Don Burdge’s Story

Don has been the owner and CEO of a family business since 1988 when he purchased Burdge, Inc. from his father.  Burdge was a small printing company specializing in engraved letterheads and business cards founded in 1923 by Don’s grandfather.

In the early 1990’s businesses began using fewer and fewer of the printed products Burdge produced so Don created a new market in engraved etchings that could be made by the craftsmen at his company.

Then in the late 1990’s while the Internet was putting many small printing companies out of business, Don saw that it could be used by his clients to order their business stationery on-line.  Burdge was one of the first printing companies to adopt on-line order entry.  This enabled them to grow nationally even as his customers were using fewer and fewer letterheads and envelopes they made.

Even as the demand for printing continued to decline Don continued to grow by purchasing other printing businesses from owners who were having a hard time making ends meet and rolled them up into his company.

In 2008 Don decided it was time to look for a way to sell his business.  He planned his exit strategy by first identifying the largest privately held printing company in the country then positioned himself as a target for their acquisition.  The first step in this strategy was to purchase the largest engraved stationery company at the time, 2010, who had 65% of the legal stationery market nationally.  To do this without going into debt, Don used his equity in Burdge to acquire 50% of the new organization, BurdgeCooper, and became its CEO.

With the increase in size came increase in responsibility and management to oversee manufacturing centers in two states, California and Georgia, and sales representatives scattered around the country.

In 2014 Taylor Corporation purchased BurdgeCooper in an all cash deal and offered all its employees jobs at the new company.  Don was retained as president of BurdgeCooper which became one of the eighty graphic arts companies owned by Taylor, who employed over 10,000 employees and did over $1 billion in sales.

Don retired from Taylor in 2016 to pursue a career using his experience coaching other CEO’s in the Los Angeles / Long Beach market.