Under 40: Bob McAleavey, Specialized Printed Forms, a Div. of Ennis
Bob McAleavey, 31
Specialized Printed Forms, a Div. of Ennis, Caledonia, N.Y.
There’s a lot to love about an industry that combines old-world craftsmanship with modern technologies—which is why Bob McAleavey was eager to get involved in the family business. McAleavey’s maternal grandfather, John Randall, founded Specialized Printed Forms in 1951. He eventually sold the company to his son-in-law (McAleavey’s father), Robert McAleavey. A teenaged McAleavey started out as a summer helper in 2003, working on various tasks in the bindery and running the shredder and bailer out back. Midlothian, Texas-based supplier Ennis Inc. acquired the company in 2006, but McAleavey continued harnessing his skills. “My mother had worked for a local Penny Saver for most of my young life, so we always had layout software and computers around, which laid the foundation for me to move into the prepress department later in my career,” he said. “For years, I would work closely with the plant manager, scheduling jobs and making press lineups.” McAleavey’s efforts paid off, and he assumed the position of production manager before stepping into his current role as plant manager. He is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the plant’s day-to-day operations.
Why he loves the industry: There’s always something to be said for variety in life. I most love that not a week goes by where I do not receive a sample or a quote request for a form that is just a little, or completely, different than anything I’ve seen before. It forces you to be creative and think outside the box.
Age roadblocks and advantages: Acquiring as much knowledge and experience is the biggest challenge associated with my age. There is a wealth of experience available in the industry from colleagues and other business relations that can and must be tapped into each and every day. With that being said, this also is one of the greatest advantages. You can find inspiration and expertise from a seemingly limitless amount of places to draw from due to our rich and vast industry.
His biggest career influence: Fortunately, I’ve been surrounded by many important individuals during my career. By far, the most influential person in my life has to be Kevin Johnston, business unit director for Ennis. Kevin has held a myriad of different positions over his printing career, providing me with insight and guidance over the past years to continue to grow within the industry. We think alike, which helps in providing solutions to complex tasks and problems.
His most meaningful business accomplishment: Having been through many trials and tribulations, the most meaningful accomplishment I’ve had is being able to provide our customers with the same great service they’ve come to expect for years, leading to our employees here having an average tenure of over 25 years. Staying strong for your customers and employees is not an easy task, but still very important and rewarding.
His differentiating factor: Ennis is ever expanding and leans heavily on cooperation from the many different brands under its umbrella. Specialized Printed Forms has always been known in the industry for being able to accomplish a task that few to no others can. We’ve kept this model in place, servicing our customers and being creative along the way. Keeping an open mind and listening to our customers’ needs has proven to be invaluable throughout the years.
What he does for fun: Most of my spare time is dedicated to my wife, Jasmine, and our three young children. As in the printing industry, I enjoy making things such as woodworking and small electronics projects. There aren’t many athletic activities that I’m not interested in, and there’s always a guitar sitting around my house somewhere.
(The following profile appeared in Print+Promo’s “Rise Up” cover story in the February 2017 issue.)