From humble beginnings to becoming a thought leader in the barcode space, this is the story of Dana Ritchie, PaladinID CEO.
In 1989, after attending college and living in Boston for a few years, I moved back to my hometown of Syracuse, NY and began my foray in the label printing industry. I answered an ad in the paper from Diagraph Corporation. They offered me a position in Central NY. I was the fifth sales person in the territory in four years. Although it was very challenging, it was a great experience that I would never forget. After my first year, the territory was on quota for the first time in 8 years.
Fourteen months later, I was hired by Weber Marking Systems. This company was also in the label printing business but offered a wider variety of products. I learned from some of the best in the industry and worked extremely hard to develop a rundown territory. I have learned over the years when a new sales person is hired for a territory, it means only one thing. It is time to roll up your sleeves because the new sales person is never given a top-running patch. I worked for Weber for four years and made Honor Council two of the three years I was eligible. Honor Council represented the top 12 sales people out of Weber’s 70 person sales force.
In 1994, it was time to return to New England. I loved the label industry and knew it was the best place to use my experience. Within days of my arrival, I was hired by Integrated Labeling Systems of Nashua, NH and offered the Boston territory. I had landed my dream job. It was a great time to be in the barcode labeling business. I was Integrated Labeling’s top producer for four years and loved my position. At the end of the fourth year, I realized it was time to set out on my own. I had been very successful in my sales career and had made a great deal of money for my employers.
In 1998, the opportunity presented itself and I started Northeast Business Systems, LLC which later became PaladinID, LLC. My first week was filled with, “What have I done?” By the end of the second week, I knew I had found my calling. I started the business with $1,000 and determined to work seven days a week. The rest is history.
I can honestly say I have the greatest career. I love what I do and consider my customers to be my business partners. It has been exciting to watch my customers’ businesses grow along with mine. I am driven every day by helping people and solving problems. This is a great industry because labels are so diverse and complex. Another motivating factor came when I parted company with Diagraph Corporation. My sales manager said, in a parting shot, “You can’t sell, you are not a sales person and you need to find another career.” Looking back, if I have made it this far and can’t sell, I can only imagine where I will be when I figure it out!
Thank you for reading!
Need help with your barcode/RFID needs? Contact Dana Ritchie, PaladinID CEO