The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From The Tree
Patrick Napurski says it’s been a journey growing up in the family business to now leading the company.
“There are pictures of me as a baby sleeping on a couch while my mom and grandma were working,” Napurski says. Whether at a birthday party or Thanksgiving dinner, the hot topic was the family business.
“It’s always been around,” he says.
Chris Johnson, Napurski’s grandmother, started Minnesota-based supplier Halls & Company, (PPAI 111778, S6), the company behind IDLine and ActNow Media, 50 years ago, and earlier this year, Napurski was announced as the new president and owner. “I’m enormously honored to take this on,” Napurski says. “I am proud of the history we have here and I’m excited to be a part of it.”
Even as the promotional products industry has become more corporate in recent decades, with an influx of private equity ownership, family-run businesses like Halls & Company still represent a huge swath of the marketplace.
Johnson says, “Keeping the company in the family is a great sense of pride for what has been built and what will continue on. Patrick will continue the tradition of quality and service that has always been the foundation of our company.”
The company specializes in custom-printed identification such as name badges and photo IDs while also supplying several other hard goods, including buttons, signage and more. “Our products can truly be the billboards for the best brands out there,” Napurski says. “Whether you’re sitting in a coffee shop or interacting with our healthcare system, there are opportunities for our products everywhere.”
In 1998, Napurski first started working for Identification Services part-time and took his first full-time role at the company as a traveling sales representative in 2005. Since then, he has worked in almost every division of the company and has served on the board of directors for the past six years.
“I think servant leadership is extremely important,” Napurski says. “That means being able to ask questions and gain understanding from our current employees. This helps us understand what they are currently dealing with better, which then helps us come to a better solution. My hope is to help our incredible employees feel empowered to tackle the problems they’re having.”
Napurski knew the promo industry was in his future while earning is MBA from Lancaster University in London. “I received a call from one of our customers about the challenges they were having. Even though I was eight hours away by plane, I knew this is what I wanted to do,” he says. “I love being a part of the industry. I knew right then that this is what I wanted to get back to. I want to be challenged and learn something new every day, and it’s been like that so far.”
Napurski plans to expand on the company’s foundation, broadening its product line to fulfill more clients’ needs. He says, “Expect the same great quality you’ve come to expect from IDLine with an increase in available products. We want to be able to serve our distributors more fully in this changing marketplace.”
He’s also anticipating a significant digital transformation. “The integrations and interactions with our distributors are going to be a key opportunity for us,” Napurski says. “I hope to grow our team to meet our distributors when they need us the most. We also want to take that next step and streamline the purchasing process.”
In his new role, Napurski will remember his family’s lessons. “I’ve learned that sometimes you need to sit at the end of a conveyer belt and catch product. No matter who you are or what you might do, there’s always a chance to help and there’s always something you can add.”
Napurski says Halls & Company’s legacy is family. “I was talking with a new employee recently, and the first thing she said is that Halls & Company feels like her second family. That’s a legacy that’s hard not to be proud of. That mindset also comes through in our customer service and sales team. We are constantly asking: how can we treat everybody as well as we can?”
If anything, Napurski says the last year has reminded him of the gift of family. He says, “It’s been a crazy couple of years, but we know that together we can do it and we can do great things.”
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Halls & Company / PPAI 111778, S6 / www.idline.com
Kristina Valdez is an associate editor at PPAI.