2013 Hall of Fame : Bill Fitzgerald – It Was Love at First Sight

Fitzgerald soaks up the balcony view while on vacation in Paris.

Life may not always be a bowl of cherries for Bill Fitzgerald, but that doesn’t mean it can’t include the occasional strawberry shortcake while on holiday in Athens, Greece.

The leg room may be a little cramped at Fenway Park, but that doesn’t stop Bill Fitzgerald from enjoying watching his beloved Boston Red Sox in action.

“I loved sports and loved to compete,” he notes. “I wasn’t necessarily the biggest kid, or the best, but I tried the hardest.”

Joining the industry right out of high school, Fitzgerald took it upon himself to become well-versed in virtually every aspect of a printing business. Aside from proofing, he has worked a camera, plate making, press, bindery and shipping, not to mention customer service, estimating and sales. Fitzgerald was never bored with the workflow (OK, making Cromalin proofs wasn’t all that stimulating), so he never gave thought to any other line of work.

Decides to Go Solo

After the first company he worked for went out of business, Fitzgerald took a sales position with another firm, and after two years decided to try it on his own. In 1998, he realized a lifelong dream of owning his own company with the creation of Graphic Services. In the process, Fitzgerald implemented a “Thought to Distribution” mantra that focused on the “why” of customer buying habits instead of the “what.”

There was no mistaking Fitzgerald’s buying habits. In an 11-year span beginning in 2001, he embarked on an impressive merger and acquisition journey that entailed bringing 11 new companies into the fold. The first was Intercity Press (2001), followed by Charles River Lithography (2003) and Universal Press, acquired from Quebecor in 2005. In 2006, Fitzgerald obtained Universal Lithograph from Cenveo, and the company was rebranded as Universal Graphix.

In May of 2007, Universal Graphix merged with Millennium Printing, which had acquired Daniels Printing in a deal with Merrill Corp., creating Universal Millennium. Direct Mail Services was added in 2009 and, during the course of the next two years, Fitzgerald brought in Acme Printing, Dynagraf, and Wilde and Wilde Agency, which led to its current moniker.

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