I started at Von Hoffman Printing as a general helper in the press area back in Dec. 1985. I worked my way up through the years in the pressroom: the role tender, second pressman, operator. But then, working nights and everything kind of got hard on the body, and they were starting a customer service department in Jefferson City, so I interviewed and got on there.
It was kind of a running joke for a while that every two to three years I switched roles in the company. I went everywhere. Then, Von Hoffman was bought out by RR Donnelley. I moved to Texas to run a plant for four years. I was with RR Donnelley until they closed the plant in 2013.
Then my daughter decided to have grandbabies. In 2016, I moved back from Texas to Missouri. I did a short stint back with Donnelley, or LSC communications as it was known at that time. I worked there for a little bit before I got hired on at Ovid. The rest is history.
I am. I was born in St. Louis but moved to this area when I was seven years old. I've been in central Missouri, around Jefferson City for basically my entire life.
It’s huge. John (Bell) had a very large presence in Fulton and he still does. He still, to this day, comes by the plant. The company always invested a lot into the community and we still do to this day.
A funny story is when we were taking the Ovid Bell sign down from outside the building to replace it (with a Walsworth sign)… there's a barber across the street. Within six minutes John Bell was calling the plant and asking “What's going on? Why are you taking the sign down?” That’s how fast that barber had called him. That's how close-knit this town is.
I think it's the people more than anything. It’s a different kind of person that makes a printer. When they say printing is in your blood, I agree with it.
I tell the young folks coming in; print is not dead. Go to a grocery store or a doctor’s office, you see magazines everywhere. The last two years have truly been among the most successful years Walsworth has had for a printing company that has been around for 86 years.
People just like to have something in their hands to read. It's nice to have an iPad or a computer, but the infrastructure has to exist. People in rural communities can't get the internet they need. People who go shopping in stores don’t want to get on their phones, they want to pick up an ad to look at when they walk in the store.
We tell them you don't need a college degree to be successful if that's not what you want. By all means you should pursue your education and be the best person you can be, but you can make a good career and a good life with manufacturing.
We promote that Walsworth invests in the company and invests in their people. As we tour the plant, we show that we're installing a press we bought from Australia, which is our largest project ever. Four years ago, we invested $3 million in new equipment.
(Laughs) I call it controlled chaos. The first thing I do is walk around the plant before an 8:30 am production meeting with my managers. And then you have your normal meetings through the day, and you're working with customers and with other facilities and working with the team up there to make sure you're running smoothly.
I have been married for 32 years to my wife Lisa. I have two beautiful daughters; Sara and Lacey, and two beautiful grandbabies. I have a grandson, Harper, and a granddaughter, Hazel, who are six and seven. They're pretty much our entire lives right now.
Spend time with my grandkids. I love to golf. My wife and I like to get in our Jeep, take the top off and go for a ride. We always pack a go bag just in case we find some place we want to stay. Missouri is beautiful when you get on the back roads.
I like to try new things and have fun. We have a group of older friends, we call ourselves the “Fuddy Duddies” because we don't want to get old and be fuddy duddies.
About once a quarter we get together and we just do weird things. A little while back, everybody got $10 to go in and buy someone else's outfit at Salvation Army. So they bought an outfit and you had to wear it. And then we all went out to dinner. A couple weeks ago, we dressed as the 60s and we all went out to dinner and had a good time.
Amityville Horror. That was the scariest book I ever read. I was probably 13 and it scared me to death.
I would have two there. My favorite movie overall is Gladiator. But I would say my favorite comedy is The Proposal.
Deep dish pizza. Giordano’s in Chicago.
I'd have to say Ireland. In 2014, we went to Ireland and it was amazing. The castles and the buildings and the people.
It is what it is.
Yeah, we were printing a book for an older lady – it was her dream in life to have a book printed. And it was a cookbook, believe it or not. I was her CSR. And I was the one who got to hand deliver it to her.
She opened it and started crying and giving hugs. It was just… giving somebody that joy. I've seen their dreams come to fruition, right? The book was something she had wanted her whole life. And we got to do it for her and I was one of the ones who got to present it to her and it was pretty cool.