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WAYNE ANGSTROM -- A Team Player

September 2003
By Caroline Miller


For Wayne Angstrom, nothing in life is accomplished on one's own; every achievement is a team effort.

It's a philosophy that the CEO and president of the U.S. division of St Ives first learned as a member of the U.S. Marine Corps—a belief that continues to profoundly impact his life. "Marines always say, 'once a Marine, always a Marine'," states Angstrom.

"I think back often on something that a company gunnery sergeant once said to me. 'The mind quits long before the body.' I have reshaped that to: we need to be careful that a particular situation does not overpower us and shut the mind down. We can do anything we choose to as long as there are enough of us fully committed to getting the job done," remarks Angstrom.

Angstrom began his personal commitment to the graphic arts industry in 1962, when he left the Marines and found a job as a paper-and-ink lab technician with RR Donnelley in his hometown of Chicago. "I was one of those guys who just fell in love with the printing industry. It became something more than a job. Frankly, it has always been that way for me," he notes.

Over the years, Angstrom rose through the ranks of RR Donnelley, moving across several divisions and eventually becoming a division director for the printer. "RR Donnelley was and remains a fine company where I got the basis of my training in the industry," he explains. "If I had not left and gone out on my own with a group of colleagues, I believe I would still be with Donnelley."

However, Angstrom did strike out on his own, becoming executive vice president of manufacturing for Maxwell Communications. Maxwell Communications was the vehicle that he used to acquire and run several printing companies. In 1991, he was named president and CEO of the U.S. division of St Ives, which, at the time, consisted only of the company's Hollywood, FL, operation.

Since his arrival at St Ives, Angstrom has continued the company's growth to become the 42nd largest printing company as rated in Printing Impressions magazine's Top 400. He has also overseen the internal growth of the Hollywood operation, the acquisition of St Ives Cleveland (Perlmuter Printing), as well as the acquisition of Avanti/Case-Hoyt in Miami in 2001.

The acquisition of Avanti/Case-Hoyt was one of the largest—if not the biggest—deals in the industry that year. Avanti/Case-Hoyt posted sales of $109 million in 2000. It also gave St Ives a strategic position in Rochester, NY, and in Miami to complement its existing U.S. holdings. Today, the U.S. division of St Ives boasts annual sales of $177.9 million.

Angstrom's leadership at St Ives has been an inspiration to those around him, according to company CFO Jeanne Caruana. "As one might expect, his incredible journey has endured significant technological changes in the printing process, as well as tremendous economic volatility, demanding sales and marketing challenges, acquisition and growth organizational issues, and forever-evolving employee training and welfare concerns. It goes without saying that the ability to not only navigate such a journey, but to lead such a journey, requires skills that Wayne possesses in abundance," she says.

"Skills that include the vision to see the twists and turns in the path before they were upon us, the courage to pursue directions not yet evident, the nerves of steel required to make the tough decisions, a flexible management style and a personal stamina of gargantuan proportions," Caruana adds.

However, Angstrom believes his most significant contribution to St Ives has been the ability to grow and run a business that satisfies customers so much that they continue to return, job after job. In fact, his company's mantra, "Delight Our Customers," is what continues to inspire him.

From left to right: Dr. Carl Angstrom, Dr. Anne Angstrom; David and Kristina Neumann with Henry and Jack Neumann; Sandy Angstrom with Evan and Audrey Angstrom (children of David and Aleah); Wayne Angstrom; Lisa and Mark Angstrom with Sofia Angstrom; and David and Aleah Angstrom.
Angstrom is also committed to working even harder in the current economic downturn. Always the Marine, he views tough times as an opportunity. "Working in this industry has certainly become more challenging in the past few years than it was during my first three decades in the business. I like the challenge of working with my colleagues and continuing to prosper in some fairly challenging times.

"To me, that is what this game is all about," he reveals. "There are days when working in this industry is not a whole lot of fun. But that's the challenge that keeps me motivated. I'm constantly thinking about our company's development and strategy going forward."

Spreading the Praise

A team player to the core, Angstrom is quick to credit those around him with his success. "I surely didn't accomplish this by myself. I'm getting this award, but there are 1,200 people behind me at St Ives who have helped me get the job done," he praises.

And there are many more who have helped him along in his career, according to Angstrom. One way he returns the numerous favors and opportunities he has been given over the years is to stay active in a number of industry associations. He is currently serving his second term as chairman of the Printing Association of Florida (PAF). He also chairs the PAF education committee and is a member of the Graphics of the Americas show committee.

"My involvement in industry associations has afforded me additional education in the industry. It has allowed me to learn some things sooner than I might have had I not been active in industry groups. It has also given me insight into what's going on elsewhere and helped me to understand the printing industry in a broader sense," he notes.

The zeal that Angstrom brings to his role at St Ives even extends into his affiliation with various associations. "Wayne is an easy guy to work with—a real leader," remarks Michael Streibig, president of PAF. "He certainly has a plethora of industry experience and, obviously, can see the big picture. Wayne is the first to volunteer, to roll up his sleeves and do whatever needs to be done. And he has a real passion for education and industry training," Streibig says.

There is another source of intense pride for Angstrom—his family. He has been married to his wife, Sandra, for 40 years. The couple has four children and six grandchildren.

Angstrom is also an avid golfer, but admits that work and family often come before an afternoon on the back nine. "I do love to golf, but I haven't had too much time to golf this year," he laughs.
 

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