Walt Alfred, PTI President and Founder
I founded PTI in 1994—in my garage, actually. It's been quite a journey, and I am pleased to say we are now a leading North American specialty paper printer and converter.
Early in my career, I worked for another converting operation. I worked my way through different facets of the company, and the experience turned out to be instrumental in starting my own converting company.
In the early 90s, the level of expertise and service among paper converters was not very high, particularly as it relates to direct thermal paper products other than facsimile and POS. I saw a great opportunity to carve out a niche business specializing in printing and converting this media for specialty applications. By introducing our distributors to new and unique product opportunities with higher profit margins and educating them on how to differentiate themselves from the commodity arena it has been a win-win for our customers and for us as a company.
A little about me...I'm married with two grown children. I'm very active in the business and spend a lot of time out calling on customers and onsite overseeing all operational areas. When I'm not working, I try to stay active; biking, hiking, motorcycling, and skiing. I'm part German, I love to travel, and I enjoy visiting family in Germany whenever I can. I really love the arts—music, film, art of all kinds, particularly 3D art and sculpture, which I like to collect and display at work and at home.
Who was your childhood idol?
John Wayne…he was a man’s man. Tough yet compassionate...and he always did the right thing.
What makes PTI a great company?
Expertise—our people, and their experience and commitment. We are employee owned, which results in 100% accountability from everyone. We try to never take our jobs or customers for granted, so our customers continue to trust us and come back to us. Working at PTI is not just a job—it’s shared experiences, friendships, our security, and our future.
Have you always worked in printing? How did you get into this industry?
After grad school, I became a CPA and landed a role as Controller of another printing converter. After several years of working my way up the ladder, I left to found PTI. So, here I am 21 years later…and counting, still learning new things all the time and enjoying the experience.
What is something unique about you that most people would never guess?
I'm very sentimental. From mementos of my travels to drawings from children, I really enjoy the little things in life. And I have a life-sized dinosaur sculpture made from salvaged car parts in my garden at home.