Quad VP Mike Popp Named Pressroom Operations Manager of the Year
Monday, November 24, 2003
November 24, 2003 -- For those who believe pressroom productivity requires installing the fastest equipment or buying the latest technology: You’re only half right. Pressroom productivity also depends largely upon the skills and leadership abilities of those charged with running the pressroom. As the personification of pressroom productivity, Mike Popp, Quad/Graphics’ Vice President of Press Operations, has been named the Research & Engineering Council (R&E Council)'s 2003 Pressroom Operations Manager of the Year in recognition of his demonstrated excellence in pressroom production management. Quad/Graphics President & CEO Tom Quadracci nominated Mike for this distinguished award because, throughout his career here, Mike has met and exceeded the key criteria used in judging. Namely, Mike has been instrumental in implementing and integrating new technology; assisting our research and development operations; leading initiatives for continuous improvement and encouraging education on the pressroom floor. Supporting Tom’s nomination were two third-party recommendations: one from client Hans Wegner, Vice President of Production Services for National Geographic, and one from vendor Chris Clement, a product manager for Heidelberg Web Systems. In a letter endorsing Mike to the R&E Council, Mr. Wegner said: “Mike has the proverbial ink under his fingernails. While he may try to scrub it away, he can’t hide the fact that the only way to acquire the wealth of knowledge he has is to have put in the long hours and to have done the work.” Mr. Clement complimented Mike’s ability to deal with problems and relate to people, which he called marks of a strong leader, as well as Mike’s capacity for inspiring others. “Mike’s colleagues emulate his approach in pushing the limits to improve quality, improve processes, reduce costs and to have a little fun along the way,” he wrote. “I was extremely humbled and flattered to be recommended and selected for this prestigious award,” Mike said. “It has always been my belief that in certain sports people have the ability to achieve individual goals. In business — which Harry (Quadracci) used to call the 'world’s largest competitive sport' — it is much different. It takes everyone pulling together to achieve a common goal. In my opinion, I am the one who was chosen to be the recipient of this award, but the real credit, and my personal thanks, go to the employees that perform for me and our company every single day.” Mike joined Quad/Graphics in 1972 as our 13th employee and was promoted to management in 1976. In 1985, he assumed responsibility for supervising Press operations in our second plant in Sussex, which has since grown to become the largest web offset pressroom in the United States! In 1995, Mike relocated to Lomira to enhance his knowledge of our gravure operations in preparation for the startup of Martinsburg, where he served as Administrative Plant Manager until becoming Vice President of Press Operations in 1999. Mike's leadership has helped grow Martinsburg into a megaplant that now handles the monthly production of National Geographic magazine, as well as a large volume of other work, in less than six short years. The award was formally bestowed at the R&E Council's 29th Annual Progress in the Pressroom Seminar in Chicago on Wednesday, November 19. The R&E Council, which is part of the National Association for Printing Leadership (NAPL), has been based in NAPL’s headquarters in Paramus, N.J., since their 2002 merger. The not-for-profit technical association, now in its 50th year, is “dedicated to the education of printing industry personnel in the latest technologies and productivity improvement methods.” It boasts nearly 500 members and represents 230 companies.