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Posted by on Sep 26, 2018 in Blogs | 0 comments

IPMA’s first ever public sector symposium was a smashing success!!! Here’s a recap.

IPMA’s first ever public sector symposium was a smashing success!!! Marcie Carr, Director, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania General Services, Bureau of Publications, and her staff put together an amazing 2 ½ days of education, fun, and tours. Thank you so much!!!

So many great memories and friendships formed!!! And what a fabulous venue- The State Museum of Pennsylvania! A real first- a symposium in a museum surrounded by history and all things Pennsylvania.


As a warm-up the evening before, IPMA took over the top floor of McGrath’s authentic Irish Pub for our private opening night festivities. Sponsored by Ricoh, it set the mood for a great event and allowed members to chillax, connect with old friends, and make new ones.

Our main event was kicked off by Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of General Services Kurt Topper who welcomed us. He had a great perspective on the value of the in-plant model in government and said he was extremely proud of the Bureau of Publications team (Marcie’s group) and how they were adding value to their state services. Kudos Marcie Carr!!!

Sessions began with In-Plant Graphics’ Bob Neubauer who previewed an upcoming report that had data about investments being made by in-plants. He brought Marcie Carr and David McCloskey, both from Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, into the conversation to discuss their inkjet installation and its benefits. Immediately following, attendees broke into small groups for roundtable discussions to “talk shop.”


Afterwards, the vendor fair began. So easy to step right in as the exhibit was in the same room with the sessions! This encouraged interaction all day long. Attendees loved it- so much so, that it was difficult to get everyone seated for the next session.

But not to worry, there were many additional opportunities to connect later.

Workflow was next to take the spotlight. Pat Groeger of Rochester Software Associates (RSA) presented “Government In-plant Workflow Challenges, Solutions & Opportunities.” She discussed the three common workflows RSA sees in the public sector, the challenges in-plants face, and offered solutions and opportunities for the public sector to balance the need to reduce costs while better serving their public’s needs and making it easy to engage with the in-plant.

After lunch, there was additional time to spend visiting with vendors for face-to-face questions and learning about things to come. As always, there were door prizes- something everyone looks forward to!

The afternoon was packed with information. Ricoh’s Ken Tucker and Debbie Pavletich from Ricoh discussed keeping your in-plant relevant through marketing integration. Mike Lincoln from State of Colorado followed with “How to Be That Mail Center of the Year.” The State of Colorado has received the award multiple times, and Mike talked about the strategies they have used to make themselves a top in-plant.

The day’s sessions wrapped with Tammy Golden, Assistant Commissioner of General Services for the State of Tennessee, who discussed Lessons Learned through interactive round tables. Topics included balancing the importance of encouraging creativity and innovation with the low risk tolerance experienced in the public sector, and using the Make New Mistakes (MNM) management philosophy that says If we aren’t making mistakes at all, we’re probably not being creative and trying new things. We learn from those mistakes so that we don’t keep making the same ones. With the MNM philosophy in mind, round table participants shared mistakes they’ve made and how they learned from them in the areas of Customers, Staff, and Process Improvement. At the end of the session, a spokesperson from each group shared their takeaways.

The day ended with a private tour of the museum. It was fabulous! We saw everything from dinosaur skeletons, to a toll booth from the Pennsylvania Turnpike, to the flag that hung behind Abe Lincoln when he gave the Gettysburg address, and the flag that crossed the Delaware with George Washington. Very cool!




But it didn’t end here! The next day we toured the Pennsylvania Bureau of Publications, seeing everything from their sign shop, to the print floor and their impressive inkjet operation, and their mailing operation. It was a great way to end a great symposium!





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Jan Portwood, Marketing & Social Media Manager IPMA
Jan joined IPMA’s staff in 2018. She is a seasoned professional with technology, marketing, customer service and sales expertise. She is very familiar with the in-plant printing and mailing industries having worked for 10 years at Louisiana State University (LSU) Graphic Services as an Information Technology Professional where she was instrumental in modernizing the technology—both hardware and software. In addition, Jan is a professional, award-winning photographer who has had her work featured in exhibitions across the mid-Atlantic and Northeast, including New York City.

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