Dona Snyder-Reardon, incoming chair of the board of directors, Printing Industries Alliance, with Patrick Ryan (right), whom she succeeds in the position, and Timothy Freeman, the association’s president.
An old joke about sausage and law says that nobody should watch either one being made. The punch line doesn’t apply at meetings of well-run trade associations, where watching a slate of business being carried out can be as satisfying as observing a master chef prepare a gourmet meal.
I had the good fortune to be a guest at the June 18 board of directors meeting of Printing Industries Alliance (PIAlliance), the association for the graphic arts industry of New York State, northern New Jersey, and northwestern Pennsylvania. I’m a PIAlliance member myself, but, like most members of most trade associations, I don’t often get to see how the group I belong to operates at the executive management and policymaking levels.
The meeting took place at the Park Avenue headquarters of RR Donnelley in New York City. My notes from the session let me happily report that the association is in the good hands of people who are very serious about making PIAlliance grow in terms of both membership numbers and the range of services it provides to those who belong.
The group, a regional affiliate of Printing Industries of America (PIA), now has 335 companies on its roster. This is down somewhat from 12 months ago, given the contraction of the printing industry in the tristate region that PIAlliance serves. But, the group is readying a drive that will target more than 100 non-member companies deemed eligible to join the ranks. A special effort at recruitment is being made under the direction of Rich Barbaria in Long Island City, Queens, home to an important cluster of metro printing companies.
The mission of PIAlliance is to defend its members’ business interests and to help foster a business climate where their companies can prosper. Past, ongoing, and pending projects reviewed at the June 18 meeting indicated the breadth of the effort being made to achieve these objectives. Some highlights:
- In August, a “lean manufacturing council” will commence work to help members master the techniques of waste-free production.
- A program for customer service evaluation and training will be announced.
- Administered in this region by PIAlliance, PIA’s annual wage and benefit survey, now in progress, lets participating members benchmark their labor costs against industrywide data.
- PIAlliance members are receiving guidance in marketing from Marty Maloney, an advertising and public relations expert who joined the association’s executive staff last year.
- A recent conference on human relations management drew 60 people for an overview of trends in employment law, labor standards, and rules governing eligibility for overtime pay.
- On the public affairs front, PIAlliance is monitoring and responding to activities by New York State Industries for the Disabled (NYSID), an organization that aggressively seeks exclusive status as the preferred-provider resource for publicly let digital printing contracts in New York State.
- PIAlliance recently announced that its popular workers compensation insurance program returned a 30% dividend in its 2013-2014 policy year, saving participating members nearly $2 million for the period.
Details about these and other programs can be found at the association’s web site and in the pages of Signature, its member newsletter.
The meeting also featured the passing of the board chair’s gavel from Patrick Ryan (Modern Press, Albany, NY) to Dona Snyder-Reardon (Snyder Printer, Troy, NY). Other officers serving one-year terms from now until next June are Eric Webber (Cohber Press, Rochester, NY), vice chair; Doug Bolling (Veritiv, Depew, NY), second vice chair; Kathleen Hartmans (Quality Bindery, Buffalo, NY), treasurer; and John Williams (Midstate Printing, Syracuse, NY), secretary.
Joining the board of directors for three-year terms are Robert Witko (Fort Orange Press, Albany, NY); Bryan Carr (TBN, Buffalo, NY); Marianne Gaige (Cathedral Envelope, Rome, NY); and Richard Schielke (Envelopes.com, Amityville, NY).
PIAlliance’s tagline words are Engage, Explore, Energize, and Excel. Judging from what I saw and heard on June 18, this member is confident that the group is Easily and Evidently Exceeding its goals in Each.