How Printers Are Transforming: The Heritage Printing & Graphics Story
Then we, like many other printing businesses, were greatly impacted by the devastating economy that followed the tragic events of 9-11. Around 2003, as I was approaching the age of forty, I began to realize that being a leader with endless amounts of energy and determination was no longer good enough to sustain a profitable business. By that time our company had struggled with the poor economy and shrinking margins for a number of years, ultimately leading to a Chapter 11 reorganization and my own personal bankruptcy.
2. What impact did this have on you?
They were tough years—for our business and family--but ended up being the beginning of a great renewal that transformed me and totally changed the trajectory of my family and our business. The financial challenges we faced during that time made me totally reconsider what was most important in life. After seventeen years leading the business, I decided to take a sabbatical, got way outside of my comfort zone, and moved my family four hundred miles away to Charlotte, North Carolina in the summer of 2005. Here I was able to spend more time with my wife and four children while telecommuting with Heritage in Maryland and being involved in leading a non-profit organization in Charlotte.
3. How did your business fair during this time?
I saw the years of mentoring my staff in Maryland to be leaders really pay off. They stepped up as a team and helped to grow the business more than 40% during the first two years of my absence. I began to wonder if they really needed me anymore, and then the near collapse of the financial markets and banking system in 2008 happened and it prompted me to consider our next steps in the journey.