These 20-Under-40 Up-and-Coming Printing Industry Executives Share Their Success Stories
"Despite the pressures and responsibilities he had at the plant, he always put his family first," Sommers notes. "He was definitely a huge influence on my life. The last few years we had together, with his transition to chairman, we had a lot of fun running the company side-by-side.
"It's a humbling concept to me, how a man can go from cradling a baby in his arms to, 25 years later, trusting that person to take control of his company."
A "born" New York Giants football fan who also happens to be a Boston Red Sox baseball fan, Sommers enjoys playing ice hockey and golf. He is engaged to fiancée Talia, and the pair have two rescue cats, Brewster and Baxter. Sommers' grandmother, a co-founder of Allied, still works at the company at the age of 88.
Brad Vali, 33
Crescent Printing & Copying
It took two years of college for Brad Vali to realize that he was better suited to running a business than sitting behind a desk and studying. And he knew just the place to get a head start on achieving his goal of owning a printing company: working at his father's printing company.
Vali worked alongside his father, Mehdi, at Metro Printing and Copying in Bethesda, MD, making plates, running the press and cleaning up for the next job. When Metro invested in digital equipment, Vali immersed himself in learning the ropes. Along with manufacturing, he quickly became well-versed in the business side of owning a company. It wasn't long before he was ready to hang a shingle of his own and become an owner.
That's when Crescent Printing & Copying, a provider of event signage, was born. At the ripe old age of 25, Vali became his own boss.