Winston Packaging Celebrates 100 Anniversary
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.—James A. Gordon is third-generation president and CEO of Winston Printing Company (d/b/a Winston Packaging), a provider of branded and private label printed retail folding cartons. One of his favorite axioms is: “Are you here by default, or are you here by design?” Gordon has steered the family business to its 100th anniversary in June by design.
“As a family business, Winston Packaging has remained strong by having engaged owners who repositioned the company to take advantage of local and regional opportunities as market conditions changed,” Gordon says. “Having a talented workforce who could adapt to significant changes in the printing processes that occurred during our first century was another important component of success.”
One of the company’s 50+ employees is Gordon’s son Russell, who joined the company in 2008, meaning Winston Packaging is a fourth-generation family business, a distinction only 5 percent of family businesses can claim. In addition, this world-class operation—certified to print for national companies such as Target and Kodak—has remained local to Winston-Salem, which Gordon says is a central location with excellent transportation routes for shipping the finished products.
“The economic and technologic tides in this industry have changed so significantly over the last century,” he says. “But Winston Packaging has embraced change, remained flexible, and stayed ahead of the curve. We have evolved from commercial printing to high-quality precision printed consumer product packaging—in essence, we have adapted to the market, to the highs and lows of our customers and to ever-changing technology. It’s what I call ‘surthriving.’ We’ve stayed ahead of the curve by sheer determination to succeed and continue our family legacy.”
Winston Printing Co. was founded in 1911 by Alexander G. Gordon, a journeyman bookbinder and entrepreneur who was a skilled marketer. He steered the company through the first two World Wars operating as a very modest job shop for commercial printing in downtown Winston-Salem. R.J. Reynolds was the company’s largest customer and remained so for 82 years.