20-40 Visionaries — Young Turks Set the PaceAugust 2004 By Erik Cagle
THE FIRST decade in the 21st century has become known for its lists of Top 10s, 50s, 100s—you name it. You can’t turn on the television, read a newspaper or log on to the Internet without being bombarded by someone’s opinion of how people, places, events and the like should be rated and ranked.
Well, instead of another Top 10 list of Courtney Love’s most humiliating moments, we have assembled 20 of the industry’s finest young executives for your consideration. We’re not calling them the best necessarily; we’re not even ranking them. But each of them has risen through the ranks to their current exec post in a relatively short time. We only included people 40 years old or younger, to bring attention to the next generation of leaders.
Peter Cook, 36
CEO, Concord Litho Group, Concord, NH
Peter Cook’s first professional brush with commercial printing didn’t come because his father, Jim, owned Concord Litho Group. In fact, upon graduating from Bowdoin College in 1989—he would earn his MBA from Babson College in 1996—Peter spent six years in commercial banking for Fleet Bank and Citizens Bank in Boston. It was there that he served as a downtown office commercial broker, as well as a real estate advisor for then-Quebecor U.S.A.
“This was following Quebecor’s acquisitions of American Signature and Petty, and I worked closely with them to consolidate and manage their real estate holdings, including their owned plants and leased office space,” Cook explains.
When Jim Cook decided to pursue other interests, he convinced his son to join the fold at Concord Litho—first as vice president of finance in 1998, then CEO in 2001. The family business is now on its third generation, with Peter and brother Tom steering the company.
“I came to Concord Litho with a lot of experience in other industries,” Cook notes. “We are very fortunate to have employees who have been with our company for a long time and have extensive printing experience. My outside experience allows me to build upon this and bring a different business perspective. For example, I have financing expertise that is critical to the capital-intensive nature of the printing industry.”
Cook admires the fairness, compassion and respect his father showed employees.