Printing Industries Alliance
“Town Hall” Meeting on Long Island Addresses Risks and Opportunities in New Technologies

Glen Boehmer (Sentinel Printing), left, and Tim Freeman (Printing Industries Alliance) lead the town hall meeting that took place on September 24 in Melville, NY.

Talking about new printing technologies is easy. Bringing a new solution into a printing business is another matter. There’s the cost of acquisition, the operating expense, the learning curve, and above all, the nagging question of whether the shop actually can make money with the equipment once it’s on the floor. It can be baffling, and sometimes the wish to go in a new direction doesn’t survive the uncertainty.

Printing Industries Alliance understands conflicts like these, and on September 24, it tried to assist its members on Long Island with a “town hall”-style meeting on the challenges of making the right investment decisions in emerging technologies for graphic production. The session was facilitated by Glen Boehmer, president of Sentinel Printing (Hempstead, NY), whose general advice was to keep an open mind about new technologies even when they do not appear to be a good fit.

“Every process has its reason for being alive,” Boehmer said, noting that a technology that does not work for a shop today may become the thing that helps to support it tomorrow.

With that, he led the group in a free-ranging discussion of their options in digital printing, software, workflow, and 3D printing. He asked the attendees first to gauge their own awareness of these technologies, and then to analyze what might be holding printers back from seeking more information about them.

The result was a lively back-and-forth that Boehmer kept going with pointed questions, flip-chart team exercises, and personal anecdotes that other shop owners in the group could readily relate to. Some highlights from the evening:

• Most agreed that the biggest barrier to implementation is “fear”: of confronting change, of adding cost, of becoming trapped in a commodity business. A practical consideration is space: will the shop have enough room to accommodate the new piece of equipment?

• Management information systems (MIS), especially those tied to customer-facing web-to-print (W2P) portals, streamline production and eliminate job touch points that cost printers money. Boehmer pointed out that for a fully automated producer such as Vistaprint, “the only touch point is the shipping.” But, MIS by itself isn’t a cure-all. It isn’t possible, Boehmer said, to automate or optimize “broken” processes in a shop with software.

• Wide-format printing is seen as an opportunity because the cost of entry is relatively low and the business is driven not by quality, but by the vast range of substrates the devices can image. Boehmer said that although the market is “close to flooded” with wide-format providers, “virtually nobody on Long Island” offers dye sublimation: a thermal wide-format process for printing rich color on textiles and fabrics.

• Andy Featherman of Muller Martini reminded the group that success with digital printing is as much about the finishing as it is about putting toner or ink on the sheets. He said that a finishing system operating in a “barcode-enabled touchless workflow” can guarantee accuracy by accounting for every barcoded sheet in the run.

• There is a reason why 3D printing, projected to be a $15 billion market by 2019, has attracted the attention of 4Over and other mainstream print providers, according to Boehmer. He said that the technology is “the same business we’re in” because it starts with a digital file and ends with a physical representation of an image.

• He asked the group to imagine taking digital files of portrait photography and turning them into “family dioramas” of three-dimensional keepsakes—a type of mass-market product that providers of 3D printing services offer now. With 3D printing, Boehmer said, commercial shops can add a profit-generating business-to-consumer (B2C) dimension to the business-to-business (B2B) economic model that most of them are locked into.

One way to offer an unfamiliar technology to customers without directly investing in it is to outsource the work to a partner equipped to provide the service, Boehmer said. He concluded by reviewing a checklist of questions to ask before committing to anything new. Among them:

• Will this technology make my business more sellable? Who would buy the business?

• Do I have people in my business who understand and can help me implement?

• What are the marketing and sales channels needed to bring in business? Where will the business come from?

• How quickly can you achieve an ROI from this investment? What profit levels can you achieve?

• Can you see yourself in that business?

• If you don’t add these capabilities, how will it affect your business?

“If I have more to sell, that takes the fear away,” Boehmer said. That’s what justifies the investment and the risk—but enthusiasm for the new technology has to be there as well.

“If you’re not juiced about it, I don’t think you should go there,” he said.

Call for Panelists: UV LED 2015

Are you planning to attend the UV LED 2015 conference in Troy, NY, October 28-29? WhatTheyThink, the event’s media partner, is looking for attendees who would like to take part in a panel discussion of the state of UV LED technology and its applications.

Printers with UV production experience are welcome, as are specifiers and buyers of UV printing. You don’t need experience with LED (light emitting diode) curing—just a wish to learn more about it and a willingness to talk about where UV LED printing might fit into your future plans.

Interested? Contact Patrick Henry, WhatTheyThink’s editor for labels and packaging, at patrick.henry@whattheythink.com, or call him at (917) 647-0590. For more infomation about UV LED 2015, visit http://uvled2015.com/

Early Sponsors for PIA’s “Digital Printing Think Tank” Include Xerox, HP, Muller Martini, Konica Minolta, International Paper, and RedTie

Printing Industries Alliance, the trade organization for the graphic communications industry in New York State, northern New Jersey, and northwestern Pennsylvania, has named the first six sponsors for its “Digital Printing Think Tank” program. The all-day event will take place on Wednesday, October 28th at Club 101, 101 Park Avenue at 40th Street in Manhattan.

The early sponsors are Xerox, HP, Muller Martini, International Paper, Konica Minolta, and RedTie. Several new sponsors will be named shortly. The number of sponsors for the event is limited to 20.

The interactive event will detail the trends and patterns in digital printing from high-quality, short-run sheetfed to production web inkjet. All applications will be explored, including high-end and production commercial printing; wide format; labels and packaging; and publications.

The opening panel will feature a group of large and small printers that cut across the digital printing market. Moderator Mark Michelson, editor of Printing Impressions, will lead them in a discussion about their paths to the present and to the years ahead. It is predicted that digital printing, which launched in 1993 and currently represents more than 20% of all printing, will account for 50% of all printing by 2030. Interactivity from the audience will be encouraged, and a Q&A session will follow.

Other panels will consist of leading marketing executives from digital printing vendors as well as consultants. They will discuss how they provide guidance in marketing digital printing and assistance in growing the market. High-profile keynote speakers (to be announced) will round out the day. The combination of expert presentations and actual printer experiences will give attendees the information they need to navigate the fast-evolving and rapidly growing digital printing market.

“Digital Printing Think Tank” will also offer a late-afternoon networking opportunity in which participants can compare notes and speak with sponsoring vendors.

An individual registration is $149 and includes lunch and refreshments. Vendor sponsorships will include two vendor staff tickets and three tickets for customers or prospects. The vendor sponsorship is $650 for those who are already annual PIA Platinum sponsors; $950 for PIA Associate Members; and $1,250 for nonmembers A low-cost conversion to Platinum Sponsorship status will be available. Sponsors will receive recognition through event PR, literature distribution, and signage.

For sponsorships, contact Marty Maloney, PIA executive vice president, at (203) 912-0804, or by email at m.maloney@bmcorp.com or mmaloney@pialliance.org

To register for the event, contact Kim Tuzzo at (716) 691-3211 or by email at ktuzzo@pialliance.org

GCSF Sets Record with $100,000+ in Scholarships to 31 Deserving Students

IMG_1260GCSF beneficiaries and benefactors pose as a group at the Hearst Tower on June 18

Higher education is expensive, and as most students discover, finding the money to pay for it can turn into a preoccupation. That’s why scholarship funds exist: to take away some of the financial pressure so that the focal point of students’ lives can be their academic pursuits, not anxiety about tuition bills.

The Graphic Communication Scholarship, Award and Career Advancement Foundation (GCSF) has been providing this kind of philanthropic relief for 13 years, and on June 18, the group disbursed a record amount of it to metro area students enrolled in or about to enter college-level graphic studies programs. The awards ceremony at the Hearst Tower in Manhattan saw the presentation of more than $100,000 worth of stipends to 31 recipients, the largest distribution that GCSF has made since its founding in 2002.

The money consisted of grants from 20 individual scholarship funds coordinated by GCSF, a 501(c)3 corporation that acts as an umbrella organization for the financial support of graphics education in the metro area. Ten of the scholarships were provided by the Advertising Production Club of New York (APC-NY). The rest were grants from industry groups and clubs or funds named in memory of prominent industry figures.

IMG_1200David Luke (at lectern), who served as president of GCSF from 2012 to 2014, officiates with the help of Jerry Mandelbaum, the foundation’s current president

To date, GCSF has presented $526,000 in scholarships to 131 students attaining academic degrees in graphic arts, design, production, and related subjects at some of the nation’s most prestigious colleges and universities for these disciplines. Students in undergraduate and graduate programs can apply for grants, and many have received more than one stipend during their time in school.

Unique among printing industry scholarship funds in being established and operated entirely by uncompensated volunteers, GCSF does all of its own fundraising and manages its business affairs without an external support staff. One hundred percent of the money it collects is given to metro area students—there are no deductions for overhead or administrative expenses.

Its selection committee determines eligibility for scholarships by evaluating applicants’ SAT scores, grade point averages, portfolios, and other criteria. GCSF also offers a student mentoring program and sponsors fundraising social events like the June 4 “Spring Fling” at Ogilvy & Mather.

Besides saluting recipients, GCSF’s annual scholarship awards ceremony celebrates graphic communications as a whole and the aspirations it nurtures. On June 18, student speakers Valerie Buonaiuto and Annie Wong shared their feelings about what being able to enter the field meant to them.

“Graphic arts is my healthy obsession,” said Buonaiuto, a Bayside High School graduate who is on her way to Adelphi University. Wong, who said she was the first member of her immediate family to attend college, sees graphic design as a “visual means of solving problems” that she is tackling in her studies at Rochester Institute of Technology.

Keynote speaker Cheryl Kahanec (EarthColor), a leading expert in digital print production, told the students that printing “is no longer just about putting ink on paper—it’s about delivering messages” in concert with other graphic media. She said that the scholarship recipients were fortunate to be entering the industry at an exciting time, and she thanked the volunteers of GCSF for helping to make this possible.

“They believe in you students and your futures,” Kahanec said.

IMG_1212Keynote speaker Cheryl Kahanec is thanked for her remarks by David Luke, Jerry Mandelbaum, and Mark Darlow

Tributes to absent friends were paid in the form of newly created memorial scholarships in the names of Stephen D. Server and Nina Wintringham. Server was a co-founder of the company that became Applied Graphics Technologies, which at one time was the world’s largest provider of publication prepress services. Wintringham is well remembered as a leader of graphics industry organizations and as an organizer of many of their most important activities.

Diane Romano (HudsonYards), GCSF second vice president, characterized Server as a “disciple of continuous improvement” whose innovations in electronic and digital prepress helped to transform magazine production. “He would be so thrilled to know his name is on a scholarship,” she said.

Strong emotion could be heard in the voice of Katerina Caterisano (Network Design and Communications Inc.) as she recalled working with Wintringham and others to found Women in Production (now part of the P3 network). She told the students that her friend’s advice to them would be, “Live a beautiful life, get educated, and pass your good fortunes along to others.”

IMG_1232_1240_croppedDiane Romano (left) and Katerina Caterisano pay tribute to the memories of industry figures Stephen D. Server and Nina Wintringham

Each year, GCSF bestows its “Champion of Education” award on an industry member who has done exceptional work on behalf of academic study or professional development in graphic communications. Accepting it on June 18 was Patrick Henry, a journalist, an editor, and an educator who is also the creator of this blog. His advice to the students:

“Always be serious about your work.

“Never be content to give less than the best quality you are capable of delivering.

“Respect your deadlines, and stay absolutely focused on making things happen and getting things done.”

Do all of these things, Henry said, “and you have my word—you will succeed in this industry.”

Patrick Henry accepts GCSF’s “Champion of Education” award for 2015

GCSF’s current slate of officers includes Jerry Mandelbaum, president; Ellen Hurwitch, first vice president; Diane Romano, second vice president; Steve Kennedy, treasurer; and Nick Patrissi, secretary.

The foundation’s trustees are John Aaron, Mark Darlow, William Dirzulaitis, Vincent Forgione, David Garcia, Jack Kott, Richard Krassner, David Luke (also GCSF’s immediate past president), Jessie Ann Murphy, Linda Nahum, Jack Powers, Laura Reid, and Howard Weinstein.

GCSF enjoys the support of numerous individual and corporate donors. To become one of them, e-mail Jerry Mandelbaum.

Two Late-Spring Events Show That Raising Money for Industry Education Is Good Work for All Seasons

1.ggk.052815_gcsf_spring_fling.060415Printing Industries Alliance president Timothy Freeman (second from left) accepts the Gamma Gold Key Award from Gamma Chapter, Gamma Epsilon Tau. The presenters are, from left, William Dirzulaitis (Printing Industries Alliance), Jack Powers (International Informatics Institute), and Prof. Frank Adae (New York City College of Technology)

By late May and early June, classes at most metro area schools are over—but the graphics industry’s efforts in support of education are just shifting into high gear. Two recent social events in New York City reaffirmed that the industry’s commitment to students of graphic communications is as strong as ever and that members of the industry enjoy showing their support in one another’s good company.

One event has long been a fixture on the industry’s convivial calendar, and the other is new. On May 28, as it has in nearly every year since 1956, the Gamma Chapter of the Gamma Epsilon Tau graphic arts honor society inducted new student members and presented Gamma Gold Key Awards to industry figures whose careers exemplify the values of education.

June 4 brought several hundred revelers to the New York headquarters of Ogilvy & Mather for a “Spring Fling” on behalf of the Graphic Communications Scholarship, Award and Career Advancement Foundation (GCSF), a group with a track record as imposing as its name in raising money for metro area graphics students preparing for careers in the field. This party, being held for the first time, heralded the upcoming GCSF event on June 18 at which students either attending or bound for colleges with graphic studies programs will receive their stipends for 2015.

2.ggk.052815_gcsf_spring_fling.060415Kathy Sandler, senior manager, content applications and digital workflow development at Penguin Random House, is honored with a Gamma Gold Key Award

The highlight of the May 28 gathering at the 101 Club in midtown Manhattan was the addition of Timothy Freeman and Kathy Sandler to the long and distinguished list of Gamma Gold Key Award recipients.

Freeman, a professional trade association executive, has been connected with the printing industry since 1984. He is the person primarily responsible for preserving and strengthening Printing Industries Alliance, the membership organization that unites printing companies and related businesses in New York State, northern New Jersey, and northwestern Pennsylvania.

Sandler’s 30-year career in magazine and book production technology epitomizes many of the most important advancements in those fields. She has held senior management positions at top publishing houses and has been a leader of most of the publishing industry’s principal trade groups for production professionals.

After the award presentations to Freeman and Sandler, a candlelight induction ceremony brought three more students into Gamma Chapter’s august ranks. This honor society aims to instill values that drive professional success and inspire a career-long commitment to supporting and serving the graphic arts industry.

3.ggk.052815_gcsf_spring_fling.060415First photo: Steve Caputo (left) received an award for his four decades of service as an instructor and a technician of graphic arts at New York City College of Technology. MaryAnn Biehl, chair of the school’s Department of Communication Design, joined in paying tribute. Second photo: the lighting of candles stands for the illuminating power of the graphic arts in the ceremony inducting City Tech students into Gamma Chapter, Gamma Epsilon Tau

Besides saluting students and industry leaders, the Gamma Gold Key Awards program also spotlights the role of New York City College of Technology (City Tech) as a leading center of graphics education for the metro region. Gamma Epsilon Tau’s Chapter’s Gamma Chapter is located there as an activity within the Department of Communication Design (COMD), an undergraduate program that has been training people for careers in graphics for more than 60 years.

The department, formerly focused on advertising design and traditional graphic arts manufacturing, has broadened its academic scope to include curricula in new and emerging forms of visual communications. It now offers associate and bachelor’s degree programs that enable students to specialize in advertising, graphic, web, and broadcast design or gaming, animation, and illustration.

Chaired by MaryAnn Biehl, who gave an update during the Gamma Gold Key Awards program, the department currently enrolls about 1,000 students from throughout the metro area. It recently completed a two-year self-study exercise that will lead to an important academic accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). A new curriculum in communication design management is to be launched in the fall semester. At a later date, the department will relocate to an expanded media center being developed in refurbished space at City Tech’s downtown Brooklyn campus.

Students from City Tech have always been among the recipients of GCSF scholarships, as have students from other, equally prestigious colleges and universities offering undergraduate and graduate programs in graphic communications. The foundation has presented $526,000 to 131 students since it began collecting money in 2002, and on June 18, the value of the stipends will be the richest yet: $110,000 for 31 students who will assemble with their families at the Hearst Tower to become the latest beneficiaries of one of the most exceptional fundraising efforts anywhere in the industry.

4.ggk.052815_gcsf_spring_fling.060415Scenes from the “Chocolate Factory” at 636 11th Avenue in Manhattan, a locale better known as the New York headquarters of Ogilvy & Mather and most recently the site of GCSF’s “Spring Fling”

The June 4 “Spring Fling” at Ogilvy’s space on the far West Side wasn’t entirely without precedent—GCSF held a “holiday bash” along similar fundraising lines at The Art Directors Club last December. Like that festivity, the “Spring Fling” was all about raising awareness of the need for more donations, more involvement, and more activism on behalf of industry education. The foundation, a 501(c)3 corporation that operates entirely through the work of volunteers, has become a focal point for education in the metro region and is actively supported by other industry groups that share its aims.

5.ggk.052815_gcsf_spring_fling.060415Recognized at the “Spring Fling” were four who will be honored at the Franklin Luminaire Awards event on October 1: Veronica H. Simmons (MRM/McCann), Meghan Fitzgerald Milkowski (Prometheus Global Media), Charles Blanchard, Jr. (Blanchard Systems Inc.), and Michael J. Simon (Publishers Press Inc.)

For example, 10 of the grants to be presented on June 18 are funded through a sponsorship donation from the Advertising Production Club of New York (APC-NY). At the “Spring Fling,” GSCF booster Diane Romano announced that proceeds from the October 1 Franklin Luminaire Awards event (a joint production of Printing Industries Alliance and IDEAlliance) would be donated to the scholarship fund.

GCSF also has a growing list of corporate supporters that contribute cash, gifts for scholarship recipients, mentoring assistance, and other kinds of help. On June 4, representatives of these companies mingled with a cross-section of publishers, advertising and media professionals, creatives, print service providers, and industry technologists for what was both a sophisticated cocktail party and a pride-inducing show of the industry’s determination to take good care of its youngest, best, and brightest in the metro area.

The sign says it all about the breadth of industry support for GCSF and the students it serves in the metro area

6.ggk.052815_gcsf_spring_fling.060415

Patrick Henry To Be Honored as “Champion of Education”
 by Graphic Communications Scholarship Foundation

PH_headshotThe Graphic Communications Scholarship, Award and Career Advancement Foundation (GCSF) will present its 2015 Champion of Education Award to Patrick Henry, a longtime journalist and educator in the field. Part of GCSF’s 13th Annual Scholarship Awards Celebration on Thursday, June 18, in New York City, the Champion of Education Award honors exceptional individuals who have helped to prepare the industry’s next generation of talent and leadership.

Henry began covering the graphic communications industry during the desktop publishing revolution in 1984, when he became managing editor of Printing News. Since then, as an editor of or a contributor to most of the industry’s leading trade media, he has published many hundreds of articles on business trends and technological developments in graphic communications. He is a co-author of a textbook, The Magazine Publishing Industry. He also wrote the chapter on book manufacturing for Volume 5 of A History of the Book in America.

An adjunct lecturer in graphic communications for master’s degree programs at New York University since 1987, Henry also has taught undergraduates at New York City College of Technology. He is the recipient of numerous honors for industry service and education, including the Florence B. and Leo H. Joachim Award; the Gamma Epsilon Tau Gold Key Award; and the Tom McMillan Award for Journalistic Excellence.

Henry currently is an editorial manager for WhatTheyThink. He also operates Metro Graphics Reporter, a news resource for the graphics industry in the NY-NJ-CT metropolitan region.

The award to Henry will be among the highlights of “The Future of Graphics,” a special program paying tribute to the latest recipients of GCSF scholarship grants. The keynote address will be delivered by Cheryl Kahanec (Earthcolor), a leading authority on digital print production. The event also will feature the inaugural presentations of scholarships in memory of industry figures Steve Server and Nina Wintringham.

GCSF’s 13th Annual Scholarship Awards will take place at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 19 in the 3rd-floor Atrium and Joseph Urban Theatre of the Hearst Tower, 300 W. 57th Street in Manhattan. Admission is free, but all attendees must pre-register by e-mailing a request for entry to Jerry Mandelbaum at jmandelbaum@601west.com.

The Graphic Communications Scholarship, Award and Career Advancement Foundation is an all-volunteer, 501(c)3 non-profit organization that provides financial support to New York City metro area students pursuing careers in graphic communications. Since its founding in 2002, GCSF has given more than $500,000 in stipends to 131 students in graphic studies degree programs at leading institutions in the field.

This year, 31 students will receive scholarship awards totaling $110,000, a significant increase in GCSF’s annual awards amount. Of the 31, 10 are being funded through a sponsorship donation from the Advertising Production Club of New York (APC-NY).

NYC’s Young Graphics Talent To Be Showcased in Citywide Competition on June 5

On June 5, more than 100 students from 10 New York City high schools will assemble at New York City College of Technology (City Tech) in downtown Brooklyn for the metro area’s most important showcase of young talent in graphic communications: the 14th Annual Citywide Graphic Arts Competition.

The event, held under the auspices of the New York City Department of Education, challenges the contestants to conceive and execute their best work in seven categories on a tight, real-world production deadline. The judges are graphics educators and industry professionals. The awards include trophies, cash, gifts, and, for the first-place winners, a celebratory dinner and a tour of The New York Times plant in College Point, Queens.

The judging categories are for graphic, package, and web site design; photography; student filmmakers; digital video production; and digital illustration. On June 5, the contestants will have just four hours to research, design, and produce their projects on site for evaluation later in the day by the judges. While they work, the teachers who encouraged them to enter will attend briefings on industry trends and career paths for students of graphic communications.

The competition is open to all New York City public high school students participating in a graphic arts program. This year, entrants qualified as first-round and second-round finalists by pre-submitting work on the theme of “My City” for online judging by high school graphics teachers. The teachers used detailed rubrics based on professional standards of the graphics industry to assess the entries.

The finalists will receive new assignments to develop for the prize competition in the Atrium at City Tech, which is located at 300 Jay Street. This year, for the first time, alumni of the competition—graduates who were once finalists themselves— will award the trophies, cash and prizes to the winners.

Organizing and promoting the event is Graphics Industry Advisory Commission, a group of volunteers who work with the Department of Education to improve study programs in graphic communications at city high schools. The commission is one of a number of advisory groups under the umbrella of the department’s Office of Postsecondary Readiness (OSPR), which fosters public-private alliances in support of career-focused education.

Over the years, the competition has won the support of numerous graphics industry companies and organizations that donate prizes and provide other kinds of assistance. Additional contributions, however, are always welcome. Wanted this year, says Annette Bensen, chair of the advisory commission, are “products, publications, promo and collateral material, even fun gifts and tchotkes for the gift bags. The annual competition is one of the hallmarks of graphics education in New York, and it works because it is supported by the industry.”

Donors can call Bensen at 917-359-7569 or e-mail her at angen@comcast.net. The competition also has a PayPal link for those who wish to contribute online.

2015 Luminaire Award Recipients Will Be Honored on October 1 in New York City

041315_franklin_luminaireIDEAlliance and Printing Industries Alliance have announced the recipients of the 2015 Luminaire Awards recognizing outstanding professionals in advertising, publishing, printing, and integrated media.

The honorees are Charles Blanchard, Jr., president and CEO, Blanchard Systems, Inc.; Meghan Fitzgerald Milkowski, vice president, production and circulation, Prometheus Global Media; Veronica H. Simmons, vice president, director of print production, MRM/McCann; and Michael J. Simon, executive vice president, Publishers Press, Inc. The presentations will take place during the annual Franklin Luminaire Awards event on October 1, 2015 at The Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers, New York City.

The Luminaire Awards salute outstanding achievements by media production leaders In recognition of their positive influence, creative excellence, and personal dedication  to the graphic communications industry. Biographies of this year’s recipients can be found here.

The Franklin Luminaire Awards event is a yearly showcase of industry solidarity and fellowship throughout the metro region. Also to be honored on October 1 are the as-yet unnamed recipients of the 2015 Franklin Award for Distinguished Service and the 2015 Zenger Community Service Medal.

The Franklin Award for Distinguished Service is the single highest honor conferred by the metro New York graphic communications industry. In recognizing distinguished recipients for their positive roles in American society, the award serves to focus national attention on the depth and breadth of the industry. Past recipients include several U.S. presidents and a high-profile roster of statesmen, diplomats, military figures, and leaders in business and the arts.

A community service award honoring those who give back, the Zenger Medal hails a graphic communications professional for exceptional acts of service, courage, or activism that inspire others to make their communities better places to live.

A registration form for the 2015 Franklin Luminaire Awards event can be downloaded here. For information about sponsorship opportunities, contact Kim Tuzzo at Printing Industries Alliance: 800-777-4PIA (4742); kutzzo@PIAlliance.org.

Printing Industries Alliance is a trade association representing graphic communications firms and related businesses in New York State, northern New Jersey, and northwestern Pennsylvania. IDEAlliance is a not-for-profit association that identifies best practices for efficient end-to-end digital media workflows from content creation through distribution.

Graphic Communications Scholarship Foundation Brings Industry Leaders Together for First Annual Spring Fling

NEW YORK, NY, April 9, 2015 – The board of directors of the Graphic Communications Scholarship, Award and Career Advancement Foundation, Inc. (GCSF) is pleased to announce its first annual “Spring Fling” event.

The event promises to be the premier networking opportunity for meeting industry leaders as well as top scholarship recipients. All of the proceeds will go toward funding scholarships for New York and New Jersey metro area students interested in pursuing careers in graphic communications.

The Spring Fling will be held on Thursday, June 4 at 5:30 p.m. at Ogilvy & Mather’s rooftop venue located at 636 11th Avenue in Manhattan. It is a seasonal follow-up to GCSF’s highly successful “Holiday Bash,” a gala party held last December at the Art Directors Club in New York City.

Like the Holiday Bash, the Spring Fling get-together will be an industrywide event thanks to the participation of Printing Industries Alliance, The Advertising Production Club of New York (APC-NY), IDEAlliance, and The Navigators.

Jerry Mandelbaum is President of GCSF. Chairing the Spring Fling is Diane Romano, who may be contacted at diane@hyards.com.  For further information and tickets visit http://www.gcscholarships.org/springfling.

ABOUT GCSF
A 100% volunteer organization that operates without professional staff or overhead expense, GCSF has distributed a total of $416,000 in scholarships to 116 students of graphic design and communications since the fund’s inception in 2002.

The not-for-profit 501(c)3 corporation acts as a coordinator for a large number of individual scholarship funds. It gives all of the money collected through them to students attending or bound for colleges and universities with degree programs in graphic studies. GCSF also has established a one-to-one mentoring program that pairs students with industry pros for 12 months at a minimum of two contact hours per month.

GCSF’s annual scholarship awards presentation ceremony is a high point on the industry’s calendar of events. The date for the 13th Annual GCSF Scholarship Awards Celebration and Ceremony at the Hearst Tower is Thursday, June 18, 2015.

 

Printing Industries Alliance – Long Island Shows Them the Money with Program on Sources of Business Financing

PIA-LI-finance-meeting.011415From left, speakers Richard Amsterdam, Thomas E. Dolan, Keith Lawlor, and Nicholas Terzulli, with Printing Industries Alliance – Long Island program organizers Greg Demetriou, Richard Schielke, and Bill Dirzulaitis

Smart printers never leave money on the table. The trick, though, is knowing where all the tables are. That’s no easy task when it comes to locating sources of public and private funding for business development, especially in the high-cost environment of Long Island.

The Long Island branch of Printing Industries Alliance made the search a little easier for members who attended its recent winter meeting on the theme of “Where’s the Money?” and how to go about obtaining it. As the guest speakers, a banker and three representatives of local government agencies said that financial assistance is available to printers willing to ask for it and able to work with providers that want to help.

The Babylon Industrial Development Agency, for example, lends a hand by doing whatever it can to make it easier for businesses to relocate to or grow within the town’s boundaries. Resources include fast-track bureaucratic approvals, tax abatements and extensions, and tax-exempt bonds. Thomas E. Dolan, a senior project manager for the agency, urged printers in Babylon or those thinking of setting up shop there to contact his office whenever they plan capital improvements or other kinds of expansion.

According to Keith Lawlor, a vice president for TD Bank, “there’s free money out there” for business development because of declining interest rates on commercial rates on commercial loans. Banks have to compensate by stepping up their lending volume. That’s good news for would-be borrowers, said Lawlor, but it also means closer scrutiny by the banks of the qualifications of loan applicants—even customers who have been doing business with their banks for decades.

Bank financing usually is the key to one company’s acquiring another, and on Long Island, said Lawlor, the pace of mergers and acquisitions has been brisk. The type of M&A lending that banks prefer is the arrangement in which the seller partially finances the transaction by holding a note of repayment, leaving the bank to provide the rest of the funding to the buyer. He said that selling printers should be realistic about what they can expect in terms of multiple of EBITDA, a calculation that determines the selling price. (EBITDA stands for earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization. Desirable companies have high EBITDA multiples; less attractive companies, smaller ones.)

Lawlor urged printers to get their financials in order now, even if they are not yet at the point of applying for a loan. “It’s all about what’s on paper,” he said, explaining that applicants must be prepared to document their ability to repay what they borrow. The most challenging loans to finance, he said, are those for working capital in which the collateral is the borrower’s accounts receivable—a volatile asset that can be hard for banks to base decisions on.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) doesn’t make loans for working capital, but it does provide lending for fixed-asset acquisition through The 504 Company—a not-for-profit corporation it established in 1981 to administer the SBA 504 Loan Program in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Coordinating it for the three states is the New York Business Development Corporation (NYBDC), represented at the PIA-LI meeting by Richard Amsterdam, its vice president.

Through the 504 program, he said, NYBDC can provide 40% percent of the fixed-rate loan amount in partnership with a bank that finances most of the remainder. All business sectors except the adult and gaming industries are eligible for loans that can range from $50,000 to $5 million.

The idea is to enable businesses to acquire fixed assets while retaining the working capital they need for growth and job creation. Amsterdam said the program recently worked well for a printer who obtained $4.3 million in financing to buy and install a new offset press using the invoice value of the machine as collateral. Processing and approval of 504 program loans, he said, takes only about 30 days on SBA’s end—the same as the bank.

High taxes on businesses, acknowledged Nicholas Terzulli, director of business development for the Nassau County Industrial Development Agency, represent the “biggest barrier to growth and entry in Nassau County—hands down.” He said that while his agency can’t necessarily lower the rates that businesses pay, it can help to protect owners against increases while making sure that they are taking advantage of all of the incentive programs available to them.

These include real estate, sales, and use tax exemptions; mortgage recording tax abatements; and financing through tax-exempt and taxable bonds. The agency’s Local Enterprise Assistance and Development Service (LEADS) program provides direct financial assistance and other kinds of help to the county’s small and mid-sized businesses.

Nassau’s IDA coordinates its efforts with those of state agencies and local utilities, connecting businesses with these entities to break logjams and move projects forward. On Long Island, said Terzulli, “everybody loves to work together on economic development” regardless of the turf or the politics involved.

Among Nassau IDA’s recent successes, he said, is the decision by automotive retailing software developer DealerTrack to build a $150 million campus in Lake Success following 18 months of negotiations with the county to craft a package of incentives. On a smaller scale, the IDA worked with a technology company that wanted to move from the South Bronx to a safer haven on Long Island. Taking part in the conversation that sealed the deal, Terzulli said, was the chief of police of Plainview, where the company now is located.