Donald Duncanson — A Self-made Man
BY CAROLINE MILLER
When you page through Donald Duncanson’s long list of industry accomplishments, it’s hard to imagine he ever thought of himself as an underachiever.
At age 61, Duncanson is the co-founder and chairman of Dynacolor Graphics, a successful, $9.6 million commercial printing operation in Miami. He also is the founder of the Graphics of Americas trade show. A longtime member and past chairman of NAPL’s board of directors, as well a member of several of the association’s board committees, he also serves on the board of the Graphic Arts Show Co. and Graphic Arts Research & Education Foundation, and is a member of NAPL’s Soderstrom Society.
And if that wasn’t enough, Duncanson has been the recipient of numerous printing awards from the Printing Association of Florida. But he’s not through adding to that impressive list just yet. He now has the honor of being inducted into the 2001 Printing Impressions/RIT Printing Industry Hall of Fame.
With such an impressive resume of industry accolades and achievements, it’s difficult to believe that Duncanson once thought that he might not amount to much in life.
“I had a teacher tell me that I shouldn’t bother with college because it would be a waste of my time,” remembers Duncanson.
So after graduation at the age of 17, Duncanson enlisted in the U.S. Navy. “I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. I thought that the Navy might help me find some direction in my life.” For the next three years, Duncanson served as a clerk typist on an aircraft carrier.
A Family to Support
After finishing his tour of duty, a jobless Duncanson returned to his hometown of Hollywood, FL, with his young wife—high school sweetheart Elaine—his one-year-old son and another baby on the way.
“Everyone told me to stay in the Navy because there was no work locally. I came home any way,” he notes.