Executive Perspectives: Dale "DJ" Jacoby, executive vice president of Badger Tag & Label Corp.
As part of Print+Promo’s ongoing feature, Executive Perspectives, we get to know leading professionals in the print and promotional industry. This month, we interviewed Dale “DJ” Jacoby, executive vice president of Badger Tag & Label Corp., Random Lake, Wis. Here, he explains the value in learning various roles within a team, reveals when he does his best thinking and discusses the company’s expanding vision.
How did you get started in this industry, and what path did you take to land in your current role?
Dale Jacoby: I have spent my entire working career of over 43 years at Badger Tag & Label Corp. I started out doing handwork and deliveries while in high school. After graduation, I started as a pressman on a narrow web press. Whenever there was an opportunity to learn more or do more, I did everything I could to take advantage of those opportunities. When a second shift was started at Badger, I made the move to that shift, and I looked at it as an opportunity to learn how to run every press we had. Then, after 19 years in the plant, there was an opening for an outside sales rep. This was an exciting opportunity where I could use my years of knowledge of our capabilities to expand our business and work with our customer base to produce the most useful tag or label at the most economical price. I was able to do that for about five years. This was my favorite position, one that was an everyday challenge, but also gave the most reward: satisfied customers. After that, I became the sales manager, and have been serving as a vice president since 2006.
How do you set goals for yourself? For your business?
DJ: The goals are as simple as producing a product that we can all be proud of and exceed[ing] the expectations of our customers. We continue to expand our capabilities to meet current and future needs.
How does the economy continue to affect the industry?
DJ: After all [of] the years of experience [I’ve gained] in the business, it’s easy to see patterns in regard to how the economy affects our business [and] workload. Because our business is heavily related to manufacturing, we ride the same wave, as do all manufacturers. Our product line [consists of] functional tags and labels—they serve a purpose. The purpose and need will be there; therefore, there is a need for our products.
What do you expect to be some of the biggest changes or challenges the industry will face?
DJ: The need for printed tags and labels continues to change. Although traditional tags are still a very big part of our business, we have also invested in equipment to produce nontraditional tags. Keeping up with the changes can be a challenge if you sit back and watch. The better thing to do is to lead [and] take control of the changes.
What keeps you up at night?
DJ: Not necessarily keeping me up at night, but [I am] using the time to develop workable solutions, so I’d say innovative thinking, [which entails] figuring out ways to meet and exceed our customers’ needs. It’s amazing what you can come up with when your mind can focus on one thing at a time. Most of my really good ideas come to me overnight.
What do you think is the most exciting, cutting-edge thing your company is doing right now? Why?
DJ: We continue to develop totally unique products far beyond tags and labels, using the capabilities of our existing equipment. These products do not fall under the category of a tag or label, but are innovative and original and help our customers meet their ever-changing needs. We are tags, labels and more—far more. It’s very exciting to have the vision to go beyond the traditional use of our resources. Because we are a custom manufacturer, it is not uncommon for us to take on projects that, in some cases, aren’t related to a tag or label. We are continually thinking outside the box.
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
DJ: My family had the opportunity to obtain dual citizenship with Luxembourg. My wife, two children, grandchild and I all got our citizenship in 2018. I enjoy doing woodworking projects and working with my wife in our large yard, continually adding landscaping.