Fierce Females in Package Printing: Michelle Garza — Being True to Yourself
In celebration of Women's History Month, Packaging Impressions is featuring conversations with inspirational women in the package printing industry. This series was created in collaboration with Lori Campbell, president of The Label Printers, who also nominated the first group of inspirational women to honor. We thank Lori for her continued support of the Packaging Impressions community, especially our women leaders.
For this edition of Fierce Females in Package Printing, we spoke to Michelle Garza, vice president of operations at Dantex Group, who shared insights on the value of authenticity, overcoming the preconceptions of others, and using inclusivity to attract the best candidates to printing industry roles.
I came to the industry through my family business. My father has been in the industry since 1963; he was in the newspaper industry. So, I was born into it. As much as I tried to do something different, I eventually returned to printing because it was exciting. So, I got into the industry in 1989.
It’s crucial that people from different backgrounds can work together and are respected. When different talents come to the table, it opens possibilities. Finally, regardless of background and gender, you should always be able to succeed based on your merit.
Also, the package printing industry’s products are ultimately sold to the public. To earn their loyalty, our end customers need to see themselves and their concerns reflected in our products. Diversity helps us do that.
Another thing diversity helps is in recruiting. Having an inclusive business means you have a wider pool of candidates; in competitive hiring environments, inclusive business practices allow the printing industry to bring the best to our industry.
As you know, Linda, earning respect as a female in male-dominated industries can be a real struggle. It was a struggle for me, especially because I worked for my family’s business. I faced presumptions that weren’t true. I had to create my own reputation to prove that I wasn’t living off of my father’s good reputation.
It took a long time to change some people’s minds, but I remained true to myself and created my own network of people who supported me by volunteering within the industry at FTA and TLMI. When I won Supplier of the Year at TLMI, I knew I had proved myself. It was validation that I had overcome and succeeded.
Professionally, I’m passionate about mentoring other young women both in and out of our industry — especially women who work in family businesses and are going through the same challenges I did as a daughter of the owner. TLMI helps me connect with many of these women because there are so many family businesses that are members.
Personally, I love to learn by reading, traveling, and experiencing the outdoors. I’m always up for a challenge and to learn new things. One of my goals is to see every national park in the United States.