President, Dana RitchieIn 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!


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