Belcher Came Prepared
BY ERIK CAGLE
Donald Belcher was groomed for success long before he was named Banta Corp.'s chairman, president and CEO in 1995. He was ready to assume the necessary leadership role even before his successful 24-year stint with Avery Dennison.
Degrees from Dartmouth, Stanford business school and two years on active duty in the Army—sure, they all helped Belcher mold the core competencies that would make him a success story in the commercial printing industry, and an inductee into the 2002 Printing Impressions/RIT Printing Industry Hall of Fame. But the nuts and bolts, the morals and values Belcher required to position the Menasha, WI, printer into a billion-dollar empire, were acquired even earlier. He benefitted from the earliest form of Leadership Training School. . .The Boy Scouts of America.
"The greatest thing scouting offers is the opportunity for young men to build a value system," Belcher states. "The scout oath and the scout law are very, very powerful determinants. I think about those values that I learned—trustworthy, loyal, helpful and friendly—every day. I often have the opportunity to speak to groups about the influence that the Boy Scouts have had on my life. The opportunity to lead, to work as a team with other people, and the concept of service to your country and your community—those are all powerful parts of the Boy Scouts experience that molds young men into leaders for the future."
Belcher is at a unique juncture, as his tenure with Banta Corp. winds down toward an April 2004 retirement date. Stephanie Streeter has assumed the role of both president and CEO, and Belcher will remain with the company as the chairman of the board for the next 18 months.
The transition process has been underway for two years, and Belcher is excited to have the opportunity to watch Streeter put her own mark of leadership on the company. "She is a terrific choice for our future," Belcher says. "The major role I can play now is one of counsel, continuity and support to both her and our senior management team—to be on call for them in any capacity where I can bring value.