American Litho, a leading print and direct marketing firm headquartered in Carol Stream, Illinois, has been named the best mid-sized company to work for in the Chicago area, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Carol Stream, Ill. – In a feature story published by the Tribune last week, employees praised the open-door policy of senior management and their responsiveness to employee needs. Staff turnover is low, with 30 percent of all team members on the job at least five years and another 20 percent with 10 or more years of service.
Truman Pope, head of ALitho’s binding, finishing and lettershop operations, cited the partnership of company founders Mike Fontana and Chris Joyaux in improving operations. “It’s easy to talk to them. They listen and ask: What do we need? How do we make it better?”
Fontana and Joyaux started American Litho in 1994 in a 10,000-foot space in Addison, Illinois. The company’s earliest projects were direct-mail letters and simple brochures.
“We took on the small jobs in hopes of proving we could do much more for our clients,” Fontana recalls. “It’s a simple strategy, but it worked.”
Ellie Valadez recalls that when the company was just getting off the ground, “The owners’ parents would come in with lunch. We would shut down the machines and eat together. I realized this was something different. I decided I would never leave.”
Today, Valadez is a supervisor developing team talent in ALitho’s warehouse operations. She mentors newer members of the company's workforce, which now totals 350. Services have expanded from simple offset printing and folding to the full range of support that major organizations need, from data analysis, list management, graphic design consulting and campaign planning to high-speed, 6-color inline printing, personalization, inserting and finishing, postal optimization and much more.
Employees credit open, efficient meetings and the freedom to bring their best ideas to the table as reasons for their personal success – and the success of the company as a whole.
Ann Porster, who came to American Litho after the company acquired her Detroit printing firm six years ago, serves as a national sales director. In team meetings, she and her colleagues “talk about a challenge, a victory or a loss, so everyone can learn,” she said. Mutual support helps the entire team grow stronger, she says.
In a blog post celebrating the award, Mike Fontana shared his personal thoughts on the company’s expansion. “We invested steadily in our people and our technology, adding more and more services as clients educated us about their needs,” he wrote.
Giving credit to employees, clients and industry partners for ALitho’s success, Fontana wrote, “None of what we’re doing today would be possible without the contributions of skilled, dedicated people who have made American Litho such an exceptional place to work, learn and grow.”
Looking ahead, company leaders see opportunities in all areas of direct and omnichannel marketing, citing web and mobile strategies that lift the response rates companies are currently seeing with traditional print-based campaigns.
With annual sales at $125 million and growing, the company anticipates a strong year in 2019.
Free ideas for improving campaign results in the year ahead, including a free analysis of any direct marketing package, can be found in the Brand Energy blog: http://www.alitho.com/blog.
Read Mike Fontana’s personal thanks in the Brand Energy blog: https://www.alitho.com/blog/american-litho-number-one-mid-sized-employer-in-chicagoland/.
Tribune story: https://www.chicagotribune.com/business/careers/topworkplaces2018/ct-biz-top-workplaces-2018-midsize-american-litho-20180820-story.html.