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2011 Supplier Family Business of the Year: Drummond Printing Inc.
By Joe Haley
June 2011

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Drummond Printing Inc. (asi/50873) is a family business twice removed, meaning that it was under the ownership of one family before being purchased by Ford Hansen, the grandfather of Amberlea Barnes, its current CEO.

“It was a newspaper at first and then it became a commercial printer under the ownership of the Drummonds which is where the name came from,” Barnes says. “My grandfather started to work for the Drummonds in 1937 when he was 12 years old.”

As the company grew, it maintained its commercial printing focus as the second generation came into the fold. Dennis Hansen, president, joined the company in 1982. His wife Nelda Hansen, vice president, took the company into the ad specialty industry in the late 1980s as a distributor. “We were supplying local companies with their printing needs and then we started supplying them with promotional products,” Barnes says. “That led to making a simple pocket coil notebook that remains our best-selling item.”

As for Barnes, she grew up in the company, working there after school. “We didn’t really get to go on vacation,” she says. “As small-business owners, my parents were working very hard to grow the business so our vacations were wherever the show was in the summer.”

She joined the company full-time in 2002, and was named CEO in August 2010. The company has been growing of late, Barnes says, projecting double-digit revenue growth for 2011 and now employing about 70 people. As a made-in-the-USA manufacturer, Drummond also maintains a 5-Star Supplier Rating in ESP.

Being a family business does have its challenges. “You have to learn to deal with the problems that arrive professionally even though it’s family,” she says. “We really try to have our own niche in the business so we have our own responsibilities. While we work very well together, it’s not like we have to agree on every decision in the day-to-day operation.”

And like many family businesses, they see their employees as an extension of their family. “I know all of our employees by name,” Barnes says. “I think we are more sympathetic to family issues and we strive to help our employees maintain a work/life balance. It’s not all about the numbers and it’s not all about the work. That’s certainly important and that’s why we’re here, but we are supportive of that balance.” – JH

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