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GRAPHIC PRESS -- What's in a Name?

August 2001
For John Zamora, it means being able to launch a

new company with $40 million worth of new equipment.



BY ERIK CAGLE


John Zamora pretty much had it all, but even if he didn't, he surely had enough.

At the age of 54, Zamora boasts a happy marriage and three grown children, a stable full of his precious race horses, a reputation as one of the best salesmen in the commercial printing industry and several million dollars in the bank. By most definitions, that stands as a successful career and life—the reward being countless leisure hours at the race track, travel or any other indulgence he desired, for the rest of his days.


Incredibly, Zamora still had a dream that was unfulfilled. He wanted to own his own printing company, and was willing to do whatever it took to make that dream a reality, even if it meant risking most of his money, including liquidating his beloved ponies.

He sought to revive an industry name, Graphic Press, that hadn't been uttered in years, to enter an already crowded Los Angeles print market and to compete with other creme-de-la-creme industry heavy weights on a national level.

Just because he had the game in hand, John Zamora wasn't ready to take a knee. Zamora assembled a solid, experienced management team that included many industry veterans who had worked with him previously. He nabbed a 112,000-square-foot facility and secured $40 million worth of brand-new Heidelberg equipment. All of this despite an economy that was sliding south with every passing month, increasing energy costs and considerable neighborhood rivals in George Rice & Sons, Lithographix Inc. and Anderson Lithograph, among others.

For John Zamora,

seeing Graphic Press

live again was

a dream come true.



"I've been in the printing business my whole life and have been very successful. I've never not succeeded," Zamora states. "I had the decision to retire or go on. As they say of old printers, our blood is made of ink. I love this industry and love marketing, sales and manufacturing. But I always wanted to see if I could do this myself. It was a bold move."

Bold, yes, but far from impossible. It seems the name John Zamora had developed a pretty big reputation within the industry, allowing him to secure a considerable amount of equipment financing from Heidelberg. It really helped that he was investing a sizeable portion of the company start-up with his own personal funds.
 

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