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A More Intimate ACUP

Though attendance may have been down, the 45th Association of College and University Printers conference drew an enthusiastic crowd from around the globe.

June 2010 By Bob Neubauer
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IT WAS a reunion well worth waiting for. Two years after its last conference in Florida, the Association of College and University Printers (ACUP) finally met again in April in Charlotte, N.C., bringing old friends and newcomers together for an enjoyable and enlightening event.

With fewer than half the attendees of a traditional ACUP, this year's event was more subdued than usual. But that smaller head count also made it much easier for managers to get to know each other. A significant number of ACUP newcomers joined the group this year, helping to dispel any notion that ACUP's relevance may be fading.

Quite to the contrary, the issues brought up by attendees reflected a greater need than ever for peer discussion groups like ACUP. And this year's conference gave ample opportunity for attendees to discuss those issues and get advice. Several sessions were geared toward group discussion, letting managers bring up problems and listen to suggestions from their peers.

Despite the smaller turnout (about 45), ACUP still drew three international attendees (from Australia, New Zealand and Scotland), as well as managers from all over the U.S., from Oregon to New Hampshire, with a large contingent from Texas.

Host and ACUP President Richard Griffin, director of Campus Printing at Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC), put together an excellent program. It started with a pool-side reception on Sunday evening, which also drew several retired and current managers from the area who were not able to attend the full event. The networking continued on a dinner boat cruise the following night. Trips to the Cadmus Whitehall Group's Printing Facility and the Charlotte Motor Speedway offered attendees an even broader view of the Charlotte area.

The Power of Thought

The conference got started with a keynote presentation by Dr. Tony Zeiss, president of Central Piedmont Community College, who cautioned that negative thoughts will influence your outlook on life.

"We really do become what we think," he said. "Our thoughts determine our beliefs. So be careful what you think about. In the end, if you're pessimistic, are you helping yourself?

"We're in control of the way we see life," he continued. "If you don't like the facts, change your attitude about them."

Look at them from someone else's point of view, he suggested.

Zeiss went on to discuss how to attract and retain peak performers, by providing relevant training, motivation and a supportive environment. Employees are motivated by recognition, a sense of significance and personal growth, and fair compensation tied to achievement and productivity.



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