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Ravings of a Mad Printer…..Dealing with Illness in the Workplace

By: John Sarantakos, February 2017

This is an incredibly difficult topic to discuss and deal with inside your workplace. Let’s face it, people get sick and I’m not just talking about the flu. Real life, down and dirty, crappy kind of sick. Whether it is an employee, one of their family members or even yourself. It happens. The ripples created will affect everyone within your work group.
If you have been a manager for any length of time, you have probably had to deal with this exact situation. It is personal and upsetting. Yet we must actively make decisions and take actions that will lead the “business” forward, while not marginalizing or minimizing the personal aspect. Compassion has to be the center piece. But what happens when we must choose a direction that is contrary to a person that is suffering? A perfect example would be a staff member that has been on FLMA for the allotted 12 weeks. They perform a critical job and their absence has put a huge stress on the operation. Overtime and missed deadlines are just a few of the issues. So, do you exercise your rights as an employer and fill the position? Do you limp along and hope the person returns soon? What if that person is you?
I have been diagnosed with prostate cancer. Stage one, very treatable. Will it kill me? No, but only because I’m too damn mean. Can it be deadly? Sure it can. Does every man that has ever lived have or will have prostate cancer? Yes, it is just that most don’t know it and almost all die of something else before it ever shows up on a test. My doctor told me that if men lived to be 150, we would all eventually develop this type of cancer. This statement is not to minimize the disease because it can be deadly if left unchecked.
I am telling you this not because I want sympathy. Although I will readily accept any prayers directed my direction. I wanted to emphasis a point; anyone’s life can change in an instant. Even your own and how will you “manage” it?
There is no prescribed method or set of rules to follow. Each person must look deeply into themselves and choose a course of action that they can live with and still allow the work to continue. The reality is that sometime the two don’t mesh. Difficult decisions wouldn’t be called difficult if they were easy.
Whether your work group is five or fifty strong, long term illnesses have an impact. At some point the “whole” begins to suffer and while it sounds heartless, you have to do what is best for your company and your employees. Can one person becoming ill jeopardize your operation? Maybe and maybe not. Everyone has a different situation. The only truth is that you can’t plan for anything like this.
That, my friends, is called management.
Postscript: As of May 4th I have completed my treatment. After 44 sessions and 3000 driving miles, I can rest easy and not worry, at least about this type of cancer. I want to thank my wonderful staff for handling my absences flawlessly and the administration for their complete support. I want to especially thank my family and the special people at ProCure Oklahoma City for their caring and supportive treatment. I had the opportunity to meet many people from around the world and several young children that were facing much worse situations than myself. These kids are the real hero’s in my book. All the folks had a special story to tell. Knowing that you are not making a fresh path, but walking one that many others have taken is very comforting.


Posted by on Feb 7, 2017 in News, Video Slider | 0 comments

IPMA 2017 PITTSBURGH PENNSYLVANIA CITY FACTS Pittsburgh is One of the Best Places in the World to Visit in 2013! Welcome to one of the country’s most delightful surprises. No longer the dirty steel town of old, Pittsburgh is now a true renaissance city. A city of modern cathedrals and Old World, neighborly charms, filled with high-tech companies, friendly faces, fun and adventure! Was recently named one of the top 10 most beautiful places in America by USA Today Weekend magazine. MORE PITTSBURGH INFORMATION...

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Letter from IPMA President, Dwayne Magee

Posted by on Jan 31, 2017 in Blogs | 0 comments

From: Dwayne Magee, President Elect, IPMA Date: January 31, 2017 Subject: IPMA Election Results Dear IPMA Member, Thank you for casting your votes with regards to the IPMA 2017 election for the two open board positions. Congratulations to Sherri Isbell, International President Elect and Linda Winn, Member-at-Large. This election serves as affirmation of the esteem your colleagues hold for you as leaders. Each candidate deserves credit for stepping up to take part in the work of serving our in-plant community and each candidate has clearly demonstrated a strong commitment to IPMA. As such, I am additionally glad to announce that Mike O’Hara has agreed to accept the board position of Member Representative which will be vacated as Sherri steps into her new role. With that, I hope to see you all in Pittsburgh in June or perhaps sooner at one of our 2 remaining Road Shows. Here now is your 2017 IPMA leadership team: Staff • Mike Loyd, Executive Director • Jennifer Chambers, Executive Assistant • Amy Banker, Membership Sales Coordinator Board of Directors • John Sarantakos, Director of Printing, Mailing and Document Services, University of Oklahoma, IPMA International Past President • Tammy Golden, Assistant Commissioner of Communication, Publishing and Distribution, Department of General Services for the State of Tennessee, IPMA Secretary/Treasurer • Tim Hendrix, State Printer, State Of Oregon Publishing & Distribution, IPMA Vendor Representative • Sherri Isbell, Assistant Director, University of Oklahoma, IPMA International President Elect • Mike O’Hara, Manager of the Central Services Department at Deseret Mutual Benefit Administrators, Salt Lake City Utah, IPMA Membership Representative • Linda Winn, Manager of Document Services and Printing for Shelter Insurance Companies in Columbia Missouri, IPMA Member at Large • Dwayne Magee, Director of Messiah College Press and Postal Services, Messiah College, IPMA International President Sincerely, Dwayne A. Magee, CGCM President, Board of Directors, IPMA 103 North Jefferson Street Kearney, MO 64060 (816) 919 – 1691...

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“Take Me Out To The Ball Game!!!”

Posted by on Jan 31, 2017 in Blogs, News | 1 comment

Let’s play ball!!! Are you going to be coming into Pittsburgh early and need something to do? We have a block of seats reserved for Saturday, June 10,2017 for us at PNC’s stadium to root on the Pittsburgh Pirates as they take on the Miami Marlins. The first pitch will be thrown at 4:05pm and we would love for you to join us for one big party! The cost is only $49 and we will be sitting along the 3rd base line. Space is limited so don’t delay and register today . If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Richard Silver...

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Member Spotlight – Bob Boyer

Posted by on Nov 29, 2016 in Blogs, Member Spotlight | 2 comments

To help our members get to know each other each month IPMA will be featuring member in a Member Spotlight. This month, get to know Bob Boyer, Liberty University. 1. Why do you belong to IPMA? I joined IPMA based off of some very positive and valuable feedback from IPMA members I know from another professional organization 2. What would you consider your proudest professional accomplishment? My proudest accomplishment is taking on a research project 3 years ago that has led to Liberty in-sourcing a print shop about 1.5 years ago. 3. How many years have you been in the printing industry? 1.5 years 4. How many years have you been an IPMA member? 1.5 years 5. How did you get started in the printing / mailing industry? It basically started when a Marketing Manager and I starting researching what it would take/look like for Liberty to have their own in-plant. 6. Describe your most unique work experience. We had a donor ship a trophy moose head to Liberty. No one told me it was coming until a moose head with my name showed up at our Central Receiving. Took a couple of days to figure out the details. 7. What would surprise us about you? I had no print experience before this. 8. Favorite Book? One of my favorite is “Deep and Wide” by Andy Stanley. I also LOVE Tom Clancy books. 9. Favorite Cuisine/Restaurant? I LOVE Italian. 10. Favorite vacation spot? Outer Banks, NC 11. What is your idea of a perfect day? Sleeping in, going to a college football or hockey game, and taking my family out to dinner. 12. What is your typical weekend schedule? Wake up at the same time I do for work Saturday and Sunday. I make breakfast Saturday for my wife and two sons. Typically go to some sort of sports event at Liberty, and then go to bed by 10. Most of my Sundays are spent running tech productions or playing bass at my church, then going home to eat lunch, put my kids down for a nap, and spending the rest of the evening getting ready for the week. 13.  What apps do you use most on your phone or iPad? Spotify 14. Who is your favorite music artist? Right now I would say Mutemath or Twenty One Pilots. 15. What song can’t you get out of your head right now? “Don’t Let Me Down,” by the Chainsmokers. 16. What is the first and last concert you went to? The first concert I ever went was the Grateful Dead when I was 9 or 10. The last concert I went to was Johnny Swim last year. 17.  Who is your favorite actor/actress? Ryan Reynolds and Amy Adams. 18. What type of films/movies do you like? I love action, history, and war movies. 19. Favorite Movie? It would be between Oceans Eleven or The Other Guys. 20. What is a TV show that you NEVER miss? The Walking Dead. 21. What is your guilty pleasure? I love Will Ferrel movies and Julian Smith videos on...

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Download these informative White Papers by Canon!

Posted by on Nov 29, 2016 in Blogs | 3 comments

IPMA presents two new White Papers brought to you by Canon U.S.A. Inc. : Lessons from Leaders: Strategies and Tactics for In-Plants: In-plant operations that are thriving in today’s market are pursuing strategies to improve efficiency and expand their services. Increasing customer demands, the ongoing threat of outsourcing, and the escalating interest in digital communication options are prompting in-plants to evaluate and adjust their technologies and services. This document draws on InfoTrends’ research to highlight the key strategies and tactics that in-plants are pursuing to serve customers and drive growth. Click here to download the White Paper. Looking to streamline your workflow? With the proliferation of digital file formats, many of today’s operations receive files that are not “print-ready.” Canon’s Océ PRISMAprepare software can help you simplify and streamline the document make-ready processes, efficiently compiling, correcting, and personalizing print applications. This includes the applications and processes needed to release the finished product to the production press. Read how PODi discloses the fine points of Océ PRISMAPrepare and how it can help you simplify and streamline the document make-ready processes. Click here to download the White...

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A New Chapter…

Posted by on Nov 15, 2016 in Blogs | 3 comments

By: Mike Loyd, Executive Director of IPMA Today begins my second week as Executive Director of IPMA. I am so thankful the Board of Directors has faith in me guiding IPMA into the future. I think it will be a great ride and I hope we can all move forward in making IPMA more relevant to you, and continue making the association stronger as a leader within our industry. I come to you with years of experience in the newspaper and printing business. I was past president of IPMA and also held many other positions in the organization. While at LSU, I leveraged my membership in IPMA to grow my business and improve all that I did to serve the University. I urge you to make sure you are getting the most out of your association. IPMA is only as strong as our members. We hope that we can facilitate dialogue, offer programs, webinars, white papers and meetings that are geared to helping you be successful. We need you to participate in whatever way you can… no matter how small. Volunteer, be active in the Community, write a story for the newsletter, and go to conference. It is only through interaction with your peers and colleagues that you can gain information to boost your in-plant’s performance for your parent institution. As a support service, our only task is to remain relevant and support the goals of our parent company, while saving money and generating revenue. We all have different experiences, funding structures, missions, etc. It is from these differences that we learn how to reshape our groups. In our membership, we have a wealth of talent and experience at your fingertips.  The resources available to you through the IPMA website and the membership are unlimited. Tap into that and make a difference in your company. As Executive Director, my role is to offer whatever support I can to assist you in your day-to-day workings. Please reach out to me, the staff and the Board of Directors if you need help. We are here for you! I look forward to a long association with IPMA and hope that we are able to meet and exceed your wishes for your organization. IPMA has a great history of service and I hope to continue that legacy leading us forward. I would be remiss if I did not thank our outgoing Executive Director Carma Goin. Her tireless work and contributions saw IPMA through some tumultuous times, and for that, we should all be grateful. Thanks Carma…you are a rock...

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The Circle of Life

Posted by on Oct 21, 2016 in Blogs, The Ramblings of a Mad Printer | 9 comments

By: John Sarantakos, OU Printing, Mailing and Document Services You all probably think I get mad a lot.  You would be both right and wrong.  Typically, I get mad at myself for not performing to my capabilities or allowing a situation or problem to get out of control.  Still other things make me mad, like the opossum that I can’t catch.  I get mad at birds that roost in my office ceiling.  So I guess I hate animals too.  I get mad at my wife because she is always right.  So I am a sexist on top of everything else.  I suppose I had better stop before you think any less of me. I know there are many managers that are yellers and screamers.  Others are micromanagers and micro-planners to boot.  Some are afraid of their own shadows and hate confrontation.  In other words, there are all sorts of managers.  To make matters worse, there are all sorts of employees.  Some work well with these types of managers and others do not.  Quite a mess don’t you think? I would hate to say that to be a successful manager you would have be demonstrate “Sybil” like tendencies, but that statement is at least to some level accurate.  For those of you who don’t understand the Sybil reference, it was a movie about a girl (played by Patty Duke) who had multiple personalities.  While Sybil’s mental issues were an extreme situation, a manager has to be able to get the most of their employees.  So if one person needs specific direction to be productive, give it to them.  If another just needs to be pointed in the right direction, point and get the heck out of the way.  Still others need a firm hand and many need constant praise. Exhausting, right?  Yes, it is.  Are all managers capable of handling a diverse group of employees?  Nope.  Often times what occurs is a manager only has one face and one management style and one level of discipline.  Doesn’t make them bad managers.  It just makes them less effective as they might otherwise be. Introvert, extrovert, strong or weak personality, our personal make up is what it is.  What we have to decide is, do we want to be an OK manager or great manager?  Do we want to maintain the course or grow the brand?  Is it worth it to each of us to get out of our comfort zone and make the adjustments to our styles that can make a difference in our daily work lives?  These are the question we need to ask ourselves.  If the answer is no, then you must live with the results.  If the answer is yes, then you will have to push, stretch and motivate yourself to make the changes. As a college graduate back in the early 80’s my first job was as a high school teacher.  More specifically a Vocational Printing High School teacher.  At 22, I already had 15 years of hands on printing experience (no child labor laws).  Still I hated to get up in front of a bunch of kids and lecture.  I literally had to psych myself up daily to teach the classes.  This only lasted for several weeks thank goodness.  Public speaking was completely out of my comfort...

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[Special Annoucement] Mike Loyd appointed as the new IPMA Executive Director

Posted by on Oct 12, 2016 in Blogs, News | 1 comment

The IPMA Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Mike Loyd as Executive Director effective November 1, 2016. The Board’s action comes with the fullest confidence that Loyd will be an excellent steward of IPMA’s mission and a leader and advocate for in-plants. The Board recognizes that Loyd is a leader with more than 30 years of experience in the newspaper and printing industries. Loyd served most recently at Ricoh Inc. as the Production Marketing Manager and In-Plant Specialist for Higher Education. He worked with Ricoh from 2007 until July 2016, where he helped develop business strategies and programs for college and university in-plants. Loyd received his Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Louisiana State University (LSU) in 1978 and later earned his Masters of Public Administration in higher education administration from LSU in 1998. Later in his career, Loyd served as the Director of Procurement Auxiliary Services at LSU, where he worked for 18 years; 13 of those as Director. He led several auxiliary enterprises at the university including Printing Services, the Copy Center, Copier Management, Design Services, Mailing Services and University Stores. He is a past recipient of In-Plant Graphics Magazine’s Manager of the Year Award. Loyd is also a past president of the Association of College and University Printers (ACUP) and a past president of the In-plant Printing and Mailing Association (IPMA). He has been a member of IPMA for many years, having served as International President-Elect, International Secretary-Treasurer, and in several office capacities of the Louisiana Bayou Chapter. He has served as a consultant for many colleges and university in-plants, was on the editorial advisory boards of two industry journals, and has spoken at numerous regional, national and international conferences. Loyd says of his new position, “This will be a labor of love and I am thrilled to begin working again with and for my colleagues across the country.” IPMA President, Mike Lincoln adds, “With Mike Loyd directing the IPMA team, we are not only well positioned to keep IPMA in step with the industry, we will also have incredible synergy across all in-plant market...

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I Pledge Allegiance…

Posted by on Oct 12, 2016 in Blogs, Guest Post | 1 comment

By: Dwayne Magee, Director of Print and Mail, Messiah College, IPMA Board Member On September 8, 1892, Americans for the first time ever saw The Pledge of Allegiance. It was written on September 7th by Francis Bellamy and then published the next day in a now defunct youth magazine. Bellamy wrote it because he was serving on a committee that was formed in order to help foster patriotism among children. It was published in part because the magazine’s editor was on a campaign to see an American flag placed inside of every school in America. A month after it appeared in print, the pledge was recited for the first time by over 12 million school children on the 400th anniversary of Columbus’s discovery of America. The original version looked like this: “I pledge allegiance to my Flag and to the Republic for which it stands; one Nation, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.” The Pledge of Allegiance was not officially adopted as America’s national pledge until 53 years later and the words “under God” were not added until 1954. Bellamy is also credited with devising the original salute that should be made while reciting the Pledge. It was not the “right hand over the heart” salute that we now know today – instead it was an extended right arm salute; and it remained that way until the Nazi Party in Germany started using it. I do not think I appreciated The Pledge of Allegiance as much as I should have back when we were reciting it every day in school. It certainly did not instill in me a sense of patriotism when I recited it. I think that is partially because of how it was presented. No one ever explained it. No one ever defined it. No one ever even talked about it. It was just something we did because it was always something we did. Somewhere along the way, the purpose of what we were doing became unimportant. That can happen with a lot of things. It can happen with prayer, celebrating a holiday, or even saying I love you. It can even happen when it comes to something simple like saying “hello” or “good morning” to your staff when you walk into work to start your day. I know I can be guilty of this sometimes. I walk into the building with a “to do” list a mile long and a hundred things on my mind. I go straight to my office, turn on my computer, and I am off and running. But what kind of message does that send to my employees? Do they feel appreciated? In a recent blog at writer Andrew Rosen listed 7 reasons to say good morning to your co-workers. His list is as follows: It maintains the standards of basic civility that we’re all entitled to at work. Like ‘please’ and ‘thank you’, these two little words also go a long way towards improving communication and the overall atmosphere. ’Good morning’ humanizes our co-workers.  We’re real people, not just cogs in a pointlessly spinning wheel.  Show some humanity. Provides for a more democratic environment, where everyone is afforded the opportunity to share in a friendly two-second exchange. It’s quick (and relatively painless).  If it is painful, you should probably be looking...

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