearly four years of night school, he opts to work full-time.

In the process, McLean forges a number of close industry ties, including Diane Romano, president of AGT-Seven. Romano soon found McLean to be a little off center, in a good way, and 25 years later she still holds him in high regard.

“Peter is a jokester,” she says. “In the middle of a serious conversation, he will say something totally outrageous and disarming that totally catches you off guard. It took me about a year to not let him catch me. Now he can say outrageous and totally disarming things, and I make believe like I didn’t hear it. I’ve been in the industry a very long time, and Peter just happens to be one of my favorite people.”

In 30 years with 3M, McLean operated in divisions that were all related to the graphic arts industry—printing products, industrial graphics, duplicating products and visual products.

Upon joining Continental Web, McLean noticed a different hierarchy structure than the one he had left at the industry supplier. Instead of dealing with layers of management with a corporate giant like 3M, McLean found the decision-making process to be shorter and the response time for accomplishing tasks equally quicker with the Illinois printer.

Jack of All Trades

In dealing directly with the owner, McLean finds himself donning many hats. “This has enabled me to become a far better businessman, a far better manager, and probably a far better coach and cheerleader than I was in the past,” he notes. “Because I work for the owners, I tend to bring a lot more passion to the job than I did when I worked for a company that had less of a personality and maybe less of a face.”

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