Stepping up to the Challenge
Born and raised in Staunton, Va., Kelly Hogg didn’t start out with in-plants in mind. When the artist and soccer enthusiast graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a degree in Painting and Printmaking, his wife still had a year of school left, so he figured he might as well get a job. In 1990, after working in downtown Richmond at a blue-line company for a few months, Circuit City called with a job offer.
“I started in their in-plant print shop as an assistant finisher, essentially wrapping price tags all day long,” Hogg recalls.
In 1991, the company consolidated its West Coast print operations into the East Coast print shop.
“[They] brought some extra equipment into our location. It was just sitting there, so I bugged my boss to show me how to run some of the simple duplicators,” Hogg explains. “From there I moved up to the larger, two-color press. It was, I think, a 26˝, two-color press. I actually started running four-color work on that press, and then a few years later (1997) I was promoted to … oversee the production floor.”
In 2001, his supervisor left, leaving Hogg to head the team. In 2003, however, Circuit City closed the in-plant’s offset operation and began to outsource all of the print work.
The Move to UVA
A year or so later, Hogg learned from a friend about an opening at the University of Virginia’s in-plant and decided to pursue it. In 2005, Hogg was hired as production manager at UVA Printing & Copying Services (PCS) in Charlottesville. Located in a converted duckpin bowling alley, the in-plant was cramped and in dire need of an expansion. Hogg spoke with Director Scott Keeney about expanding to include more equipment. But in 2006, only a year after Hogg started at UVA, the team experienced a tragedy.
“My director suddenly passed away, so a lot of it was learning trial by fire … I had about a year with him. His plan was to bring me along and not throw everything on me at one time,” Hogg says. “Unfortunately, I did not get the chance to tap into his wealth of knowledge and experiences. I know I picked up some things, but I would have greatly appreciated more time.”
Although he was thrust into a difficult situation, Hogg became the director of the facility and continued with his dream of expanding the facility. In 2007, ground was finally broken on a 15,000-square-foot addition to the building. When it was completed in 2008, it brought the facility up to 35,500 square feet.
“It definitely opened up our flow of work through the shop,” Hogg says.
With the added space, the in-plant was able to continue with the upgrades needed to increase production. The team added a Duplo twin tower collator/stitcher, and upgraded its two-color Heidelberg Speedmaster SM 72 to a five-color, 29˝ Speedmaster SM 74. The shop later added a Kodak NexPress 2100 and an Intoprint digital envelope press.
Hogg then began to work with the copy manager to expand the size of the copier fleet managed by the in-plant.
“At the time we had about 125 copiers in our fleet, and today we have over 850 … so we’ve greatly increased our copier fleet. A lot are here in Charlottesville, but we also have [outlying] locations,” he says.
Making an Impression
Since Hogg arrived at the university, not only has the in-plant seen a big expansion, but it has introduced community initiatives. About a year and a half ago, the team launched Print 101 classes to educate university staff about the in-plant’s capabilities. Participants tour the facility, ask questions, offer feedback and get acquainted with the staff. Hogg believes that building strong relationships means putting a face with a name, and the Print 101 classes are a great way to enable that.
“It’s a good way to get customers over, talk about the services