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Ripon Printers’ Dennis Darnick Announces His Retirement, Jeff Spence to Succeed Him

Press release from the issuing company

Julie Newhouse Named Director of Customer Care

Dennis Darnick announced the conclusion of his long and successful career with Ripon Printers that began as a web pressman in 1975. He quickly rose through the ranks to web press supervisor, then production manager and, in 1990, to vice president of production. Darnick has been part of a major technology transformation at Ripon Printers over the years, ranging from the introduction of heatset web printing to 100% digital workflows and variable-data digital printing systems. He will officially leave the company in July 2016. 

“Dennis Darnick has been a key person at Ripon Printers for many years,” says Andy Lyke, company president and CEO. “Dennis was the perfect leader for a family-owned business. He treated his associates as family members. While empathetic, Dennis also made the tough calls when needed.  Without Dennis, I doubt we would have had the level of success we’ve enjoyed over the years,” Lyke concludes. 

The vice president of production role will be ably filled by current Vice President of Operations Jeff Spence. A Ripon Printers’ employee since 1988, Spence’s extensive background includes leading the company’s prepress transition from conventional to digital workflow, as well as roles in estimating, purchasing, customer service, accounting, and information systems. 

A graduate of the Graphic Arts Management program at the University of Wisconsin-Stout, Spence also played key roles in two other important initiatives. The first was leading the company’s lean enterprise efforts, working with teams across the organization to change the company culture while continuously improving the business through use of lean tools. The second was helping to lead the integration of Ripon Printers’ acquisition of Sells Printing Company.

“Although Dennis leaves big shoes to fill, we are fortunate to have Jeff Spence to take over,” says Andy Lyke. “Jeff has worked hard preparing himself for this opportunity through successful management roles in a number of different areas. I have complete confidence in his ability to pick up the reigns and continue leading Ripon Printers into the future.” 

Also contributing to Ripon Printers’ future success will be Julie Newhouse, recently named director of customer care. This is a new position that recognizes the importance of a customer-centric organization and builds upon Ripon Printers’ strong commitment to customer service excellence. 

Newhouse brings years of experience in the graphic arts industry including management roles in prepress, manufacturing, custom product development and sales, and customer support. Most recently, she served as customer support manager for Service Litho-Print (Oshkosh, WI). 

“We’re delighted to attract someone with Julie Newhouse’s proven track record for our new director of customer care position,” says Andy Lyke. “She’s smart, a strategic thinker, and knows the importance of listening to her staff as she makes her decisions. Julie will help us add new dimensions to our customer experience that will continue to make Ripon Printers a preferred supplier.”


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