Mike Graff began his journey in the printing business as a stripper, cameraman, and press operator while attending Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). He also worked as a teaching assistant in the Institute’s Flexo and Gravure departments, and in the spring of 1980 earned a BS degree in Printing Technology, graduating with honors.
Mike then joined the sales training program at the Press of A. Colish in Mount Vernon, NY. At the time, Colish was considered a premier sheetfed and letterpress printing operation with a dedication to unparalleled quality. While at Colish, Mike was recognized by his senior managers as a bright young talent and received many sales awards. He was promoted to Director of Sales for the company in 1988 where he continued to develop new business and train young sales professionals.
In 1990 A. Colish merged with several Westchester, NY printing operations and became Americom Graphics. Mike was appointed Senior Vice President of Sales for Americom where he continued to develop business and led the company in state-of-the-art technological advancement. In 1991, he was named Executive Vice President and helped build sales eclipsing $45,000,000.
During the early 1990s Mike’s growing passion for prepress technology in an industry that was transforming from an analog to digital workflow became obvious. He dedicated himself to color science, particularly as it related to graphic arts technology. When Americom became part of Sandy Alexander in 1991, Mike not only continued to manage his own personal sales, he helped grow a national sales force and was appointed to Director of Color and Prepress Operations for the entire organization. Under Mike’s leadership, Sandy Alexander was the first to adopt a measurable and repeatable ICC profile database. Additionally, the company was the alpha site (Manhattan Project) for what has now become Gracol 7, the most respected color management standard in our industry. This established Sandy Alexander globally as the most respected color management systems leader in the graphic communications industry.
In May 2008 Mike was appointed President and CEO of Sandy Alexander. His unrelenting leadership and his more than 30 years of dedication to his craft have been crucial elements in his guidance of Sandy Alexander through difficult times in the graphic arts industry. He has successfully charted a restructuring course that includes growth through the strategic acquisition of nationally respected companies. He has led the diversification of a product mix that includes the addition of a wide array of digital technology/output devices and the creation of the most modern and sophisticated out-of-home division in the country. He led a management buyout in the summer of 2013 and is a majority shareholder.
Mike has received numerous awards, including the PIA’s Power of Communications Award and the Luminaire Award, and he was named to the Printing Impressions/RIT Hall of Fame in 2012. He also is a member of the Walter Soderstrom Society and was the keynote speaker at the 2011 Offset and Beyond Conference in Orlando, Florida. In 2009 Mike testified before a Congressional Hearing on the dumping of imported paper in the U.S.
Sunday, 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Color Excellence: It’s a Journey, Not a Destination
In this keynote, Mike Graff will share how Sandy Alexander established a culture of color excellence within the organization. Employee empowerment and giving staff the ability to challenge current color processes to make them better is a cornerstone of their continued success. Through business cases, personal anecdotes, and real-world examples, Mike will share perspectives and insights on how to establish color excellence within your organization, how it will impact your ROI, and delight your customers.