20-40 Visionaries — Young Turks Set the Pace
His career really took off after the Standard Register acquisition. Petro moved on to IKON Business Solutions as global client services director, where he developed $8 million to $9 million in international contracts using a distribute-and-print model. Equally as lucrative was his next venture with a print ASP (application service provider), cirquit.com, where he generated ‘Web to print’ solutions for large Fortune 50 companies.
Thus, Petro was taking something of a risk by getting two partners to go in on Global Soft Digital Solutions.
“Global Soft is patterned after the way I have built my career,” Petro explains. “What motivates me most is offering value to customers and creating something specific for them. About 75 percent of our revenues come from application-specific programs. You go to a customer, build a relationship, find an application, help them develop it and add value.
“What motivates me is when we help them develop a cutting-edge technology print application that’s coupled with mailing and fulfillment that delivers bottom-line results. It’s gratifying to see quantifiable ROI results of that specific application and to win that customer and see residual business.”
The late John Rademaker helped shape Petro’s views on the value of print sales relationships, underscoring the fact that print salespeople have the unique opportunity to become an integral part of the customer’s core business. Petro hasn’t stopped working hard, either.
“I never ask anyone to do something I won’t do myself,” he says. “There’s not a press in our facilities that I can’t run. Most people perceive me and my partners as people willing to get into the trenches.”
Petro loves to play softball and coach his daughters’ traveling soccer teams. He’s also an electronics buff with a passion for stereo equipment. Married for 15 years, the Petros have three daughters—Kristen, Sara and Kelly.