2007 Printing Industry Hall of Fame — Appreciation for People – David Torok
David Torok has a passion for cars. He raced his Dodge Viper in the 2006 Viper owners invitational in Las Vegas.
David Torok, president and CEO, Padgett Printing
David Torok and wife Shirley have three daughters.
One of David Torok’s favorite pastimes is having fun with his four granddaughters.
Upon returning from Down Under, the Toroks moved to Detroit, where David got his first taste of printing. He took a course in printing, learned the California type case, and became involved in setting type and doing silk screen work.
Assembly Line Roots
It was also during this time that Torok got a true taste of the real Detroit. During summers between semesters at Michigan State, he worked the second shift assembly line building Dodge trucks. At a rate of 45 times per hour, he would assemble the steering components.
“To this day, I can still pick up steering gear, install it, put the bolts and washers on, bring down my torque wrench and tighten them, and put a ground on,” he says. “It was probably the worst job I ever had.
“Later, I transferred into inspection because I could spell words like license plate. There wasn’t much free time in the summer, but it made you appreciate going back to school.”
After graduating from Michigan State, he joined the U.S. Army and went into officer candidate school (OCS). Upon leaving the military at the rank of captain, Torok returned to Chrysler as a receiving dock supervisor. While there, he also finished getting his MBA.
The oil embargo of the early 1970s chased Torok out of the auto industry and led him to Kaplan and Western Publishing. Over a 12-year period, his assignments included inventory control, production control and distribution. Toward the end of his tenure there, Torok handled sales and marketing for the diversified products printing division.
Torok left Western Publishing for Hurst Printing in Dallas, where he worked for two years and rose to the position of general manager prior to its sale. He credits Nolan Moore, who headed up the local PIA affiliate at the time, with getting him in touch with Win Padgett. In 1989, Torok accepted the role of Padgett Printing president amd CEO.