These 20-Under-40 Up-and-Coming Printing Industry Executives Share Their Success Stories
In the end, family and the printing industry ultimately became the center of Blackburn's universe. And it's safe to say that some of the traits that originally drew him to physical therapy—working with others, meeting new people—translated well in his switch to sales.
"I consider myself a good listener, which allows me to understand the needs of our salespeople," he relates. "It is important to me that I maintain an open door policy with our staff, so we all work together to achieve our goals as a team."
Along the way, Blackburn has learned the importance of knowing customers and understanding their needs in order to give them the best service possible. As sales manager, he has worked intensively to teach his reps the "Foster Way" and ensure that customer needs are met.
Printing has always been a major part of Blackburn's life. His brother, Tim, is president of Foster Printing, which was purchased by their father, Dennis, 25 years ago. Dennis Blackburn's influence on Kris has colored his personal and professional point of views.
"It's a simple adage—treat people the way you want to be treated," Blackburn notes. "I truly love my job and the people I work with, both customers and co-workers. It's important that they enjoy working with me, as well."
At home, Blackburn's "team" consists of wife Heather, son Charlie (age 10) and daughters Paige (6) and Molly (six months). Kris Blackburn enjoys spending time on the links and watching sports.
Michael Marcian Jr., 39
The phrase "Following in the footsteps of a great man/woman" is often bandied about, particularly when a family member is involved. The adage couldn't be more true than in the case of Michael Marcian Jr., current president of Corporate Press, whose legendary, soft-spoken father was inducted into the Printing Impressions/RIT Printing Industry Hall of Fame in 2005.