2006 PRINTING INDUSTRY HALL OF FAME — A HOUSEHOLD NAME
IT’S HARD to decide whether Jesse Williamson is an amazing businessman or the everyday guy who shows up at your back door each Friday night for the weekly poker game. In the end, the president of Dallas-based Williamson Printing is probably a little bit of both.
A few years back, Williamson and another member of his company were on the road in New York City, eating at a “foo-foo” Vietnamese restaurant. Sitting at an adjacent table were a pair of strikingly beautiful women and a man whom Williamson assumed (based on his attire) was an airplane pilot. The two tables started chatting, inquiring as to their respective vocations, and Williamson learned the women were world-class fashion models.
Gesturing toward the man sitting with the women, Williamson asked which airline the man flew for, causing the ladies to laugh heartily.
“Don’t you know who Ralph Lauren is?” one of the women asked, outing the world-renowned clothing designer.
“Sorry Ralph,” a sheepish Williamson replied. “You don’t make big boy clothes.”
Williamson may be a good ol’ Texas boy, but he’s a big boy no longer, having shed more than 150 pounds since April of 2005. And his company is as lean and mean as ever, becoming a poster child for the anti-commoditization movement and a force nationally as a leading general commercial printer, with annual sales eclipsing $85 million.
While there may be less of Williamson to love, so to speak, his deft guidance has provided a lot to like about the man and his company. Thus, it is only appropriate that Williamson’s ticket as a 2006 PRINTING IMPRESSIONS/RIT Printing Industry Hall of Fame inductee be punched.
Jesse is part of the one-two managerial punch at Williamson Printing, working alongside brother and CEO Jerry. The company boasts 70 percent of its business as coming from national accounts, and its technical proficiencies have produced several patents for printing processes that have been integrated by several major manufacturers.
Related story: Williamson PI/RIT Hall of Fame Speech