Mr. Walters joined Ennis, Inc. in August 1997 as Vice President of Commercial Printing Operations, successfully anchoring Ennis’ spot in the commercial printing market. In November 1997, he was appointed Chief Executive Officer (CEO). His role with the Company then expanded to include the titles of Chairman of the Board and President. Since then, under Mr. Walters’ leadership, the Company has become the largest wholesale printer in the nation with one of the most robust collections of product lines in the industry.
During his more than 20 years as CEO, Mr. Walters has overseen 33 acquisitions. This includes the addition of 40 brands under the Ennis umbrella, resulting in a strategic diversification of the Company beyond traditional business forms. Mr. Walters led a business forms company with $153 million in sales to a diverse, nationwide print solutions company that now grosses more than $400 million annually. Shareholder value, EPS, and the Company’s dividend have all been increased during this time frame.
He also led the company-wide rollout of a new ERP system. This ERP allows Ennis to design systems that accurately determine costs while efficiently and profitably producing their extensive product line. The ERP system is implemented into each acquisition giving management valuable information that hasn’t been available in their legacy systems. These systems have directly affected the speed at which new acquisitions are showing positive returns to the Company.
Mr. Walters’ ability to think outside the box has earned Ennis numerous accolades within and outside of the printing industry. One noteworthy example is Forbes Magazine’s “Top 200 Small Businesses” list, in which Ennis is the only wholesale printer named and Ennis reached this list for five consecutive years until sales growth exceeded eligibility for the Small Business Category. Ennis has also firmly established its place at the top with its #1 ranking on Print+Promo’s “Top 50 Suppliers” list, as well as PSDA’s “Top 50 Member Trade Printers” list for more than a decade. Mr. Walters has been named on ASI’s “Counselor Power 50,” which ranks the most influential executives in the ad specialty industry, for several years in a row.
Mr. Walters served the industry on the PSDA Board from November 2002 to October 2007, as well as the IBFI Board before the two merged. During his tenure, he helped transition and strengthen the associations by pushing for enforcement of the existing by-laws and merging the PERF Trust with the PSDA Board. Mr. Walters’ ongoing efforts over the past two decades have helped bring about positive change to organizations that were in need of strategic plans.
Residing in Waxahachie, Texas, Mr. Walters enjoys spending time and traveling with his wife, Margaret, and his two grown daughters. His vision to expand a forms manufacturing plant in the small town of Ennis, Texas into the leading national printer for the wholesale trade continues to prosper through the execution of a results-oriented production, sales and marketing strategy.
Prior to joining Ennis, Mr. Walters was with Atlas/Soundolier, a division of American Trading and Production Company, a manufacturer of electronic sound and warning systems, from 1989 to 1997, as Vice President of Manufacturing. For the 15 years prior, he was with the Automotive Division of United Technologies Corporation, an automotive parts and manufacturing company, primarily in manufacturing and operations.