2011 Hall of Fame : David Pitts – With Intellect and Intensity
David Pitts of Classic Graphics poses with a trout he caught while enjoying one of his favorite pastimes. (Double click photos to enlarge.)
David Pitts and wife Wend take time to pause and refresh during a cooking class in Italy.
David Pitts and his wife in Rome.
The Charlotte native transplanted to Bowling Green, KY, with his family around the age of 10 (Pitts was actually born in Munich, Germany, while his father was stationed there). While in high school, he met a girl in his art class who showed him various jobs she had printed at the local vocational school, which led him to take the printing course.
“Back then, anything that got me out of high school sounded like heaven to me,” Pitts relates.
A strong work ethic was firmly ingrained in Pitts’ psyche at any early age; he started working at age 15 and never stopped, taking side jobs such as working in a movie theater or grocery store. He had printing gigs prior to and after graduating from high school, but Pitts decided that printing was a dead end. So, he enrolled at Western Kentucky. The path soon led back to Charlotte, where he worked for his grandfather in heating and air conditioning while establishing residency to attend the University of North Carolina Charlotte (UNCC). Perhaps a future as a chemical engineer loomed.
A Date With Destiny
But, a funny thing happened on the way to another future. While in school at UNCC, Pitts took a night job at Belk Printing where he met a man bent on starting his own printing company—Bill Gardner.
The duo borrowed $15,000 from family members to acquire a used camera, paper cutter and press, then hung out their shingle with $600 in working capital to spare.
Classic Graphics enjoyed a perfect blend of economical and geographic timing. In addition to debuting at the dawn of a prosperous economic era, Classic Graphics had the good fortune of serving two local financial entities, the predecessors of what are now Wells Fargo (First Union) and Bank of America (Nation’s Bank). The financial work, especially, fueled Classic’s growth through the mid-1990s.