President & CEO
As President and CEO of GPA, Bob Niesen is responsible for providing leadership for the entire organization. He is committed to giving the direction that will further lead GPA and the industry into the future. As a member of GPA’s Executive Leadership Team, he also plays a crucial role in the strategic direction of the company.
Bob believes that people and relationships are at the heart of both his and the company’s accomplishments, and he is determined to help others achieve levels of success they might not have thought possible. Similarly, Bob credits his father for the outstanding example he set through his work ethic, attitude and in the passion he demonstrated for the success of his employees and company.
Bob’s ability to develop product and service innovation that continually meets changing customer needs has been a critical component of the company’s success over the years. He was instrumental in GPA earning the prestigious designation of Preferred Media Partner to HP Indigo in 2008. Bob enjoys representing GPA around the world: from Italy to Singapore, to Brazil and Israel, he serves as an ambassador for learning and sharing the latest industry innovations.
His career at GPA began in 1991 in the Sample Department and since then, he advanced to Customer Support, then moved to California to open GPA’s Western regional office and supervise operations. He later went into Sales at GPA and moved back to Chicago where he also managed the Customer Support team.
At the age of 26, Bob was promoted to National Sales Manager, and then returned to California to serve as the Regional General Manager in 1997. In 2006 he returned to Chicago to serve as Director of Marketing and Brand Development, and was promoted in 2007 to Vice President of Marketing and Brand Development. In 2009, he was promoted to Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, then became GPA's President in 2014. In 2015, Bob was appointed to his current position.
While he served as Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, company sales posted growth every quarter under his leadership. He is the recipient of GPA’s 2010 President’s Award, which is an employee-nominated award that acknowledges significant leadership and service in the achievement of GPA’s corporate goals. In 2012 he was honored to accept the Jack Glacken award from the Digital Solutions Cooperative (Dscoop) on behalf of GPA.
Bob received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Relations from Illinois State University, and is a graduate of the Mahler Executive Management and Leadership Program. Outside of GPA, Bob also serves on the Board of Directors for Messenger Corporation, a market-leading manufacturer of stationery for the funeral home industry.