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Cal Poly Names U.S. Public Printer 2008 Honored Alumnus

Press release from the issuing company

SAN LUIS OBISPO (November 20, 2008) – The Honorable Robert C. Tapella, Public Printer of the United States, was named the Cal Poly College of Liberal Arts 2008 Honored Alumnus. Each year the university’s seven colleges select an individual for this award, which recognizes outstanding professional achievements.
Tapella, a 1991 graphic communication graduate, was appointed by President Bush and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2007 as the nation's 25th Public Printer. In this role, Tapella serves as the chief executive officer of the U.S. Government Printing Office, one of the nation's oldest and most venerable agencies.
Headquartered in Washington, D.C., Tapella oversees production and distribution of information products and services for the three branches of the federal government. Many of the country's most important printed documents, such as the Congressional Record and the Federal Register, are produced at the GPO's main plant.
"I want to thank all my friends and colleagues at Cal Poly for this prestigious honor," Tapella said. “I am grateful to have received a topnotch education from one of the best universities in the country. I credit Cal Poly's emphasis of 'learn by doing' for the successes I have achieved in my career. As the nation's public printer, I carry those lessons with me as I lead a work force of 2,300 in keeping America informed on the documents of its democracy."
Harvey Levenson, Cal Poly Graphic Communication Department head, said, "I had the privilege of being Bob's professor and advisor at Cal Poly. Bob demonstrated his intelligence and leadership abilities while a student by balancing his academic studies with starting up several businesses. His entrepreneurial spirit and ability to handle simultaneous tasks effectively has helped modernize and improve the efficiency of the GPO."
Tapella is committed to making the GPO thrive as one of the largest digital information factories in the world. Making sustainable environmental stewardship one of his top priorities, Tapella has set goals for the GPO to be a good steward of its resources, one of which is to move the GPO headquarters into the first LEED Platinum printing plant in the country. LEED is a voluntary green building rating system with benchmarks for developing high-performance, sustainable buildings.
During his first year as Public Printer, Tapella oversaw the GPO authenticate, by digital signature, the first-ever electronic budget distributed by The White House, the opening of a secure production facility in Stennis, Miss., for the production of blank passports, and the creation of the Official Journals of Government business unit to better serve the U.S. Congress and the Office of Federal Register.
Prior to becoming Public Printer, Tapella severed as a senior executive at the GPO for five years. Tapella helped turn the agency’s financial loses into profits. He was a principal architect of the GPO's strategic plan, which outlines ways for the office’s internal operations to run more efficiently, give employees the opportunity to learn about new technologies, and create a system that will give the public a one-stop site to authentic, published government information.