Download the New Issue of Beyond Print
Is your business innovative? Do you look for creative solutions to grow your business and solve industry challenges? Each day, PSDA members are taking the print industry head on: updating, creating and inventing — all sparked by innovation and spirit.
Learn more about the strategies and spirit of PSDA in the newest edition of our free, digital magazine, Beyond Print — available now for download. In the newest edition, read about three companies who were sparked by innovation and learn about the promising spirit of our young industry.
To download today, search "Beyond Print" in the App Store, Google Play or Amazon App Store.
PSDA's HR Corner: Expert Advice on Hiring Smokers
By Claudia St. John, president, Affinity HR Group LLC
Q: I strongly dislike smoking. Can I refuse to hire someone just because they smoke?
A: Smoking is not a protected activity, and smokers are not considered a protected class. So, yes, you could in theory refuse to hire smokers. That said, we caution our clients against denying employment for non-work related reasons, particularly if doing so means you will be less likely to hire someone who is protected by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). In addition, there are many states and locations that prohibit employers from banning smokers from employment (see the American Lung Association’s Tobacco Policy Project for a list of states).
Instead, we recommend that our clients maintain a strong smoke-free workplace policy and offer smoking cessation programs to existing employees. That way, you will be less likely to miss out on good talent simply because they smoke and you will not run the risk of adversely impacting those who are protected by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Affinity HR Group LLC is a consulting firm and PSDA partner that specializes in providing human resources assistance to associations and their member companies.
Have a question for Claudia? Send your query via email and your question may be answered in a future edition of HR Corner.
All PSDA member companies receive discounted pricing on Affinity HR Group's wide variety of services. For more information, visit the group's website.
Gain Insight into Evolving Your Business with PSDA's Distributor Benchmarking Survey
If you've heard about the PSDA Distributor Benchmarking Survey but haven't participated yet, you're missing out! This is the best opportunity you'll have this year to better understand your business. Our members are finding value in participating in the study before the results are even out through the submission process.
"Having submitted our survey results last week, going through this exercise provided a powerful and eye-opening evaluation of our distributorship. ... Any distributor would want to do this as a roadmap for growth." —Karl Heerdegen, The Northstar Group Inc.
Respond to this survey today, and use this as an opportunity to identify your areas of strength, as well any areas for improvement. In addition to the insight you'll receive from looking at your business, only distributors who participate in the survey will be eligible to receive a complimentary copy of the final report, as well as a custom report featuring comparisons to similar organizations across key business areas.
Member and Industry News
American Solutions for Business Restructures Company Leadership
PSDA member American Solutions for Business (ASB) recently announced that its board of directors has approved two organizational changes to its leadership team.
Justin Zavadil has been named executive vice president, working with the individual senior leadership team officers and their departments on process and system improvements in the home office. Having grown up in the company, Zavadil has worked on and off since he was six years old when he helped stuff envelopes. Originally known as American Business Forms, the company was founded in 1981 by Larry Zavadil, Justin's father. The younger Zavadil spent a number of summers working in the company warehouse prior to attending college and graduating from the University of Minnesota. After working as an American sales associate, he transitioned into managing ASB's Vendor Relations Department in 2008. Eventually, he was named as the lead for American's Sales Resource Group. Justin and wife, Alisha, live in Glenwood with their 8-month-old daughter.
In another key move, Katie Hallstrom has been named ASB's executive director, leading the Human Resource Department and its associated team. Hallstrom holds a four-year degree in business management from Southwest State University in Marshall, Minnesota. She joined American in the fall of 2011 with 30 years in human resources, having served in the health care industry, manufacturing and with an employment staffing firm. Hallstrom co-managed ASB's Human Resource Team before being named as the department's director. Katie and husband, Phil, live in Alexandria, Minnesota.
In their new roles, both Zavadil and Hallstrom will serve on American's senior leadership team and meet with the board of directors on an as-needed basis.
The Sourcing Group Acquires Tully Wihr
PSDA member The Sourcing Group, a New York-based BPO and technology provider, recently announced its acquisition of Tully Wihr. In business since 1906, Tully Wihr has been a leading provider of document management services in the health care and financial services markets throughout California and the Northwest. “Strategically, the addition of Tully Wihr fully complements our focus as a leading provider of technology and logistics solutions in both the health care and financial services marketplace,” said Billy Caan, founder/Co-CEO of The Sourcing Group.
“We were searching for the right company to align with Tully Wihr, and The Sourcing Group delivers state of the art technology, a strong certified trade vendor program and the experience to help us take Tully Wihr to the next level,” added Gerry Knoll, CEO of Tully Wihr.
The integration of the Tully Wihr sales and marketing teams will deliver an additional revenue stream of $8MM to The Sourcing Group, which will increase annual revenues to $48MM. Dennis Clemente, Co-CEO of The Sourcing Group, continued: “We are excited to work with Gerry and his team to grow our organization with proven industry leaders, and leverage all of the experience and success they have had through the years as a premier provider of document management programs in health care and financial services.”
Ryan Jackson, CEO of MPX and SFX America, Named on MaineBiz’s Next 2014 List
After a nomination period, research and vetting, MaineBiz selected 10 forward thinking, innovative business leaders to be honored as members of the 2014 MaineBiz Next List. The group is comprised of various heads of industry who are shaping the future of Maine's economy. They include developers of both software and real estate, food producers, a builder and an architect, a researcher studying microbial dark matter and an individual who found an innovative way to deal with household garbage.
Among this list is Ryan Jackson, CEO of PSDA member MPX and SFX America, recognized for outsourcing solutions that are both cost-effective and help companies to streamline operations. MPX and SFX America were also recently named as one of the best places to work in Maine. MPX processes electronic and mailed statements; SFX, a sister company to MPX, handles the production end of the statement printing and mailing as well as managing the fulfillment for clients.
Jackson, 35, joined MPX in 2005 and quickly learned the ropes to become CEO of MPX within three years and then in another three years became CEO of SFX America. Jackson estimates that outsourcing saves clients 15 to 20 percent compared to the cost of companies managing this in-house. With the combined expertise at the two companies, he's found innovative ways to save clients' money. Banks must mail out privacy statements once a year, he explains, costing about 50 cents each. For 20,000 customers, that comes to $10,000. He suggested appending the notices as part of customers' regular bank statements, bringing down the cost of the privacy statement mailings to 5 cents, or $1,000 versus $10,000. Jackson utilizes his MBA, mastery of technology and innate ability to read what people want and come up with unique, custom business solutions and efficiencies.
A reception will be held at the Harraseeket Inn in Freeport on Nov. 5 honoring each Next 2014 List member for their unique contributions to Maine's growing economy. MaineBiz established the Next List in 2012.
Flesh Co Promotes Jillian Flesh to Executive Vice President
Bob Berardino, president of Flesh Co, recently announced the promotion of Jillian Flesh to executive vice president. “Although Jillian has been a part of Flesh Co for many years, she officially started her career here in 2010,” Berardino said. “During that time, she has worked in various departments to acquaint herself with the overall operation of the organization.” Jillian Flesh will oversee the areas of facilities management, compliance and quality control. She is in the process of completing her MBA and currently participates on the planning committee for PSDA's Young Innovators Conference.
Jillian is the daughter of current CEO, Roy V. Flesh II, and is the fourth generation of the Flesh family. Her great-grandfather opened Flesh Co in 1913 in St. Louis where the company maintains its corporate offices.
Ennis, Inc. Acquires Hoosier Data Forms
PSDA member Ennis, Inc. recently announced the acquisition of Hoosier Data Forms in Indianapolis, Indiana. Hoosier Data Forms produces traditional snap-outs, continuous forms, cut sheets and additional value added services. John Cornelius, previous owner of Hoosier Data Forms, will remain with Hoosier in a sales and management capacity.
Keith Walters, chairman, CEO and president of Ennis, Inc., commented: “We are pleased to add John Cornelius, Hoosier Data Forms and their loyal customers to the Ennis family. Hoosier Data Forms has being serving the region for almost 40 years, and the Cornelius family's historic printing roots go back more than 100 years serving Midwest distributors.”
Considering the close proximity of the Printegra Indianapolis and Hoosier Data Forms locations, Ennis will be consolidating the production into one facility. To minimize any negative impact on its customers, the transition of Printegra Indianapolis from its current location to the new combined facility at 1002 E. 25th St. will be planned and executed over the next six months. Both companies and their employees will continue to operate under their respective brands.