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WEB OFFSET REPORT -- A Quest for Knowledge

May 2003
By Erik Cagle

Don't get Jerry Williamson wrong. The chairman of Dallas-based Williamson Printing loves being involved with printing industry associations. But truth be known, Williamson feels the associations have done as much for him and his company as he has done for them.

And that is saying a lot.

"If you keep your eyes and ears open, (participating in associations) can be very rewarding," notes Williamson, selected the 2003 recipient of the Harry V. Quadracci VISION award by the Web Offset Association (WOA) of Printing Industries of America. "The friendships and business acquaintances that I've made have been invaluable."

The award is given to a heatset web offset industry executive, printer or supplier, who has "reached an unsurpassed level of excellence and achievement in the industry—a leader who has gone far beyond the standard obligations to become a dominant force in shaping the business of heatset printing."

Past recipients of the award are Harry V. Quadracci, president and founder of Quad/Graphics, who was named the inaugural recipient in 1999; Roger Perry, former owner of Perry Printing (now Perry Judd's) in 2000; and John Frautschi, board chairman of Webcrafters (2001). Co-winners of the award last year were Metroweb Founder Thomas Brinkman Sr. and Sun Chemical Group Chairman Edward Barr.

The award was renamed last September in honor of Quadracci, who passed away earlier in the year.

Williamson was taken by surprise when informed of the honor by WOA Executive Director Tom Basore. "I was a bit stunned when Tom called me; I thought he was pulling my leg," Williamson says. "I told him that someone must have stuffed the ballot box. I'm sure there's a lot of people who are more worthy."

Not everyone would agree with that notion—particularly Basore. "Jerry's commitment to the industry is unprecedented," he says. "He's very giving of his time to committees and associations. He always makes time and always keeps his humor."

Altered Career Path

A 1997 inductee into the Printing Impressions/ RIT Printing Industry Hall of Fame, Williamson's career initially didn't seem destined for the ink-on-paper avenue. He graduated from Southern Methodist University law school in 1965 and went to work for the city of Dallas as an assistant city attorney.

But, in 1968, his father, Bowen, purchased Dorsey Printing and asked his son to lend a hand. Moonlighting turned into a full-time job as vice president and general counsel by year's end, but the younger Williamson assumed he would gradually return to practicing law.


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