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Seeds Of Success

June 2001
Small shops can produce excellent work. Just ask Tim Criswell, of Sunkist Growers, whose in-plant consistently wins In-Print awards.

by Bob Neubauer

Tim Criswell was born just 15 miles from his print shop. What's more, he's lived all of his 48 years in California's San Fernando and Simi Valleys, just northwest of Los Angeles.

"I'm not very adventurous," jokes Criswell, reprographics supervisor for Sunkist Growers, in Sherman Oaks, a citrus marketing cooperative.

Still, it took some guts for him to enter three samples of his work in the In-Print contest back in 1999. After all, how could his two-man shop stand a chance against the huge in-plants of the world? To his surprise, his entries won two first place prizes and a third place. Tim

"I was thrilled to death," he recalls.

Last year two of his three entries won prizes, and this year he again won two firsts and a third. This streak of success has done wonders for Criswell's shop, boosting its reputation and bringing in new business.

"We've substantially increased the work in the last couple of years, which has enabled us to really upgrade our equipment," he says. The shop has added a Heidelberg KORD, a networked Xerox DocuColor 40, a T/R Systems Micropress with two Ricoh printers, and a Duplo collator/bookletmaker.

Hands-on Experience

Criswell not only manages his shop, tucked in the basement of Sunkist's headquarters, he runs its equipment, together with his assistant Hector Hernandez. He has worked in print shops since his high school days, when he switched his major from history to industrial arts.

"The history major wasn't going anywhere for me," Criswell recalls. "Printing just seemed to fit."

In Criswell's senior year, the foreman of a local forms printer, Control-O-Fax, called the school looking for part time help. Criswell signed on. His first duty was washing down the shop's seven presses. Even this dirty job had a bright side, he says.

"It teaches you where the controls are...without the pressure of having to worry about the quality of a job," he says.

After graduating in 1970, Criswell went to work there full time, learning every aspect of printing, from stripping to shipping. He stayed with the company for 17 years before moving to a "mom and pop" shop called AR Graphics. Though he planned to work there only until something else turned up, this interim job became long term.
 

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