Supplier Family Business of the Year 2016 - Fey Promotional Products Group

Back in 1965, John Fey expanded what had been a small basement printing business into a company called Fey Printing and Plastics. Half a century later, the family business he founded is thriving as a growing industry supplier, with his grandson Mike at the helm.

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Now known as Fey Promotional Products Group (asi/54040), the company’s longevity is a result of well-executed, forward-thinking strategic plans and heartland values one might expect to find at a Minnesota-based company. “Our purpose, vision and values pull in family attributes,” says Mike Fey, company president. “Part of the legacy we are trying to carry forward ties back to the initial beginnings of the company and my grandfather’s desire to provide employment for local citizens and enable them to be home for dinner with their family.”

Indeed, a family-like commitment to employees permeates and drives Mike and the leadership team at Fey to be on top of their game, providing the long-term vision, clear guidance and tools team members need to excel at their jobs, thereby making the company a collective success. The approach is working. Not only is Fey exceling in a competitive marketplace, it’s doing so with a bevy of loyal, long-serving employees, including 24 active team members who have a combined 775 years of service as of 2016.

“Our team members think enough of us to share their lives with us,” says Mike. “That is pretty awesome when you step back and reflect on it. With this, we recognize the importance for us to be accountable – to plan ahead and prepare our team to seize success.”

In recent years, Fey’s expansion strategy has included complementing organic growth with smart acquisitions. Fey acquired Reflectix (asi/81233) in 2009 and brought Molenaar, rebranded as Mi Line by Fey (asi/71032), into the company fold in 2013. Both acquisitions have proved smart business decisions. “The acquisitions have helped us with our marketplace relevancy, provided critical mass for expanded efforts, reduced the seasonality of our business and brought us contract manufacturing customers of non-promo, non-branded products,” says Mike.

While John Fey passed away in 1981, no doubt he would be proud of the company’s progress.

Proud that Norm – Mike’s father – played such an active role in guiding Fey’s success over the decades, retiring in 2004 after 39 years of service, but still a participant in meetings about automation and equipment development. Proud that family members – including Mike’s aunts, uncles, sister and brother-in-law – have been involved in the business over the years. Proud that Fey has worked with talented executives like Michael Ziebell (company president from 2009 to 2014) and Tony Haga, who led the company’s sales and marketing efforts through the 80s, 90s and into the mid-2000s. And proud, too, that Fey supports not only its employees, but the community as well, with charitable initiatives that include an internal Relay for Life team and partnering with Habitat for Humanity to fix up and build homes.

“Our goals are to live out the company purpose each day while affirming our values and striving for our company vision,” says Mike. “While we do this, the company and our team members will continually be relevant and find fulfillment, all while we grow revenues.”