David C. Pitts to Receive 2013 NAPL Soderstrom Award
Sixteen Industry Leaders to be Inducted as Members of Walter E. Soderstrom Honor Society
(East Rutherford, N.J. August 8, 2013) – The National Association for Printing Leadership (NAPL) was proud to honor David C. Pitts, President and Co-Owner of Classic Graphics, Charlotte, N.C., with its highest honor for industry service, the 2013 Walter E. Soderstrom Award, during the Soderstrom Society Awards Dinner on Sept. 7 at The Gleacher Center of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business in downtown Chicago.
The beautiful venue, a first for the annual awards dinner, was also the setting for the induction of a 16 new industry leaders into NAPL’s Soderstrom honors society, and the presentation of awards to the top winners in the NAPL Marketing Plus™ competition.
“We are very pleased to present this award to David Pitts,” said NAPL President and Chief Executive Officer Joseph P. Truncale, Ph.D. “He has not only been a driving force in building one of the industry’s most advanced and energetic companies, but has given generously of both his time and skill in helping NAPL work for the betterment of the industry at large. This award gives us an opportunity to recognize his substantial accomplishments and express our appreciation for his dedicated service.”
Pitts began his career in printing via a high school vocational program and went on to take a job as a press operator. In 1983, with a $15,000 loan from their families, he and coworker Bill Gardner founded Classic Graphics, opening their new business in a 600 sq. ft. warehouse behind a convenience store. At the beginning, the two men did everything at the new company, from sales to the pressroom, working long hours six or seven days a week, while holding part-time jobs to make ends meet.
Pitts and Gardner worked hard to master the best business and production practices as the industry underwent a technological revolution, and they ultimately created a company with knowledge, strength, and a commitment to embrace change. Under their leadership, Classic Graphics has steadily grown into a full-service printing, graphics and direct mail company with some 150+ employees, providing high-quality offset, digital and wide-format printing and finishing services, as well as fulfillment, mailing, distribution, and new media services.
In recent years, the company has also expanded through such transactions as its 2011 merger with Belk Printing Technologies of Pineville, N.C., and its 2012 acquisition of certain assets of Harperprints of Henderson, N.C.
Throughout his career, Pitts has been actively involved in industry association and educational initiatives, serving as a member of the NAPL Board of Directors and as Chairperson and a member of the Board of Directors of Printing Industries of the Carolinas (PICA).
Named for the late Walter E. Soderstrom, one of the founders of NAPL, the Soderstrom Award and Soderstrom Society recognize and celebrate the contributions of industry leaders, including printing firm owners and executives, equipment manufacturers, consultants, educators, and members of the press who have “significantly contributed to the development and progress of the graphic arts.”
Inducted into the Soderstrom Society this year were the following:
• Mal Baboyian, Executive Vice President, PPS and LFS Divisions, Canon Solutions America, Inc., Boca Raton, Fla.
• David Bennett, President, Bennett Graphics, Tucker, Ga.
• G. Paul Bozuwa, President and Chief Operating Officer, Dartmouth Printing Company, Hanover, N.H.
• Sid Chadwick, Chadwick Consulting, Lewisville, N.C.
• Tracey Cohen, President, Target Copy, Tallahassee, Fla.
• Derrick Doi, Vice President Quick & Franchise Segment Marketing, Xerox Corporation, Webster, N.Y.
• Bryan Hall, President and Chief Executive Officer, Graphic Visual Solutions, Greensboro, N.C.
• Mark Hischar, President and Chief Executive Officer, KBA North America Inc., Dallas, Texas.
• Gavin Jordan-Smith, Vice President, Solutions and Production Planning, BIS, Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc., Ramsey, N.J.
• Frank Mallozzi, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales and Marketing, EFI, Foster City, Calif.
• Susan Nofi, Senior Vice President, Human Resources and General Counsel, Heidelberg USA, Inc., Kennesaw, Ga.
• Christopher Payne, Vice President Marketing―Business to Business, Kodak, Rochester, N.Y.
• Michael Ring, President, Xeikon America, Inc., Itasca, Ill.
• Ted Straus, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Suttle-Straus, Waunakee, Wis.
• Patricia A. Stricker, President and Chief Operating Officer, The Sheridan Press, Hanover, Pa.
• Trish Witkowski, President/Chief Folding Fanatic, Foldfactory.com, Phoenix, Md.
In another first, the Gold Awards were presented at the Soderstrom Awards Dinner to the top winners in the annual NAPL Marketing Plus™ Awards Program. The competition recognizes marketing excellence by graphic communications companies in a dozen categories, representing a wide range of marketing activity, from corporate identity programs and direct mail to sales/lead generation and website development. The 2013 competition was open to all self-promotional marketing initiatives executed by industry companies between June 1, 2012, and May 31, 2013.