20-40 Visionaries — Young Turks Set the Pace
“I saw it as a great industry to work with clients on a multitude of projects—from simple to complex—that have a major impact on the success of their businesses,” DeSantis explains. “That, coupled with the fact that printing is a residual business, allows you to grow an account from an ‘acorn into an oak tree,’ if you understand customer needs and continually bring value to the relationship.”
In 1991, DeSantis decided to expand Royal Impressions’ scope by becoming a full-service digital printer. From the start he ensured that his company’s equipment would always be state-of-the-art. The company has been a beta testing facility for a number of technologies and even served as an alpha site for the Xerox iGen3 digital production press.
Along the way, the company added creative design services to complete the design, production, finishing and fulfillment loop. Later, DeSantis plunged the company into the world of databases to help drive customized communications across print, e-mail and the Web.
“My managers feel that they are working for a firm that is on the cutting edge of the industry,” he says. “This sense of pride, combined with efforts to make them all feel like they’re part of the big picture, gives them the desire to excel at their jobs. They treat this business as their own and I give them the freedom and trust to make their own decisions. I don’t micro-manage, but rather provide an environment that allows them to truly grow into great leaders.”
Royal Impressions still maintains its brokerage business, and DeSantis serves as president of the tri-state chapter of the Print Buyers/Brokers Association, which manages more than $3 billion in annual print transactions nationwide. He counts Vince Mallardi, chairman of the association, as a primary mentor who has stressed finding the most efficient and economical methods to serve clients.