2006 PRINTING INDUSTRY HALL OF FAME — BUILDING A DYNASTY
THE WINDS of fate are unpredictable. Somehow, they guided Rémi Marcoux into the world of commercial printing, when he easily could have embarked on a career in accounting.
Had Marcoux turned into a numbers cruncher instead of leading his own printing company, Montreal-based Transcontinental Inc. would have perished in 1975 at the hands of bankruptcy, never having grown to a $1.9 billion empire that employs 14,000 people. It may have been Marcoux’s destiny, for it was hardly a mapped out plan.
In that regard, Marcoux—Transcontinental’s executive chairman and a 2006 inductee into the PRINTING IMPRESSIONS/RIT Printing Industry Hall of Fame—is more than happy to welcome aboard newcomers to the industry. Perhaps he has a soft spot for those whose journey to printing was anything but preordained.
“I like working with people and seeing them develop their careers,” he says. “We have hired some young people who didn’t have any printing experience, and today they are in charge of some of our operations. That gives me great satisfaction.”
Marcoux hails from Beauce, Quebec, a small region located 35 miles south of Quebec City, known for its entrepreneurship. His father owned a general store which, in the 1950s, carried just about anything imaginable, from groceries to hardware. The store adjoined the Marcoux home, which housed Rémi, his six brothers and three sisters.
“In those days, there were no regulations as to store hours, so the store was always open,” he says. “Personally, I feel lucky to have grown up in a family business atmosphere. I learned a lot from my father because I spent a lot of time there.”
Marcoux developed a love for the printed word as a child, latching on to magazines and books for the thrill of reading detective or adventure stories.
Lead Down Different Path
The elder Marcoux passed away at age 39, when Rémi was only 14, and his mother was forced to sell the business. Marcoux no longer had footsteps to follow, so after high school he enrolled in a course in electronics—a vocation popularized by the onset of the television.
Related story: Marcoux PI/RIT Hall of Fame Speech