20-40 Visionaries — Young Turks Set the Pace
With LaVigne, Wells has found a professional home. The company has been profiled in more than 30 publications detailing its exploits in the digital printing realm. Wells himself was named to a “40 Under 40” list covering central and western Massachusetts and, in 2002, he was named one of the top 10 “CEOs to Watch” by the Worcester Business Journal. Wells serves on the HP Digital Print Advisory Board, the PINE board of directors and the NAPL Industry Trend Analysis Board. He is also a member of the Young President’s Organization.
An avid skier, guitar and piano player, Wells is married to his high school sweetheart, Jennifer, whom he started dating at the age of 15. They are the parents of three children: Connor, 7, Eric, 5, and Olivia, 2. The Wells household is teaming with life, including a rat terrier, a Norweigan elkhound, a cat and four kittens.
Gary Wetzel, 40
Senior VP and CFO, Von Hoffmann Corp., St. Louis
Gary Wetzel’s ultimate goal is to become a CEO, which only makes sense. He’s done just about everything else already. He started out as an engineer designing and installing presses for Harris Graphics, which took him around the country to printers like RR Donnelley, World Color, Banta, Quad/Graphics and Quebecor. He transitioned from field engineering to sales engineering, which “morphed” into technical sales, Wetzel says.
After Harris was gobbled up by Heidelberg, Wetzel went overseas to lead the introduction of the heralded Sunday gapless web press technology in Europe. More than a dozen presses and in excess of $100 million in sales later, Wetzel came back to the states ready for a new challenge.
“I knew that I wanted to run a company some day,” he exclaims.
So the Worcester Polytechnic Institute graduate went back to school, obtaining an MBA from Columbia Business School. That segued into a vice president of finance role with the $700 million book group at Quebecor. His latest task is that of senior vice president and CFO for a very active Von Hoffmann Corp., where he has two operating P&L responsibilities and also spearheaded the recent intra-organization prepress rollup that became Anthology Group.