We all have defining moments in our lives that shape our ambitions and drive us to prove ourselves. For Pat McMullen, CEO of Graphic Village, that moment came during his high school graduation ceremony. In an “Above the Fold” podcast interview with Andy Brownfield, the managing editor of the Cincinnati Business Courier, McMullen shared his inspiring story of rising above expectations and carving a path to success.
As McMullen reminisced about his graduation day at Amelia High School, he recounted the theme of the commencement speech: “even though you guys went to a country school that’s not a very good school, you still have a chance.” Instead of being disheartened by these words, McMullen made a life-changing decision. He vowed to prove that he not only had a chance, but also had the ability to achieve greatness through education.
With an unwavering determination, McMullen entered the financial field, driven by both the enticing quality of life in the industry and his aspirations of one day sitting in the CEO’s chair. Recognizing the CFO as the CEO’s right-hand person, he understood that occupying that influential role was a stepping stone toward his ultimate goal. Fearlessly embracing opportunities, McMullen ventured into various industries without prior experience. He sought out companies to acquire, merge into larger organizations, and sometimes even sell. This bold approach proved fruitful when he assumed the role of CFO at Graphic Village in 2019, eventually ascending to the position of CEO in 2021. Throughout his tenure, he’s orchestrated several strategic acquisitions that expanded the company’s capabilities and geographical reach.
Pat McMullen’s inspiring journey from a graduation speech that fueled his determination, to his ascent as CEO of Graphic Village, serves as a testament to the power of perseverance and the pursuit of excellence. His story reminds us that with resilience, strategic vision, and a relentless drive, we can overcome any obstacle and achieve remarkable success.
In the “Above the Fold” interview, McMullen also discusses his decision to pursue the series of aforementioned acquisitions, even amidst the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. He also discussed the company’s notable sponsorship of David Letterman’s Indy car team, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, and emphasized why print marketing remains a powerful and relevant medium in the digital age.
Listen to the insightful podcast interview with Pat McMullen via the iHeart Radio play panel above – Pat’s interview begins at (18:32).