20-40 Visionaries — Young Turks Set the Pace
Frederic Printing became the sixth acquisition for Consolidated Graphics, and Consolidated President and CEO Joe Davis invited him to join the parent company’s front office as a group vice president. Cunningham thus went from refurbishing old mowers, bikes and televisions to having responsibility for 11 companies with the leading industry consolidator.
“As a manager I have learned that you must communicate with your employees, customers and suppliers to stay close to the changing environment,” he says. “Taking the time to listen to their needs is key. You must share your vision with this group and always be in transition towards that vision. Lastly, I always say that ‘grass doesn’t grow on a busy street, so if you don’t want to get run over, you had better get moving.’ ”
As influences, he credits his father with giving him the core belief of always giving his best effort, while Barry Hirschfeld stressed the importance of following through on promises. Joe Davis, too, has had a tremendous impact, from showing faith in Cunningham to lead a $10 million printing company at the age of 28, to sharing his vision with the young executive.
A hunter and golfer who also actually enjoys cleaning his garage, Trent and wife, Annie, have been married for 14 years. When not addressing her “honey do” list, he enjoys spending time with son Teller, 9, and daughter Gracie, 7. The Cunninghams also have a Hungarian Labrador named Rose, and a 4-year-old cat that enjoys nocturnal hunting.
Karl Kluetz, 38
VP of Operations, Nationwide Graphics, Houston
A good many managers in major league baseball were catchers during their playing days, which is no surprise since both vocations require a keen sense of everything that’s transpiring on the field, at all times. In a similar vein, Karl Kluetz believes that his experience on the shop floor earlier in his career has paid dividends in his managerial skills.