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Andrea Grossman Passes Sticker Torch To Son

Almost 30 years ago, graphic designer Andrea Grossman pioneered a new industry called stickers. Now, after three decades, she is stepping down as president of the legendary company that bears her name and has named her son, Jason Grossman, her successor.

"I started working for my mom when I was 12 and I was her only employee," said 45-year-old Jason Grossman. "And today we've got 90 employees. I've been working alongside her in every position from purchasing to company vice president since 1988 and there’s not much I don't know about how Mrs. Grossman's works."

Andrea Grossman will continue to be involved with Mrs. Grossman's design and product development team. But after 30 years of running her own company, she is ready to explore other ventures.

"A lot of interests are tugging at me," said the Novato, Calif., resident. "I am involved with Prison Fellowship, and visiting people in prisons throughout the country has changed my life. I want to do more of that. I'm on various boards serving people with severe disabilities and people in desperate need. All of these people need more help, and this is something I so much want to do. I see this as an opportunity for me to be more involved in causes that really touch my heart."

Jason, who lives in Santa Rosa with his wife Kim, their five dogs and his collection of classic, vintage Mustangs, considers himself something of a maverick and has already brought some major changes to the company.

"We were outsourcing all of our printing when I bought our first printing press in 1993. Now we have seven Flexographic presses and are producing almost 15,000 miles of stickers a year," said Jason, adding that acquiring a HP Digital Press is adding a new dimension to their production capabilities.

In 1998, Jason launched Paragon Label (a division of Mrs. Grossman's) to hedge his bets in case the sticker business got soft. He then acquired a competitor, McCoy Label, and he now oversees one of the most successful wine and food label printing businesses in the County.

Five years ago Jason spearheaded Mrs. Grossman's popular sticker factory tour that attracts more than 30,000 visitors a year. He also purchased the Laserweb (the only one of its kind in the country), a high-tech, state-of-the-art laser-cutting system that produces precision cuts and design details on both stickers and wine labels.

Andrea Grossman started her home-based design business in 1979 from her dining room table in Woodacre, Calif. Today Mrs. Grossman's is housed in an 110,000-square-foot corporate headquarters with its own printing plant. The company has designed more than 2,200 different stickers and sells their products throughout the United States, Canada and Japan.

Called "the company with a heart," Mrs. Grossman's has donated more than 50 million stickers to children in hospitals and cancer camps all over the world over the past 20 years. For more information, visit http://www.mrsgrossmans.com
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Originally posted Friday, Sep. 12, 2008