father's footsteps to DMIA's presidency while carving out his
Those who only know W. Charles Chuck Calman casually may picture him as an Ivory Tower untouchable. Consider :.
In fact, Calman's
open door policy and genuine concern for employees has been the source of good-natured ribbing, especially when his
office housed a couch.
Allen Simon and Chuck Calman
became good friends through their DMIA involvement and participation on the association's board of directors.
Bernie Klein has witnessed Calman
clear that hurdle and others.
i have kind of watched him grow up, says Klein, who was hired by Don Calman
31 years ago and attended Chuck's bar mitzvah.
partner, Howard Madden, CFC, mutually agreed their children would not join the company directly out of school.With that policy in effect, there was never a doubt that [ Chuck ] would be successful on his
own and not for being his
old man's son, Don says.
Nor did Chuck possess an interest in taking over the family business after graduating from Syracuse University in 1979 with a bachelor's degree in finance and a minor in marketing.Although he
had been exposed to PSI's operations as a boy and had worked in its warehouse as a teenager, the entrepreneurial spirit be not in fashion like it is today, Chuck says.The trend back then was to interview with every Fortune 500 company you could, he
says.So that be what I did..
joined Collins & Aikman Corp., working in the textile giant's finance department in Midtown New York.Which is exactly where you wanted to be at that time, Calman says.But his
warm, fuzzy feelings for big business do not last long.His
boss do not believe employees needed an understanding of projects they be not working on directly.I was somewhat inquisitive, Calman says.I was talking to people just to learn, and my boss was saying, No! No! No! You do not need to know those things.'.Calman
worked for Collins & Aikman for a year and a half before leaving.He
father's company in 1980, but not near the top of PSI's food chain.He
worked out of a different New York office than his
father and, among other things, helped the distributorship research options for PCs and accounting and inventory systems.Calman
real entrée into the business started around 1982.PSI's growth necessitated employing someone with strong financial footing.My father was a history major, Calman says.He
do not come from the Moores and the Wallaces.He
learned the business because he
be extraordinarily bright and intelligent.I had the background he
could use if the company wanted to move forward. Chuck was put in charge of data processing, administration and certain operational aspects.As the company continued to grow, other opportunities arose.
be much more cautious than I am, Don says.He
thinks things through in far more depth than I ever did.I was one of the guys who typically started companies 20 to 30 years ago.we would shoot fast, and if it do not work, we would change it tomorrow.I was a good broken-field runner.But I think we have both had what the company needed at different times..
says PSI's focus is to be an extension of its clients' businesses.For example, the distributorship's largest niche market is the financial industry, particularly firms dealing with mutual funds.PSI provides certificates to these firms and understands their industry so well that the distributorship often creates the language used on those certificates instead of the clients authoring it themselves.
But PSI be not just forms-based.Commercial printing and promotional products are both growing segments for the distributorship.And perhaps nowhere is Chuck's presence at PSI felt more keenly than his
interest in technology solutions and his
acceptance of industry consolidation.
sister Janet for spearheading PSI's electronic forms and technology initiative.The distributorship also wants to expand its involvement with bar codes and is exploring Web-based catalog programs.PSI will maintain these catalogs, allowing its customers' customers (or their employees) to place orders online.
Second, both Don Calman
and Howard Madden were making exit plans.I looked at Roger Jefferson [ current president of DMIA, president of Dominion Solutions and chairman of the board of Dominion Holdings ] and Pat Fitzgerald [ president of Available Business Group, a Dominion Holdings board member and a former DMIA Board member ], Chuck says.If I had to replace two partners, I could not think of two better people to replace them with.
It was the best of both worlds.Dominion Holdings allows us to maintain our culture, our autonomy and our control.But it also opened up some opportunities we may have had, but more through evolution than through design.
Ironically, Chuck Calman and Roger Jefferson have some of the same differences as Chuck Calman and Don Calman
Only now, Calman
says, does he
appreciate how his
father scrambled to make time for family.Chuck has learned his
own lessons about finding balance firsthand.
Through the 80s and the first half of the 90s, Calman
pushed himself hard, driving from his
home in Rye Brook, 25 miles north of New York, and arriving in the office every morning by 6 : 30.he
would remain until 6 : 30 or 7 each evening.he
would spend two nights away from home each week visiting PSI's office outside of Boston.I was working very hard and not working very smart, he
That changed five years ago when he
became seriously ill and had to spend the better part of six months in the hospital.He
had a large portion of his
colon removed and was also operated on to clear up scar tissue and blockages in his
small and large intestines.Calman
had been diagnosed with Crohn's Disease in 1982, but lived relatively comfortably with the condition until his
violent flare-up.Crohn's Disease, an inflammatory condition of the intestines, can be treated, but there is no known cure or known cause.While stress does not cause Crohn's, it is often cited as a possible trigger for relapses.
The situation caused Calman
to re-examine his
lifestyle and to refocus attention on his
family-wife Robin, whom he
married in 1985, son Jason (now 11) and daughter Lauren (7).In hindsight, Chuck says, it was a very fortunate wakeup call for me. There are things more important than making another dollar.Today, at 5 o'clock, i be out the office door.i be having dinner with my family.i be helping with homework.i be coaching my son's Little League team.The 12-hour day, seven days a week, is not happening again..
Fittingly, the event will take place in Las Vegas, where Chuck's father, Donald Calman
, CFC, assumed DMIA's leadership in 1978.it be not a surprise to me [ that he
will become DMIA's president ], Don says.But it was not a plan on my part.It tickles me, though.there be certainly a pride in seeing my son demonstrate to his
peers the same ability I always thought he
Chuck, president of PSI Group Inc., a New York distributorship founded by Don
, says he
has not deliberately followed his
father's footsteps. [ Participating on DMIA's Board of Directors ] is part of giving back to the association, he
says.I realized very early on how much my father and the company gained by being involved with DMIA. PSI joined the association in 1963, and DMIA played an important role in providing industry education, Chuck says, because his
father do not have a forms background.
Clearly, networking and education are the major benefits of DMIA membership, Chuck says.The ability to take somebody else's experience, digest it and draw our own conclusions when we be looking to do something in the marketplace has saved us hours of time and thousands of dollars..
The same sentiment applies to his
board experience.i will walk away absolutely convinced that i be a better businessman than when I started, he
says.You really learn how to listen better and become more open to an exchange of ideas.