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Great Lakes Integrated CEO Jim Schultz on the value of NAPL's Top Management Conference

Published on January 20, 2010

Jim Schultz: Yeah, whether you’ve got good times or bad times, going to a TMC type of conference, you get a lot of benefit out of it not only because of the speakers that they bring in, which are top notch, but also because of the peer relationships that you develop.

The company was founded in 1931, right in the middle of the Depression there.

Interviewer: That’s a family –

Jim Schultz: A family-run business. It started with my grandfather, grandmother. My grandfather actually built the first press for the company which was an offset press.

This is our founder right here, Joseph Schultz and this is actually one of his patents, which is still used on every press in the world today.

Interviewer: Wow.

Jim Schultz: And that’s the wash up trays, he invented the wash up units so you don’t have to take the rollers out of the press to wash the rollers down. He created a wash up tray.

When I want to bounce an idea off that we may be working on as a new idea, a lot of times, when I go to TMC, I’ll bounce it off of other CEO’s of the industry. So, it becomes that peer relationship that we develop. And I encourage my people then to work with those peers and contact them also when they’re working on something.

This is my father, George Schultz. And that was World War II; he was a Captain in the South Pacific. The company originally started at Great Lakes Lithograph Company, and then I rebranded the company because of the diversifying of the business over the last 20 years and the lithograph was going to pigeon hole us just as a commercial printer and we started diversifying business, like I said, a little over 20 years ago, and I changed the name to Great Lakes Integrated.

Well one of the things that was going to stay, no matter what, was going to be the ship, that is our heritage, that’s our tradition is this logo right here. And we can change everything else, but the ship stays. And it’s going to stay that way as long as I’m in control.

We’ve been going for probably 20 years. I’m not exactly sure how many years, but it’s got to be close to 20 years. I’m a past Chairman of NAPL and so obviously I’ve had a heavy involvement with their program in the past. But my folks still attend it today; my VP of Business Development, Dean Anesco, is an attendee and has been for a number of years. When we come back, we convene our executive team and we actually go through the entire TMC program and particularly the things that we feel are going to have the most importance – important impact to our company and we try to apply what we’ve learned at TMC.

 

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