SPECIAL REPORT — The State of Web Printing – A Web Offset Visionary

By Kristen E. Monte

The Harry V. Quadracci VISION Award, presented by the Web Offset Association (WOA), is awarded to a heatset web offset industry executive who has become a dominant force in shaping the business of heatset printing. William F. Hogg Jr., this year’s VISION Award winner, has gone far beyond executive-level duties to make significant changes, not only with his company Valassis Communications, but for the web offset industry as a whole.

William F. Hogg Jr.

Hogg is executive vice president of manufacturing and operations for Valassis, headquartered in Livonia, MI, and a member of Valassis’ executive committee. He began his career in the graphic arts industry while in college, working for a small sheetfed printer. Hogg graduated from Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, MI, in the 1960s with a degree in the graphic arts, and went on to teach graphic arts at the high school level for the next couple of years.

A Marketing Mindset

In the 1970s, he went to work for a marketing company, Marketing Corporation of America, Westport, CT, which is where he had his first exposure to web offset printing. The company had a business relationship with Valassis and, in 1979, Hogg joined Valassis in the sales support department. During his 26-year tenure with Valassis, he moved from sales to operations to manufacturing, culminating with his present-day position as executive vice president for the company.

“I have worked in all areas of the business, but I most enjoy the operations and manufacturing end,” says Hogg. “We’ve grown from a 120 employee, two press, single plant operation to a three plant, 4,100 employee company with operations in eight countries.”

Valassis, which ranked number 10 on the 2004 Printing Impressions 400, reported an estimated $1.04 billion in annual revenues for its most recent fiscal year. This is a long way from Valassis’ annual sales of $26 million when Hogg first joined the company. Hogg attributes much of the company’s success to its break from traditional operating practices.

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