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Nationwide Execs Manage Premier Print

March 2002
CHARLOTTE, NC—The former Master Graphics has new leadership, and now Premier Print Holdings is under the direction of two men who have become known in the consolidation game.

Carl Norton has taken the helm as CEO at Premier Print Holdings as Calvin W. Aurand Jr. has left the company to pursue other interests. Jerry Hyde has been named president of the company. Norton and Hyde are the braintrust behind Nationwide Graphics which, like Premier Print Holdings, grew through acquisitions. Norton, Nationwide's chairman and CEO, and Hyde, vice chairman and senior vice president, have been contracted to pump new life into a company that emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy less than a year ago.

"I've heard a lot of veteran industry people saying that this is the most competitive environment they've ever seen, and the longest (recession) they've ever seen," notes Norton. "Our challenge is to make this into a homogenous company that will prosper in a challenging economy."

Premier Print Holdings' current roster consists of nine companies: Argus Press, Niles, IL; B&M Printing, Memphis, TN; Harperprints, Henderson, NC; Jones Printing, Chattanooga, TN; McQuiddy Printing, Nashville, TN; Saint Clair Press, Indianapolis; Thomasson Printing, Carrollton, GA; Woods Lithographics, Phoenix; and Sutherland Printing, with plants in Montezuma, IA, Ozark, MO, and Springdale, AR.

While Norton and Hyde have been contracted in a managerial capacity, the agreement leaves Premier Print Holdings and Nationwide Graphics as separate, autonomous entities. The two companies do not operate in competing markets, Norton also points out.

While the duo is still in the information-gathering stage, Norton believes the existing companies can prosper in the future, and they plan to be a part of that success. "I think Premier Print can emerge as a stronger company," he says. "We're confident in what we can do, and we think we'll be around for a while."
 

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