Executive Perspectives: Journalbooks President Tim O'Boyle
As part of Print+Promo Marketing’s ongoing feature, Executive Perspectives, we get to know leading professionals in the print and promotional industry. This month, we interviewed Tim O’Boyle, president of Journalbooks, Charlotte, North Carolina. Here, he discusses the resiliency of promo, reveals when he does his best thinking, and shares how his company continues to evolve.
How did you get started in this industry, and what path did you take to land in your current role?
Tim O'Boyle: My father founded Timeplanner Calendars in 1971, and at a very early age I was intrigued by the business and my dad’s entrepreneurial spirit. Throughout college, I worked in our factory during Christmas breaks and throughout the summer. I also sold custom T-shirts in college, and was determined to become an entrepreneur and work in sales. After I graduated from East Carolina in 1989, my dad offered me a job in sales. Well, my three older brothers, Jim, Tom, and Larry, were running the business and needed more help in the shipping department than sales, so that’s where I started.
Over the years the business continued to grow and I had the opportunity to work in many facets of the business, including production and operations, [along with] inside and outside sales. We introduced Journalbooks in the early ’90s, and the business experienced rapid double-digit growth. I eventually took on the role of vice president of sales in 2005.
In 2007, my five brothers and I sold the business to Polyconcept North America (PCNA). In 2010, I was promoted to general manager of the business, and then promoted to president of Journalbooks in 2012. I am very grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to be a part of a successful family business for 18 years, and a part of PCNA, a global leader of promo, for the past 15 years. It’s been an amazing journey.
What do you expect to be some of the biggest changes or challenges the industry will face?
TO: I believe that buyers and end-users have become savvier and more educated, and want to ensure they are dealing with ethical, compliant companies. Consumers and end-users now have vast information at their fingertips to research factories, and are putting much more focus and importance on sustainability and fair treatment of employees. I think we will continue to see more consolidation of both suppliers and distributors. I also believe supply chain and transportation will continue to present challenges.
What keeps you up at night?
TO: I get some of my best ideas in the middle of the night. I also spend some sleepless nights brainstorming opportunities and solutions to become a better organization. I am passionate about constantly improving our culture, helping our team members, as well as delivering unparalleled service and value for our customers.
What do you think is the most exciting, cutting-edge thing your company is doing right now?
TO: We are always working on ways [to] enhance our imprinting and customization capabilities. We have introduced several new digital capabilities over the past few years. Our Color Direct imprinting method allows us to print full-color images and logos directly on the covers of our cover materials and Case Bound products. We are known for our imprinting and custom capabilities, and we continue to improve and push the boundaries to what is possible when it comes to imprinting.
I am very excited about a new upcycling program we are launching here at Journalbooks. We have always supported many local and national charities, and donated thousands and thousands of books over the years to organizations such as The Samaritan’s Purse and Operation Christmas Child, Circle Camps, Roof Above men’s shelter in Charlotte, and many more. Our upcycling program will focus on repurposing what would previously be scrap paper and materials for schools and organizations to help reduce our waste, while providing valuable resources to schools and children that may not have access to these items. We want all kids to discover the joy of paper and arts and crafts!
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
TOB: I have a wide variety of interests and enjoy anything outdoors — hiking, boating, fishing, [and] grilling out. I also enjoy music, attending concerts, and spending time with family and friends. I get great joy from mentoring, volunteering, and giving back in our community.
Want to be considered for a future edition of Executive Perspectives? Contact Elise Hacking Carr at firstname.lastname@example.org for a list of questions and other details.
Elise Hacking Carr is editor-in-chief/content director for Print+Promo magazine.