The Best Printing of the Year

IPG Editor Bob Neubauer congratulates Best of Show winners Jimmy Friend, of UNT, and Dave Hoel, from U of M, after the awards banquet.

University of Minnesota's Gold award-winning calendar.

University of Minnesota won its first Best of Show award this year, while University of North Texas took home its third in a row.

When Jimmy Friend stepped onto the stage at last month’s IPMA conference to accept the In-Print 2012 Best of Show award in the non-offset categories, he was on familiar ground. It was the third consecutive Best of Show award for University of North Texas Printing & Distribution Solutions, an achievement no other in-plant has attained.

“I just can’t tell you how excited we are about this,” he told IPG after accepting his award. “This is absolutely awesome.”

Equally enthused was Dave Hoel, manager of Printing Services at the University of Minnesota, which claimed its first Best of Show victory this year in the offset categories.

“This is pretty exciting,” he remarked after the ceremony in Kansas City. “I’m proud for all the people back in Minnesota. A lot of effort goes into this. The guys take a lot of pride in this piece.” (Watch a video interview of both managers just minutes after accepting their awards.)

That piece is a colorful calendar, entitled “Minnesota Gardening,” which features exquisite photographs of flowers and scenery from all over the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

UNT’s award winning piece was a spiral-bound, 7×8.5˝ program for the South Asia Peace Conference, held at UNT. The in-plant printed it on its HP Indigo 5500. UNT also had something else to brag about: the Denton, Texas, in-plant won more total awards (10) than any other in-plant this year.

This was a huge accomplishment for an in-plant that, just a few years ago, was struggling to retain customers. When Friend started as director in 1995, the in-plant was in bad shape, with a reputation for poor quality and bad service. In the years that followed, he worked hard to change employee attitudes, improve processes and regain customer trust.

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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