Label Technology named ‘Green Business of the Year’

By  John Derby
Times Publisher
August 4, 2016

Sometimes it seems like all you have to do is start a business in your garage and it will turn into a big success.
John Bankson, founder of Label Technology, did just that with his first labeling machine — and now his company is one of the largest in Merced County.

This past week, Label Technology was honored as the Green Business of the Year by State Senator Anthony Cannella and the Greater Merced Chamber of Commerce. The company, operating since 1986, produces labels and flexible packaging products which are distributed around the world.
“I had to take out a third mortgage on my house [to pay for it],” said Bankson, who had his son David, at the age of 18, helping him get started.
David Bankson is now the president and CEO of Label Technology which employees a whopping 126 employees.
Bankson already knew a lot about the labeling business when he bought the 4-inch labeling press and installed it in his garage. He had the sales contacts and the know-how accumulated from working for other firms.

He came from the Bay Area, moving down to Los Angeles as his career developed. He spent 17 years with one firm which produced specialized paper products for packaging back in Pennsylvania. That company went bankrupt and took most of Bankson’s savings with it.
He moved to Merced where his wife had family, but he never gave up the dream of “owning my own business. ”
The labeling and packaging business has changed so much during the last 30 years. Each change seemed to require new and better equipment. Several of the presses used by Label Technology today cost over $3 million. The packaging equipment is equally pricey.
As the business expanded, Bankson moved from one plant to another and Label Technology now owns one 50,000 square feet building, and has leased another 100,000 square feet of building space.
Part of that growth has been in the area of environmental responsibility. “We owe future generations a clean planet.”
Bankson refers to himself as “98.99 percent retired,” however, it is obvious that he maintains a focus on the business which he founded and can give facts and figures off the top of his head. He is 82, and doesn’t look his age because he keeps in good shape and is an active participant in the business.

He credits the success of the company to having the right people, ones with a “Yah, Yah spirit.” He recognized his son for having been a major factor in the company’s growth. Albert Gabriel is the plant manager and has been a part of the team for 20 years. Vinton Thengvall, as the Chief Financial Officer, is making a major impact on the company’s growth, and all the 126 employees who keep the company running smoothly deserve credit in the success of Label Technology. The company is employee-owned and operated and sales are expected to be about $40 million this year.
In response to the most recent award as the Green Business of the Year, Bankson was honored that Label Technology was selected. “Some people say a business can’t do both … They are wrong. A business can do both, be pro-business and pro-environment.”

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