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2006 NAPL Management Plus Hall of Fame Award Goes to Bloomington Offset Process

Press release from the issuing company

PARAMUS, N.J., JANUARY 11, 2007 – NAPL, the trade association for excellence in graphic communications management, has bestowed the highest honor in its 2006 Management Plus competition, The William K. Marrinan Hall of Fame Award, on Bloomington Offset Process, Inc. (BOPI). Since its founding in 1947, the Bloomington, Ill.-based company has grown from a small printing company with sales of under $75,000 to a full-service printing, mailing, and fulfillment operation with 70 employees and nearly $12 million in revenue. Tom Mercier, BOPI president and chief executive officer, credits the company’s ongoing success to the organization’s commitment to “investing in capabilities that mirror our customers’ needs as well as in the education and training of our employees.” "Bloomington Offset Process epitomizes the high level of management excellence recognized by our Management Plus program,” said Joseph P. Truncale, NAPL president and chief executive officer. “I and all of us at NAPL congratulate everyone at BOPI on this well-earned honor." Mercier will accept the award on behalf of the company at a special Management Plus Awards banquet on Saturday, March 10, during NAPL’s 2007 Top Management Conference in Santa Barbara, Calif. The annual NAPL Management Plus program is sponsored by American Printer magazine, Compass Capital Partners, Ltd., and MAN Roland. Bloomington Offset Process, Inc. was founded in 1947 by Carroll B. Cade and Jack Schoenburg, both of whom had been working for area printers. The primary products produced by the fledgling company were letterheads, handbills, a weekly advertising newspaper, and a smattering of advertising literature. By 1950, the company had 10 fulltime employees and sales of $75,000. At that time, Schoenburg sold his share of the business to Fred Dolan, Sr., and Ned Dolan. To help the company expand, Burt Mercier, a recent graduate of Illinois State Normal University with a degree in business and experience in advertising sales for a local newspaper and the University newspaper, was hired as sales manager. By 1955, BOPI’s sales had grown to $200,000. To accommodate the growth, the company purchased more equipment, added a second shift, and moved to a nearby larger location. In the next 10 years, BOPI doubled its sales volume, added 12 new employees, hired an additional salesperson, and purchased two new presses (including the company’s first two-color press). Now a full-fledged commercial offset printing company, BOPI was now producing forms, two-color envelope inserts, advertising brochures, catalog sheets, some four-color process work, instruction books, and other products. Over the next five years (1965-1970), the company experienced a 50% sales increase and expanded staff to 32 employees. Once again, a larger facility was needed and the company moved to its present location on South Veterans Parkway in Bloomington. In 1974, as one of Bloomington Offset Processes, Inc.’s original founders, Carroll Cade, neared retirement, Tom Mercier, Burt Mercier’s son, joined the company. At the time a recent graduate of Illinois State University with a degree in accounting, Tom Mercier was trained by Cade to assume responsibility for purchasing and estimating. When Cade retired in 1975, he sold his share of the company to the Corporation and continued to serve on BOPI’s Board of Directors for the next two years. Also in that year, Burt Mercier and Tom Mercier together purchased 25% of the company stock from Fred Dolan, Jr. At that time, the company’s annual sales were $1.2 million. In 1976, Tom Mercier’s responsibilities expanded to include sales, which became his primary focus for the next 18 years. By 1981, Burt and Tom Mercier were the sole owners of the company, which now had sales of $2.5 million. In 1990, Tom Mercier was promoted to executive vice president and Burt Mercier began planning his retirement and succession. When Burt retired in 1993, Tom Mercier was named president and chief executive officer of the then $5.8-million company. Burt, who had just been named chairman of graphic communications trade association NAPL and had planned to serve as chairman of BOPI, suffered a fatal heart attack in January 1994. The next 17 months were a time of reorganization and expansion planning for BOPI. An addition was made to the building and new equipment purchased, including a 40 in., six-color press and its first UV web press. Over the years, the company continued to invest in new equipment and capabilities, including another 40-in., six-color press and computer-to-plate (CTP), and expanded into new service areas, including digital asset management, variable data printing, e-commerce, mailing, and fulfillment. By the end of 2006, BOPI had 70 employees and nearly $12 million in sales. Tom Mercier credits the ongoing success of Bloomington Offset Process, Inc. to the company’s commitment to investing in capabilities that mirror its customers’ needs as well as investing in the education and training of its employees.

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