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A Leader Among Public Servants

September 2000
After creating Missouri's state printing operation out of several scattered shops, Gary Judd worked tirelessly to grow it into the powerhouse it is today. This article was published in September, 2000. Gary Judd passed away in November, 2002.

Prior to 1980, government printing in the state of Missouri was a bit disorganized. There were 17 scattered print shops, each using outdated equipment.

And then Gary Judd took charge.

Under his leadership, 12 of these in-plants were consolidated into one centralized unit—and that operation has grown from $1.5 million in sales in its first year to $7.1 million in fiscal year 1999.

"And we're still growing," remarks Judd, 62, who has served as Missouri's State Printer for the past two decades. He has worked hard to keep the state printing operation up to date with technology. Its offices are networked, and jobs are transferred digitally between its five copy centers. Xerox DocuTech technology has replaced outdated offset duplicators. Judd has expanded the web printing business, and plans to add a new four-color, 20˝ Didde web. His operation is even preparing to move into variable data printing.

Small Town Roots

All this seems a lifetime away from Judd's humble beginnings in Ottawa, Kan., as the son of a well drilling contractor. Judd had no real interest in printing until a high school "diversified occupation" program sent him to work in the advertising and printing department of Mexico Refractories, which later became Kaiser Aluminum and Chemical Corp. The advertising manager, Sam Groff, took Judd under his wing and helped spark his interest in printing. Judd went on to attend a local trade school in Mexico, Mo., but kept his job in Kaiser's in-plant. In fact, he worked there for the next 12 years.

In the '60s, Kaiser transferred its printing operation to Oakland, Calif. Not wanting to uproot his family, Judd took a job on the commercial side at a mom-and-pop shop called K&M Printing.

"I learned all the commercial end, from the selling to the production," he recalls. For four and a half years he remained there, running the business when the owner was away.

Then, in 1971, Judd took a job with the Department of Corrections in Moberly, Mo., where he was put in charge of setting up a book bindery. The fact that he had never run a book bindery didn't deter him a bit.

"I visited a couple of book bindery operations and found out what needed to be done," he says. "It was just a matter of going out and procuring the equipment."
 

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