20-40 Visionaries — Young Turks Set the Pace
“I really like to involve all of the managers and production people in the decision making, because I certainly don’t believe I know everything. So their input is beneficial. I’ve known these people a long time, and some have known me since I was in high school. We have a good working relationship.”
Lawton-Forsyth enjoys spending quality time with her husband, Bob, son Chandler, 9, and daughter Alyssa, 7.
Chris Petro, 40
President, Global Soft Digital Solutions, Mahwah, NJ
For many people, there comes a turning point or defining moment in a professional career that makes one take stock of his/her situation.
For Chris Petro, that came about a year into his first graphic arts position, a sales gig with business forms specialist UARCO. There was a downsizing taking place and Petro, who was struggling, and another employee were on the chopping block. Someone had to go.
“I was making cold calls and trying to build relationships—not just trying to sell print—but I was not successful,” Petro recalls. “When it came down to me and the other rep, (my boss) flipped the coin—‘if it’s heads you stay, if it’s tails, you go.’ ”
The coin must have sounded like an alarm to Petro when it came up heads. “It really was a smack in the face,” he says. “But I turned it around.”
Petro must have wondered if he chose the wrong profession. The 1986 William Patterson (NJ) University graduate nearly opted for a position with the FBI under its G-10 status, but the position required relocation every two years. In deference to his girlfriend (and soon-to-be-wife Jean) he opted for UARCO.
After the layoff scare, Petro later became the company’s youngest million dollar salesperson, then advanced to national accounts sales director, where he was responsible for more than $45 million in national business. UARCO then changed hands a couple times, first to a Japanese bank, then to Standard Register.