These 20-Under-40 Up-and-Coming Printing Industry Executives Share Their Success Stories
Money is not the prime motivating factor for Vali, who enjoys being able to deliver on a promise.
"When customers call me and tell me, 'Brad thank you so much, we can rely on you,' that's a sign of success," he says. "I had the embassy of Tanzania call me on a Friday and I finished their job by Saturday morning. We operate Monday through Friday, but I had myself and two other staff members working on their job until 6 a.m. Saturday to get their order completed by 9 a.m. They were so happy, so ecstatic."
A karate/martial arts aficionado, Vali enjoys donating work to schools and non-profit organizations. A confirmed bachelor, Vali is concentrating all of his efforts on the business before thinking about starting a family. He does take a bit of validation from the 20-under-40 listing: Back in 2008, Vali told his mother he would one day appear on the cover of a printing magazine. Her response?
"She said, 'Don't worry about being featured in a magazine—just work,' " Vali laughs.
Nikos Kallas, 34
Metropolitan Fine Printers
Vancouver, BC, Canada
It's been a long time since Nikos Kallas used 40˝ press sheets to make paper airplanes, or commandeered a pile jack to use as a scooter; the latter pastime proved a bit painful after hitting a crack in the floor and wiping out. Such is living the life of a family printing business...you're born with ink in your veins, and the hope is that you don't spill too much of it.
Kallas has been much more cautious in recent years, since taking the helm as president of Vancouver, BC-based Metropolitan Fine Printers (a.k.a., MET) in 2010. He'd graduated from the University of Western Ontario in London, ON, in 2001, with a BA in economics, then returned to MET and did odd jobs, cleaning and sweeping the shop floor. He went on to do a tour of the shop, working for roughly a year in virtually every department—prepress, press, accounting, estimating and coordinating. Upon completing his education on the job, Kallas worked in sales for about five years, building a portfolio of business that he still manages on the side.