2006 PRINTING INDUSTRY HALL OF FAME — A HOUSEHOLD NAMEOctober 2006
A few years back, Williamson and another member of his company were on the road in New York City, eating at a “foo-foo” Vietnamese restaurant. Sitting at an adjacent table were a pair of strikingly beautiful women and a man whom Williamson assumed (based on his attire) was an airplane pilot. The two tables started chatting, inquiring as to their respective vocations, and Williamson learned the women were world-class fashion models.
Gesturing toward the man sitting with the women, Williamson asked which airline the man flew for, causing the ladies to laugh heartily.
“Don’t you know who Ralph Lauren is?” one of the women asked, outing the world-renowned clothing designer.
“Sorry Ralph,” a sheepish Williamson replied. “You don’t make big boy clothes.”
Williamson may be a good ol’ Texas boy, but he’s a big boy no longer, having shed more than 150 pounds since April of 2005. And his company is as lean and mean as ever, becoming a poster child for the anti-commoditization movement and a force nationally as a leading general commercial printer, with annual sales eclipsing $85 million.
While there may be less of Williamson to love, so to speak, his deft guidance has provided a lot to like about the man and his company. Thus, it is only appropriate that Williamson’s ticket as a 2006 PRINTING IMPRESSIONS/RIT Printing Industry Hall of Fame inductee be punched.
Jesse is part of the one-two managerial punch at Williamson Printing, working alongside brother and CEO Jerry. The company boasts 70 percent of its business as coming from national accounts, and its technical proficiencies have produced several patents for printing processes that have been integrated by several major manufacturers.
A leading figure for the Printing Industries of America and Web Offset Association, Jesse Williamson is a household name in the industry. Yet, he is at once humble and self-deprecating, a man who doesn’t seem to take himself too seriously.
Still, Williamson, 58, takes his business and love for printing to heart, an aspect borne through working with his brother and father, Bowen, who purchased the Dorsey Co. in the early 1960s. Williamson grew up in McKinney, TX, about 30 miles north of Dallas. Bowen commuted into the city for 30 years, wanting his children to grow up in a small community.