GRAPHIC PRESS -- What's in a Name?
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.
"John now has the most modern printing plant in the United States, maybe even the world," notes a Heidelberg salesman who, due to competitive reasons, spoke on the condition that he not be identified.
"His reputation and financial strength allowed him to do this; the reason we could go that large with a customer is because of all the money he put down. Plus, he's a legend in the graphic arts business."
Largest Deal in America
The $40 million in new equipment is reportedly the largest single financial transaction ever consummated by Heidelberg in this country. It staggers the mind to consider that a single person was able to procure such an agreement.
Zamora's history dates back to the original Graphic Press, a high-quality sheetfed and web printer in the Los Angeles area. Upon leaving, Zamora joined George Rice & Sons, where he remained until April of 2000.
Although he had talked to Jesse and Jerry Williamson—owners of the Texas printing giant that bears their name—about going into business together, that never materialized. It seemed to be Zamora's destiny to make the plunge solo (his president, Jim Cooper, is a minority owner in the company.)
"Why did I do it? When I first left Rice, I really wasn't planning to start my own business," Zamora says. "I started to consider doing it and had a lot of offers from other people. Then Heidelberg came to me and said that if I was still interested, they would like to make it an all-Heidelberg shop."