John Fosmire Born to Print
Now Part of Mail-Well
Anderson Litho is a high-quality commercial web and sheetfed printer now owned by Mail-Well. Fosmire serves as general manager of the Mail-Well California region, which consists of Anderson Litho plants in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and an Armstrong/White retouching studio in Detroit. All the while, he likes to remember where he came from.
"I try to be a hands-on guy; I am not a sit-in-the-office-type person," Fosmire explains. "I spend a lot of time walking around the plant and talking to people. I am not big on titles—I think everyone is here to do a job, and every job is important, from the top guy down to the guy that delivers the job. There is not a business day that goes by that I don't go through the plant at least one or two times."
Mark Tennant, Anderson Litho vice president and national sales manager, has spent 26 years as Fosmire's co-worker. He describes his boss as a strong-willed individual who cherishes loyalty—a person who, once you understand the way he works, you will have a relationship with forever. Part of this can be contributed to Fosmire's personal relationship with employees throughout the company.
"He knows the name of everyone on the floor. He knows personal things about the people, asks them questions and he is geniunely sincere," Tennant says.
Tennant also credits Fosmire with being a visionary on the equipment decision side of the business, citing gutsy moves like purchasing Anderson's first web offset press to be used for commercial work in 1977—something that was looked at as a real risk at the time.
"My objective was to print on a half-size web press to be able to get the larger jobs to go on web presses and provide our customers with the same or better quality as on a sheetfed press," Fosmire recalls. "That was the overall objective. But there was a real stigma at that time towards web offset printing. It was thought of as low-grade, pretty generic work and we wanted to change that," he points out. "And I think we did."