Manufacturer of the Year
Data Papers' Gene Crawford shares his winning philosophies
By Carol Katarsky
A Career characterized by giving back, listening to customers and empowering employees has paid off for Gene Crawford, CDC, president/CEO of Muncy, Pa.-based Data Papers.
Recognized by his colleagues for his insight and dedication to the industry, Crawford was named the Business Forms, Labels & Systems Gerald Bostwick Manufacturer of the Year for 1999.
Crawford got his start in the industry 36 years ago, as a press operator trainee at Wallace. He honed his skills during the next few years at Wallace and Jordan Business Forms.
After three and a half years at Jordan, he moved to Orlando, Fla., to take the position of production manager at Florida Business Forms. "I had no management experience at that time. They saw potential in me and developed it," noted Crawford.
It was a lesson he wouldn't forget.
Crawford spent the next 16 years in management positions at Litten Industries.
He joined Data Papers 11 years ago as vice president of marketing and was named president/CEO in May 1989. He also serves on the company's board of directors and is one of five shareholders of the privately-owned company.
In the course of his career, Crawford has served the industry as well as his company. He was DMIA's Manufacturer Second Vice President--the highest position a manufacturer can hold in the association. Prior to that, he was a member of the organization's board of directors.
Most recently, he served as the chairman for IBFI's 1998 annual meeting and was elected to serve on IBFI's board of directors. He also serves on its Independent Manufacturers Council.
Corr suggested attending a graphic arts association or DMIA direct mail course. He also said that distributors should affiliate with a manufacturer in the direct mail business willing to teach them what they need to know to avoid pitfalls.