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Printing Rebirths — Finding True Love Again

January 2008 By Erik Cagle
Senior Editor
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INDUSTRY consolidators exist for a number of reasons, the main being an opportunity to make money by acquiring complementary (geographically or synergistically speaking) printing companies from owners who are looking for an exit to either retirement or another business opportunity.

OK, so that less-than-shocking news doesn’t exactly leave you gagging on your afternoon coffee. But what does raise the eyebrows a bit is the notion that some printers would actually sell their printing business and (gulp) start another. No, not to run a custard stand, but actually embark on a second printing career.

At first blush, this sounds like a questionable move, like divorcing your wife and marrying her sister. Sure, it may strike you as different at first, but before long it will seem very familiar and some of the same issues will cause you more grief.

Ah, but there are some hopeless romantics in the world of printing who have taken the plunge a second time and found the waters to be very comfortable, thank you. We have a pair of examples where tangible differences in the variety of printing provided a fresh perspective and a new lease on a professional life for two industry veterans.

BOB Tursack Jr. found himself at the helm of a well-oiled machine. Tursack Printing, the pride of Morgantown, PA, started by his father in 1959, was humming along at $60 million in annual revenues between the mother ship and its complementary fulfillment and marketing/advertising firms. And truth be known, Tursack had to get away from it.

“I was burned out and ready to leave,” he said of his decision to sell the printing and fulfillment concerns to Consolidated Graphics (CGX). “There was certainly a lot of emotional investment there, but my passion is really in prints. I have a fine arts studio at home and I make copper plate etchings at night for artists and photographers. What I didn’t like was dealing with 300 employees and three divisions.”

After completing the sale to CGX, Tursack remained with the company for a year and benefitted from the tutelage of top executive Joe Davis, who provided insight that would later come in handy. For the time being, Tursack wanted to clear his head and spent 18 months shuttling back and forth between his home and Port-au-Prince, Haiti. It was there that Tursack spent one week per month working with a children’s school.
 

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