K&D Graphics — A Nice Printing Racket

Bird(ies) of a feather: The executive team at K&D Graphics, shown from left, Gus Chew, vice president; Kim Chew, chairwoman; Don Chew, president/CEO; Bebe Chew, vice president; and Montri Chew, CFO.

Plant Manager Mark Phongsasavithes (left), President/CEO Don Chew and press operator Jim Chang inspect a press sheet from the 12-color Speedmaster XL 105.

Jim Chang, press operator, quarterbacks the Heidelberg XL 105 from its console.

PRINTING INDUSTRY presidents and CEOs often reflect on the skill sets that they acquired while playing sports in high school or college—teamwork, leadership, discipline, tenacity—and how those traits apply to their success in the business world.
But few executives have hailed their sports to the degree that Don Chew, president of K&D Graphics in Orange, CA, has tipped his cap to the game of badminton. Actually, a deep bow might be more appropriate, given the extent to which Chew has shown his appreciation to the sport.

In 1996, a growing K&D Graphics found itself needing more space than its 12,300-square-foot plant could provide. The Bangkok-born Chew approached the city of Orange, CA, about constructing a new 72,300-square-foot facility, of which 40,000 square feet would be earmarked for the printing operations. The rest would house a dozen badminton courts and Bebe’s Cafe, a Thai restaurant named after Chew’s daughter. The Chews were virtually a shoe store away from requesting a shopping mall but, while the city initially balked, Don Chew held his ground and got the blessing to build his dream shop.

A Real Game Changer

“Badminton changed my life,” Chew says, quite frankly. “I started playing when I was seven, and got into it seriously at the age of 14. I made new friends and it made me a better person. Badminton taught me to be a fighter on the court. And, it made me successful in business: hard work, discipline, patience.”

Thus, the Orange County (O.C.) Badminton Club and Bebe’s Cafe coexist with K&D Graphics, making it the only printing facility in the world to boast such a business trifecta. And the sport of badminton in the United States knows no greater friend than Don Chew, who sponsors players for the Olympics and World Championships.

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