Tribute to Excellence —Michelson
ALTHOUGH THEY’VE taken different paths to earn their places in the 2007 Printing Impressions/RIT Printing Industry Hall of Fame, this year’s class of inductees portray several common traits that have led to successful business careers and the admiration among their industry peers. Upbringing, printing experiences and personalities may differ among them, but the threads that have woven the fabric of their lives are all laced with gold.
Take David Torok, president and CEO of Padgett Printing, for example. A former U.S. Army captain, David epitomizes the leadership skills necessary to command a thriving printing operation. In 18 years since taking the helm at Padgett, the company has grown from $8 million in annual sales to a more than $30 million performer. Under his watch, Padgett has separated itself from the pack by transitioning into digital printing to complement its offset printing capabilities, as well as mailing and fulfillment.
However, Torok’s true leadership ability was tested following a major embezzlement case involving a former Padgett employee. A criminal act that could have easily destroyed a lesser company, his quick response and rock-solid reputation helped the company weather the storm. And one bad apple hasn’t tarnished his appreciation of employees and their contributions to Padgett Printing’s success.
Fellow Hall of Famer Gary Samuels, managing partner at Pictorial Offset, has also faced adversity. Soon after the third-generation company moved from New York to New Jersey, he and his brothers—Donald and Lester—suffered the death of their father and warded off bankruptcy following a disastrous press installation that ultimately cost them two of their biggest accounts.
Despite the new equipment setback, Pictorial has not shied away from committing to the latest technologies. The Samuels brothers long ago realized that staying on the leading edge of technology and automation allows them to offer customers new capabilities and remain price competitive in a cutthroat region. They’ve also been at the industry forefront of environmental stewardship.
Far away in California, Dome Printing President Tim Poole has had a similar love affair with new technology. Learning the business from his father and starting from the bottom operating a Multilith, Poole and his two brothers have catapulted their family business to a position far beyond what their father could have ever imagined. Poole also credits the relationships he has established with other printers through his affiliation with various associations and an industry peer group with helping to mold him as a person and a leader.
Chris Colville, recently retired CFO at Consolidated Graphics, looks to Consolidated founder Joe Davis as the mentor who most impacted his business life. Fellow CPAs, Davis and Colville found a winning formula to propel the industry consolidator into a $1 billion enterprise with 68 facilities. The M&A specialist executed some 50 acquisitions during his tenure there. Beyond his ability to analyze a balance sheet,
is Colville’s keen aptitude to evaluate a prospective acquisition’s market position and, most importantly, the commitment and credibility of its management team.
A similar commitment to excellence has been displayed by all of this year’s Gold Ink Award winners, which are highlighted in this special awards issue. Like people, true excellence comes in many shapes and sizes.
Mark T. Michelson