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Q&A: Steve Mulcahy CEO Contact Originators

Age-wise, Steve says he is “not ready for a bus pass anytime soon!” He spent more than 30 years in the paper industry before buying in to Dukinfield-based Contact Originators a decade ago. He enjoys clay-pigeon shooting, fishing and golf and has two sons and four grandchildren: Henry, Lilly, James and Eliza.

60 seconds with DecTek

DecTek was formed 18 years ago on a kitchen table. A printer, resin dome setup and a fax machine (remember those?) all financed on a couple of credit cards.

Q&A: John Ellis Managing director, The Mailshop 

John has just become the managing director of The Mailshop following a buy-in management buyout at the Nottinghamshire business. He started in print as an apprentice compositor at the age of 16 and has been in print and direct mail in one way or another for 33 years. He will reach the milestone age of 50 next year.

60 seconds with Print Image Network

Managing director John Foster “took the plunge” and set up Print Image Network in June 2000. “Renting a very small unit in an old cotton mill; started selling print and mailing as a managed service… armed with nothing more than a pen, notepad and phone.”

60 seconds with Technoprint

Technoprint was founded in 1988 by two local businessmen, originally as a small commercial printer. In 1997 the firm relocated to its current site in Winsford and in 2009, Alan Ryan became the sole owner of the business. Technoprint specialises in pharma information leaflets and provides bespoke solutions to resolve issues faced by its customers, delivering efficiency gains and cost reductions.

60 seconds with Imprint Digital 

Keith Sutherland started the firm that became Imprint Digital in 1972 when he was “thrown out of university for failing to do any work on my Masters’ degree”. This was because he was also organising a major campaign for a charity which needed a lot of printed material “so I leased a little Gestetner offset press. Once the campaign was over I had to take on commercial work just to pay the lease!”

Q&A: Heather Davies, finance director, Fuller Davies

Heather retired in mid-April, having worked at Ipswich-based Fuller Davies since the firm’s inception some “35-plus years ago”. Her retirement plans include “spending special time with my three grandchildren”, quite possibly while listening to some classic ’70s pop.

60 seconds with Apprintable

Apprintable was conceived in spring 2015 when co-founder and managing director Peter Haddad noticed a “huge gap in the print market” while at university.

Q&A: Del Simmons, operations director, Dayfold

Del is 40 years old, and has been working in the industry for 25 years. When not at work you can find him on his canal boat “moving at 4mph”. Or perhaps sat on the bank fishing if his fiancée Emily allows.

60 seconds with... Balcony Shirts

Balcony Shirts is a printwear shop in West London. Partner Scott Raison explains the back story: “From humble beginnings printing t-shirts in our bedrooms and selling them on eBay, we soon graduated to a Portacabin, which was situated in a truck garage car park. We then moved to a unit on Uxbridge industrial estate, before ending up in our home of the last 10 years, our shop in Uxbridge.”

Q&A: Patrick Roberts, independent sales consultant

It’s been a landmark year for Patrick, who has spent a whopping 50 years in print. In 1970 he worked as a bench hand for Ward Printing and then became a production trainee at The Longman Group (now Pearson Educational).

Inkjet insiders

Global Inkjet Systems in Cambridge is another of those world-class British tech companies that hides its light under a bushel. Or in this case, NDAs from its customers.

60 seconds with Cliftons

Cliftons managing director Tim Clifton started the trade print finishing business in 1998 with his father John. “I had been in repro for 10 years and was in Australia at the time when I received a phone call from him to say an opportunity to purchase a company had arisen and was I interested… beach or Tottenham? Silly me!”

Q&A: Ian Doel, owner, Freelance Print Staff

Ian is 47 and has been in print since he was 16, starting off with a print apprenticeship. Of the industry he says: “I love it, so many great people.” He lives with his two children in Southsea and his hobbies include “anything active”.

60 seconds with Trade Canvas Print

Trade Canvas Print began life in 2005 “a bit by accident”. Managing director Ben Fecci had a knee operation which didn’t go to plan, which meant he had a lot of time on his hands but limited mobility.

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