20-40 Visionaries — Young Turks Set the Pace
Wacker enjoys a good round of golf and tennis with his betrothed, Patricia Muschong, with a fall wedding on tap. They already have two children, so to speak—Buffy and Buddy, a pair of diminutive Bichon Frises. He hopes to travel more in the future, but still considers himself a “homebody” who enjoys kicking back on the sofa Friday nights to watch a movie.
Chris Kurtzman, 33
President, Bang Printing, Brainerd, MN
While many feature articles gracing the covers of this industry trade magazine examine the exploits of commercial printing’s heavy hitters and conglomerates, the true backbone and heritage of the U.S. printer is that of the family owned print shop.
Reports of their demise have been gradually exaggerated, so to speak, and Bang Printing personifies the strength of not only the family owned shop, but the heart strings that bind their success. Chris Kurtzman, president and owner of Bang Printing, has enjoyed a richly fulfilling career that transcends P&L statements. And he owes that to his father, John.
“My dad introduced me to the industry when I was young, and allowed me to grow up within the company learning from the ground up,” says Kurtzman, a graduate of St. John’s University in Collegeville, MN, who completed his four-year program in three years. “He encouraged me to try my hand at various and all positions. He also had me participate in important decisions early on and allowed me to immerse myself in the inner workings of the company.
“Most of all, I was able to learn a tremendous amount by watching my father and working beside him. We had an incredible working relationship. It was so much fun, like working with your best friend. I will always treasure those days.”
After graduating from St. John’s, Kurtzman held several positions with Bang Printing, working within sales, marketing and accounting. In 1996, the highly motivated and driven Kurtzman branched out as an entrepreneur, building a convenience store/car wash from the ground up, then later buying a second franchise before recently selling both to concentrate on Bang Printing, which he purchased from his father in 2000.