After 40 Years, Monaco Makes Last Impression —MichelsonSeptember 2009
SO MANY once-great companies have come and gone during the past four decades, the victims of technological upheaval as the printing industry morphed from letterpress to lithography, single to multicolor presses, sheetfed to web and, most recently, the onslaught of digital output devices. But during that time there was always one figure—though diminutive in stature—who stood tall helping steer Printing Impressions to the pole position as the graphic arts industry's leading trade publication. That person is Ray Monaco, magazine president, who's hanging up his rate card after an astounding 40 years of service.
"When I joined Printing Impressions in 1969 after a stint at Miehle-Goss-Dexter, I was the youngest salesperson in the magazine publishing field," Monaco recalls. "Not only that, but I was representing the youngest publication in the industry, which was competing against a dozen well-established magazines that had all been around for 50+ years." He had the good fortune of two strong mentors who taught him the ropes of publishing a magazine and of selling advertising.
Monaco credits Irvin Borowsky, North American Publishing Co.'s (NAPCO) chairman and founder, and former Printing Impressions publisher Frank Veverka for schooling him about the publishing world and salesmanship. "Frank always stressed that you're not just selling advertising, you're building working relationships with companies. And the more successful they become, the more they will rely on you to become an integral part of their marketing objectives."
During those 40 years, there has also been a lifetime's worth of fond memories. Working out of NAPCO's suburban Chicago sales office, Monaco recalls when the charismatic and highly driven Borowsky would fly in from Philadelphia to make multiple sales calls on key Midwestern accounts. "I was so nervous, to make sure everything went very smoothly, I'd do dry runs ahead of time so that I didn't get lost or make any wrong turns. And, once we arrived at our appointments, I became an observer and paid attention to what 'the master' was presenting. Many times I would comment to Irv after our call, 'Well, if nothing else, you sure sold me.' "
Outside the office, Monaco points to his two biggest passions: family and golf. Celebrating his 50th wedding anniversary last year, he's been blessed with a great wife, daughter and two grandchildren. As an avid golfer, Monaco has also had the good fortune of playing top courses all over the United States and scoring two holes-in-one. "Someone once said, 'Find something you like to do, and you'll never work a day in your life.' I can firmly agree with that adage," he notes. "Every day was a new and exciting one during my long career at NAPCO. Even though some events of the day could be challenging, they were also exhilarating and very fulfilling."