In many ways, being a CEO of a company is like being a boat Captain. The Captain is responsible for the vessel’s safe and efficient operation, as well as being responsible for all persons on board. As CEO for Dixon Ticonderoga Company, I am in charge of ensuring that all business runs smoothly across North America. In addition, I have a management team and full staff of employees that depend on me for key decision making, strategic initiatives, and direction.
Having immense work and personal experience in the world of boating, I have learned what is needed to execute a successful trip on the water. I believe this skill is easily transferable to my role as CEO at Dixon. When I started, I had initially planned and charted my course through the art industry. As we all know, obstacles can arise at any given time. Having some years under my belt as CEO, I know all too well that things can change in an instant in the corporate world of art supplies and disrupt working synergies. The best of Captains can navigate through tough winds and high seas, just as I have throughout my time at Dixon Ticonderoga Company. I know the importance of continuing to steer the company in the right direction, and to be able to analyze and appropriately react to any unplanned events that may arise.
In the spring of 2015, Dixon acquired Maimeri, a fine art company based out of Milan, Italy that was founded in the early 1900’s by Gianni Maimeri’s family. Gianni is the current CEO and his family is still involved in the high quality paint production that has been implemented by Gianni’s grandfather. Gianni’s grandfather started the company. He was a very well-known artist, and created and mixed all the oil paints by hand to meet his satisfaction—there was nothing else on the market at the time to fulfill his professional needs. Through the acquisition, it was highly important for me to translate the amazing tradition and legacy that Maimeri carries with its name. For example, the Artisti oil paint line was developed in 1923 offering 102 different colors—the same formulation has been used for the last 94 years…wow!
As I dial into Maimeri’s fine art landscape, I begin to recognize the challenges and opportunities of my new course. There had been a long transition of integration of the line’s color products into Dixon’s systems, while trying to keep brand integrity. Finding efficiencies within our company and manufacturing systems both internally and commercially has been very important. In addition, this acquisition has been beneficial for both entities; Maimeri distribution has been maximized through this opportunity—it is now being launched globally to complement our other phenomenal products. As we continue to grow as a company, I have been fortunate enough to have access to some of the best companies and executives within the Fine Art industry. This allows me to bring new expertise into my voyage, so I am able to explore new waters, and I love being part of a company that is able to showcase phenomenal products.
My job as Dixon’s Captain requires that I apply my knowledge and leadership skills to make sure the company delivers and receives the best value possible. There are a lot of moving parts when it comes to the inclusion of a company and all its products, and I need to be able to rely and count on my support staff and crew to navigate the tough winds at sea. I am proud to have the best people to help me, and we are taking off like a space ship! As we drive the market with new and innovative ideas, I am highly looking forward to future acquisitions to grow the company, opportunities to continue to give back to the community, and developments in products to keep our key customers happy and increase sales. The next generation in Fine Art Supplies is coming, and gunning ahead. I am excited to continue to chart through the waters ahead, and see what other hurdles come up in the very exciting, fast paced world of arts…more to come!