IPMA Makes a Splash in Kansas City

Attendees crowd in to hear Howie Fenton’s presentation on the conference’s second day. In all, nearly 150 in-plant managers attended the conference this year.

Keynote speaker and ex-Kansas City Chiefs’ kicker Nick Lowery takes a reprieve from throwing passes into the audience during his opening session.

Paying rapt attention during one of the sessions are (from left) Jeff Blue (University of Texas at Austin), David Estes (East Kentucky Power Coop Inc.), Ron Balderson (Navy Federal Credit Union) and Steve Weigel (Iowa State University).

At the busy vendor fair, Sherwood Ellis (Omaha Public Power District) and Sherry Monico (Physicians’ Mutual Insurance) talk with Ron Shepard at the Heidelberg booth.

Katherine Leidy (Oklahoma Department of Human Services) and Bret Johnson (Mayo Clinic) at one of the sessions.

Richard Silver, of George Fox University, strolls the aisle during his presentation on customer service.

James Mason (Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas) and Jolene Gulizia (University of Nebraska Medical Center) listen to one of the speakers.

Barb Pellow, of InfoTrends, preaches the cross-media message during her keynote presentation.

IPMA President Tony Seaman (right), of the University of Mississippi, flashes a winning smile during a session on building “social capital” while Mike Mitan, of Nestlé Purina PetCare, completes a network analysis worksheet.

About 150 in-plant managers attended the IPMA conference this year.

NAPL’s Howie Fenton leads a sobering session called “Only the Smartest, Best Managed and Most Innovative will Survive.”

Managers inspect the In-Print winners during the reception.

James Mason (Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas), Jimmy Friend (University of North Texas) and Steve Weigel (Iowa State University) during the awards reception.

Seven past and current IPMA presidents attended the opening reception.

Ricoh's Mike Loyd (left) speaks with UT Austin's Nicolette Mallow at the vendor fair, while Steve Rigby, of Washington State University (in yellow) talks with other members of the Ricoh team.

Shana Farrell of Fox Valley Technical College

In a town known for its fountains, IPMA made a big splash, bringing 150 in-plant managers together for three days of education and networking.

Nothing wakes you up in the morning quite like a football flying toward your face. That’s what greeted attendees of the recent In-Plant Printing and Mailing Association (IPMA) conference during the opening keynote session when speaker Nick Lowery, Kansas City Chiefs’ Hall of Famer, began tossing a ball randomly into the crowd as he delivered his inspirational message.

Peppered with anecdotes from his football career, Lowery’s entertaining talk focused on how to avoid the fear of failure and perform at your very best. Despite eventually becoming the most accurate kicker in NFL history, Lowery noted that he was initially cut 11 times by eight teams. But each time, he learned from his mistakes.

“I knew I was getting better,” he said, even as teams were cutting him. His message: don’t let others determine whether or not you’re a failure. He went on to kick 100 percent of his extra points over 10 seasons.

This was a fitting way to kick off the conference, since IPMA has experienced a similar success story in recent years, rebounding spectacularly after a few years of modest attendance. Nearly 150 managers attended the in-plant gathering, up from 135 last year and 100 the year before. There were about 50 first-time attendees this year, some of them from organizations that had not previously been to an IPMA conference, such as Amway, Blue Valley School District, Olathe Public Schools and Michigan Farm Bureau. President Tony Seaman noted during the business luncheon that the association remains financially solvent and is in growth mode.

Those in attendance at this year’s Kansas City event were certainly eager to learn. Shop talk filled the air at the receptions and lunches, and managers quizzed each presenter about his or her in-plant during sessions. They swarmed the large exhibit hall, where an impressive 34 vendors showed off their wares. And they even had a rare opportunity to tour the sleek, glass building housing the pressroom of the Kansas City Star, to watch its KBA presses crank out the next day’s paper.

Bob has served as editor of In-plant Graphics since October of 1994. Prior to that he served for three years as managing editor of Printing Impressions, a commercial printing publication. Mr. Neubauer is very active in the U.S. in-plant industry. He attends all the major in-plant conferences and has visited more than 130 in-plant operations around the world. He has given presentations to numerous in-plant groups in the U.S., Canada and Australia, including the Association of College and University Printers and the In-plant Printing and Mailing Association. He also coordinates the annual In-Print contest, cosponsored by IPMA and In-plant Graphics.

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