These 20-Under-40 Up-and-Coming Printing Industry Executives Share Their Success Stories
Justin Feickert, 34
Vice President of Sales and Marketing
If there's one thing that can be said for printers, it is that they are not lacking in the work ethic department. Still, the tenacity level of some executives can be jaw-dropping. Case in point is Justin Feickert, whose family presides over the Midstates Group, which represents four individual brands—Midstates Inc., Jacob North, Quality Quick Print and Panther Graphics.
Feickert's history was fairly exhaustive before he even stepped foot out of college. He graduated from Black Hills State University in 2003 with a double major in business administration and human resource management. He played football (cornerback, special teams) for the Yellow Jackets his freshman year, but then took a job working 35-40 hours per week as an assistant manager at Burger King while still in school.
A member of the National Guard, Feickert served in Operation Iraqi Freedom for 14 months. With the aforementioned credentials, it's easy to see that Feickert wasn't afraid of getting his hands dirty.
"I knew that the opportunity was there to come back to the family business, but I can guarantee no handouts were given by my father," he says. "In fact, he was probably harder on us than the average employee in order to not to show favoritism. It took me a few years to appreciate and understand this, but in the end it made my brother and me more respected leaders in the company.
"My passion has always been selling and solving problems for people, so I knew if this opportunity didn't work out, I could make it in sales somewhere. Everything starts with a sale, no matter what business you're in."
One of Feickert's primary assets is his no-nonsense dealing with employees (his brother, Matt, is vice president of operations). Of course, he expects them to have the same level of commitment that he exhibits.