For Jerry Mosley, CEO of American Inks & Coatings (AIC), it has been virtually impossible to walk away from the ink industry. Twice in his career, he has sold his ink company, only to come back and build a larger company.
Mosley’s entrepreneurial spirit and dedication to the ink industry led the National Association of Printing Ink Manufacturers (NAPIM) to present him with the Ault Award, the most prestigious honor in the ink industry, during its 2014 Annual Convention in San Diego. Mosley said he was surprised by the honor.
“It was a complete surprise,” Mosley said. “Like I said in my acceptance speech, I didn’t know this industry could keep a secret, but this surely was one. I felt very undeserving, as I feel I have taken much more from the industry than I have given.”
Career in the Ink Industry
Mosley’s career in the ink industry extends back to a summer job he took with the Levey Ink Co., on his way to college. By the late 1960s, he was asked to take a manufacturing job with CP&W Inks in Pine Bluff, AR. Through hard work, he moved into the lab, managerial positions and sales, and he invested in the company, which was bought out by PPG in the early 1980s.
After a year, he retired for the first time, but the lure of the ink industry called him back and he formed Progressive Ink in 1985. By the mid-1990s, Progressive was a $50 million company, and Mosley sold it to Alper Ink Group and headed back to retirement.
By 2001, Mosley again returned to the ink industry, forming the Packaging Ink Company, and acquiring American Inks & Coatings a year later. Today, American Inks & Coatings has $105 million in sales and is still growing, with a pending acquisition of Color Resolutions International near completion.
“From being lured away from a lucrative gas station business he owned with his brother in Bearden, AR in the 1960s to a manufacturing job in an ink plant in the big city of Pine Bluff, to starting his own company in the early 1980s, selling in the 1990s to a group of investors and starting all over again in 2000, my father has been a visionary in this industry all along the way,” Michael Mosley, AIC’s COO, said.
Mosley said that receiving the Ault Award and having the opportunity to grow two ink companies are two of the highlights of his career. As for influences on his career, Mosley included his first bosses in the industry, Greg Allen, Jack Cummings and Mickey Parrish, as well as some of his key competitors, namely Howard Flint.
Mosley has seen many changes in the industry over the years. “Consolidations both within the industry and our customer base are one change, as is the printing technology with flexo inks and capabilities of flexo printing,” he noted.
He has long been an active member of trade associations. Mosley is a long-time supporter of NAPIM and NPIRI, from back during his time at Progressive Ink through today, and encourages his employees to do the same. Since 2010, he has been a member of the NAPIM’s Board of Directors, where he puts great effort to find ways to strengthen NAPIM and the printing ink industry.
Outside of his efforts on behalf of NAPIM, American Inks & Coatings is an active member of the FPA, FTA, PLGA, TAPPI and PSSMA, where Mosley has served as a committee member.
“We belong to a number of trade associations, and if you take the time to get involved, not just showing up at the meetings, it’s worth every penny it cost,” Mosley said. “As for NAPIM, I don’t see how a smaller company can afford not to be a part of the association and take advantages of the numerous programs and information available to the membership.”
Outside of work, Mosley’s hobbies include golf, a cattle farm he enjoys working on and grandkids.
Mosley’s colleagues say that he is an ideal choice for the Ault Award.
Mitch Baker, a longtime colleague of Mosley’s, said that Mosley is a visionary in the ink industry.
“He has always been committed to customers, generous to employees and dedicated to the ink industry,” Baker added. “I was fortunate to work with him and for him for almost 30 years. In that experience, I believe he is more than deserving of the recognition that comes with the Ault.”
“Jerry Mosley is a very, deserving choice for the Ault Award because of his life long dedication to the printing ink industry, and his visionary approach to the business and markets that his companies have served through the years,” said Scott Clark, vice president and general manager for AIC. “Jerry truly believes that people are a company’s biggest asset, and the many qualified people that have worked for him through the years is a testament to that statement.”
Rod Clemons of AIC said he believes that Mosley is a deserving choice for the Ault Award.
“He knows all of the aspects of the ink industry,” said Clemons. “He has been instrumental in getting the industry where it is today. He develops his people and his businesses with the desire to provide a quality product and to support it first class. Plus, I like him.”
“Although I’ve only been part of the AIC family since October 2011, I have known Jerry through industry contact and NAPIM for several years,” said Jeff Ashburn. “I’ve always been impressed with Jerry’s complete knowledge of the industry and his drive to identify solutions to customers’ needs. I believe Jerry’s experience and unwavering drive to make a positive difference in the markets we serve make him a deserving choice for this year’s Ault Award.”
Michael Mosley said that he is of course biased, but he certainly believes his dad deserves the Ault Award due to his dedication and service to the ink industry.
“Growing up, he always reminded me of the value of hard work, but he also said you should find something you enjoy doing for a career,” Michael Mosley said. “There’s no doubt my father has enjoyed this industry for more than 40 years. It’s been so much more than a job. The ink industry is a large part of who he is and the industry is better off because of his involvement.
“He understood and recognized the value an inplant represented to a printer long before inplants were a staple in our industry,” Michael Mosley added. “He saw promise in partnering with suppliers in order to develop new products and refine current ones. More recently, he recognized the forces of consolidation within our industry and that of our customer base, I believe long before others came to the same conclusion.
“He’s generous and good to his employees, and I believe would have been a success in any industry he chose. I have heard him say many times, ‘there’s never been a day I dreaded coming to work or a day that I didn’t learn something new in the ink business.’
“I know I’ve been blessed in life beyond measure because he is my father, and in my opinion our industry is better off because of his involvement,” Michael Mosley concluded. “I am proud he was chosen by his peers at NAPIM for the Ault Award, and I think he will be an exceptional ambassador embodying what the award means to our industry.”