And the TLMI Converter of the Year is...
Strong, effective industry leadership results in packagePRINTING's 2013TLMI Converter of the Year award for Jeff Dunphy, president/CEO of Design Label Manufacturing.October 2013 By Tom Polischuk
It's real easy to see why TLMI is such a successful organization—it's simply stacked with strong, principled business leaders, who happen to be really good people. This fact is what makes the annual TLMI Converter of the Year award so special—there's a seemingly endless reservoir of people who could merit this recognition.
The 2013 TLMI Converter of the Year honoree—Jeff Dunphy, president/CEO of Design Label Manufacturing—steps in easily to this long line of top industry leaders. Last year's TLMI Converter of the Year Scott Pillsbury, president of Rose City Label, says Dunphy is one of his heroes in TLMI and a great choice for this award. "He is great example for other TLMI members, and shares his wisdom freely—inside and outside of TLMI."
Frank Sablone, president of TLMI, notes an interesting milestone for TLMI with this year's selection. "When Jeff takes over as TLMI chairman next year, it will be the first time that one family has had two members serve in that capacity." Dunphy's father, Paul, held the TLMI leadership position from 1985 to 1986.
Dunphy got an early view of the tag and label industry when his father left his job at IBM to buy a small printing company in 1977. Dunphy was just eight years old; so "I think it's safe to say I grew up in the company," he says. He did odd jobs starting at about age 10, which included cleaning the office and later worked summers in the pressroom running rewinders and doing various other jobs. Even then however, he didn't see the printing industry as his calling. "At that time I really never saw it as something I was going to do for many years; I just saw it as a way to make some extra spending money."
With his sights set on a career in finance, he earned an undergraduate degree in economics from Salve Regina University in Newport, R.I. For a short period of time he worked as a runner for a private trader on the commodities exchange in New York, but quickly discovered that it was not something he wanted to do. Although he had not planned on working in the family business, Dunphy joined Design Label in 1991 as a sales rep. He was promoted to sales manager in 1995 and then became president in 1999.