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New Memoir Details Emotional Complexities of Running a Family Print Company

Rock LaManna’s memoir “They Named You Right” shares painful lessons about buying and selling a family-run business during the dawn of the digital transformation of print.

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(PRESS RELEASE) Behind every multi-generational family business is a story of entrepreneurship, hard work, personal sacrifice, and inter-family squabbles.Most family business owners hesitate to share these stories. Not Rock LaManna, The Deal Flow Guy.

In his new memoir “They Named You Right,” Rock LaManna shares hard lessons he learned when he bought, grew, and sold his family-owned business.

Although the process made him a multi-millionaire before he turned 40, that milestone was more costly to his personal and family life than he ever imagined.

The LaManna family business story explores the delicate balance between the “family” and the “business” elements of a family business. It’s a cautionary tale about what happens when those areas conflict, and the consequences of prioritizing business over people.

Told as a first-person narrative, “They Named You Right” reveals two distinct Rocks. The first Rock is a source of stability and strength. He was heir to a thriving family business that, at its peak, had profit margins that made its leader as wealthy as the top executives of America’s most prestigious companies. But the second Rock smashed apart family relationships and in the process nearly crushed himself.

“They Named You Right” will appeal to family business owners and employees as well as hard-working young entrepreneurs who are struggling to achieve work-life balance.

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“I’ve seen firsthand what happens when your work and home lives are out of balance,” says Rock. “Listen to a workaholic: Working too much will implode your personal life, which in turn can hurt your career. You might call this a lose-lose-scenario: you lose, your family and friends lose, and in the end your business will probably lose, too.”

Additional wisdom is featured in a section at the end of the book called “Rock’s Diamonds.”

To order a copy of Rock’s business memoir, visit theynamedyouright.com. All proceeds from the sale of this book will go to The Rock LaManna Foundation, which financially contributes to organizations that support the underprivileged and children with special needs, specifically the South St. Paul Education Fund and Clinics Can Help.

About the Author

Rock LaManna is The Deal Flow Guy. He helps qualified buyers and investors find businesses that are ready for acquisition or transition. On the sell side, he helps owners improve their businesses, increase value, and position strategically in anticipation of sale, exit or succession. To learn more about the book or how The Deal Flow Guy can help your company find deals or plan business ownership transitions, sign up for Rock’s newsletter at TheDealFlowGuy.com.

About the Family Business

The company Rock grew, bought and sold in his 20s and 30s was the Vomela Specialty Company, which has grown through mergers and acquisitions into The Vomela Companies, a nationwide network of 20 wide-format graphics production facilities that serve many of the top brands and retailers in the U.S.

Rock’s father Carlo worked as a letterpress operator in Vomela’s early days when the company specialized in producing Christmas seals and tags. Carlo printed and die-cut the tags and labels and applied the embellishments, using a special glitter and flock crafting process.

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After Carlo was promoted from pressman to plant manager and cut a deal for a 20% stake in Vomela, 3M tapped into the label-converting processes Carlo and his team had developed at Vomela. 3M wanted to test innovative ways to convert adhesive-backed vinyl into new types of products for vehicle decoration, traffic signs, and more.

Shortly after Carlo acquired full ownership, he decided to step back from day-to-day operations and allow Rock to run the business as CEO. At the same time, 3M announced a 3-year plan to to take more R&D work in-house and automate manual converting processes, This meant Vomela lost millions of dollars of revenue they had been earning as an innovation incubator for 3M.

As Vomela CEO, Rock had to lay off most of the 150 people on staff and recruit future-focused technical experts. He succeeded in rebuilding the business with a broader base of customers with shorter run jobs. To accomplish this, Vomela invested in first-generation computer-aided drawing (CAD) systems and large-format computer-driven cutting devices that 3M didn’t yet possess.

This enabled Vomela to become a beta site for converting digitally printed vinyl graphics into new types of computer-cut products, including vehicle decals and fleet markings. In the 1990s, Hundreds of other small-business owners followed Vomela’s lead to use digital printers and cutters for quick-turnaround production of smaller orders for local businesses.

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