Business

JERE AMES-JOHNSON

Vice president of sales and marketing, McCormick Armstrong

The third generation of his family to work in the printing business, Ames-Johnson had a second career for a year, playing inside linebacker for the New England Crusaders minor-league football team.

"That was enough to get that out of my system," said Ames-Johnson, 56, who played college football in Boston. "I was selling printing during the day and going to practice at night."

Ames-Johnson, a Connecticut native, ran his family's printing company before being recruited for the first in a string of jobs that have taken him from Atlanta to Dallas to Austin to Las Vegas. He's served as president of four commercial printing companies along the way, using his knack for marketing and sales to help turn them around.

That won't be the case with the 110-year-old McCormick Armstrong, which he said is in good financial shape. But he does plan to help it grow, per his marching orders from CEO Jack Shaffer. McCormick Armstrong is making $10 million in press upgrades and other capital improvements.

Instead of battening down the hatches, "he's made the conscious decision to spend money to grow," Ames-Johnson said of Shaffer.

Since starting in January, Ames-Johnson has hired three sales reps and plans to bring in three more. His goal is to shape them into a sales force "that is consultive in nature, bringing value and solutions to the marketplace rather than just selling something."

McCormick Armstrong, 1501 E. Douglas, serves clients across the country. Doing more business in Kansas and Texas will be a particular focus for Ames-Johnson.

Outside work, Ames-Johnson said his biggest interest "is my wife and three boys. That and riding my Harley on weekends."

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