Southeastern Printing — Reeling in The Business
ONE WORD that would best describe Stuart, FL-based Southeastern Printing is unique. Located along Florida’s “Treasure Coast,” the ISO 9001-certified company boasts the full range of printing services expected from a commercial printer, and some that might surprise those not familiar with the firm.
“In recent years, I’ve been invited to cocktail parties where the invitation read that the attire was ‘casual elegance,’ ” explains Don Mader, Southeastern Printing’s 35-year-old president. “Even though the phrase is a bit paradoxical, I feel it represents how our company is perceived in our marketplace. We want to be known as a company that is fun to do business with, yet takes continuous improvement very seriously.”
Some of the fun stems from its themed employee meetings and sales contests, such as a birthday party—including a photo cake and party hats—to commemorate Benjamin Franklin’s 300th birthday last year. Also, weekly top performers during Southeastern’s 2006 “Rock ’n Troll—Casting for New Customers” sales contest were lauded with the Fish of the Week Award—including a stuffed toy billfish.
But it is certainly not all cake and parties for the 82-year-old company’s 230 employees. Through a series of five acquisitions since 1999 and strong organic growth, the printer has brought its annual sales tally up to the $32 million plateau. Southeastern employees stay busy providing customers with small- and large-format sheetfed offset printing, flexography, digital printing, as well as full prepress, finishing, mailing and fulfillment services.
Mader cut his teeth in the printing industry 16 years ago in the silk screen realm, reproducing fine art on t-shirts for retailers. From there he formed a prepress house servicing both screen and lithographic printers.
“Southeastern was one of our larger clients in the late ’90s and they were looking for support in their prepress division while switching over to computer-to-plate production,” Mader recalls. “They also were searching for succession management. We realized that we could play well together and I took over as president in 2001. My family and I completed the purchase of the company from its previous owners by the end of 2004.”