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Extraordinary Vision

April 2007
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EVERY SUCCESSFUL company can trace its roots to a visionary leader, an individual who embodies a strong work ethic, respect for others and keen decision-making abilities. Rémi Marcoux has surely portrayed those qualities over his lengthy career and, in recognition of his accomplishments, will be awarded the 2007 Harry V. Quadracci VISION Award by the Web Offset Association duing its annual conference.

Marcoux founded Transcontinental in 1976 and guided its daily progress until March 2004, when Luc Desjardins became president and CEO. As executive chairman of the board, Marcoux continues to participate in major decisions related to the corporation’s strategic evolution and keeps close track of its performance.

The history of Transcontinental under his leadership is remarkable. The small printing plant in Ville St-Laurent, a suburb of Montreal—which in 1976 had about 30 employees—formed the basis for a company that has since extended its operations across North America and as far as Mexico. In the United States, Transcontinental has become a major player in direct marketing and plans to become a leader in outsourced newspaper printing. Over the past 10 years, its magazine and newspaper sales in Canada have jumped from $60 million to half a billion dollars.

“My dream,” says Marcoux, “was to build a company that would reflect my values, including respect for employees and partners, customer service that exceeds expectations, integrity, innovation and passion for a job well done.”

His sharp business acumen, great vision and great human qualities kept the company growing during the years of tremendous technological change in the industry. Plus, he had a strong entrepreneurial bent that enabled him to recognize business opportunities, accurately judge risk levels and succeed. And he has done so, particularly since 1984, the year the company was listed on the stock exchange.

“I’ve always felt that the best way to create value for our shareholders is to create value for our customers and, to do that, you have to have motivated, trained and happy employees,” he adds. “It’s important to stay focused on the common mid- and long-term interests of these three pillars of the company. That’s why I’ve always preferred having direct contact with our people and partners.”

Over the years, the success of Transcontinental and its founder have been marked by a number of awards, most recently including a 2007 appointment as a member of the Order of Canada, honoring lifetime achievement; induction in 2006 into the PRINTING IMPRESSIONS/RIT Printing Industry Hall of Fame, the second Canadian to receive this honor in 21 years; and selection in 2005 as the fourth most-highly regarded business leader in the 10th Annual Survey of Canada’s Most Respected Corporations.

Marcoux, committed to social and community causes, believes the personality and accountability of his company are as important as its performance. Thus, year in and year out, the corporation spends an average of 1 percent of its pre-tax profits on social causes. PI

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