Open Letter to Printing Industries of America Board of Directors from Allen Press

Press release from the issuing company

Dear PIA Board of Directors,

As a long-time PIA member and supporter, we feel we have a responsibility to speak up when our industry’s flagship organization is failing its membership.

We’ll get right to the point: our national board doesn’t show the gender diversity we expect to see– namely, women business owners and printing leaders are woefully underrepresented. Of the 28 PIA board members, only two are women.

Why is this?

When a young woman researching careers visits the PIA Board of Directors web page, what is she supposed to think? Does she see a successful future in printing? We are sending the wrong message to the upcoming generation of print leaders by not having a truer representation of the men AND women who work to improve our craft every day.

Is it that you don’t welcome women or don’t want them involved in these leadership roles?

Gender diversity leads to greater innovation and advancement. Better problem-solving and ideation. Clearer perspective and vision. Not giving women a voice is a detriment to our industry.

Most importantly, what are you going to do to correct the problem?

The lack of women business owners and leaders on the PIA Board is an embarrassment to all of us who are PIA members.
We ask all printing industry leaders who read this letter to ask themselves what they can do to help correct this incredibly unjust situation. Staying silent and doing nothing is participating in the problem.

Please let PIA President and CEO Michael Makin know how you feel. Call him at (412) 259-1777 or email him at [email protected].

Here at Allen Press, Inc., we want to continue to be part of the PIA community. However, our commitment to social impact means we can no longer fund or lend our support to an organization that is becoming more and more irrelevant by its own lack of gender diversity.

Expecting action,

Randy Radosevich, CEO Allen Press, Inc.


By Joe Lindfeldt on Aug 10, 2018

This is noble and worthy effort. The only thing more limited than gender diversity is racial diversity. This is a challenging topic, but one worth taking the lead on.


By John Berthelsen on Aug 10, 2018

It is worth noting that well more than half of scholarship applicants are female. They are becoming increasingly important to the future workforce of the graphic communications industry. The PGSF board has 27 members, five of which are women.


By Nona Woolbright on Aug 10, 2018

This is perhaps a bigger issue then the industry realizes. At the 2017 FTA Forum, I presented the findings from my research on this subject. Turns out over the past ten years, graphics education enrollments have grown to nearly 80% female. And when these young ladies graduate and go out into the graphics industry, they seldom find female role models and don’t see many people their own age. I don’t have any data currently, but common sense tells us the lack of diversity is even worse. I have been presenting on this topic since 2005 and I am not sure what kind of wake up call is needed. I am currently working on a recruiting and retention research project - why people aren’t interested in graphics as a career and if they are, why don’t they stay? If anyone is interested in participating - here is the weblink:


By HARVEY LEVENSON on Aug 11, 2018

Thank you, Randy Radosevich, for directly addressing an underlying issue deserving of attention, and for your creative idea of using an industry-public platform such as WTT to bring this out.

I also congratulate Joe Lindfeldt for adding “racial diversity” to the discussion, and John Berthelsen and Nona Woolbright for pointing out the important women demographic in our college and university graphic communication programs (printing related programs) where women have outnumbered men for two or more decades.

I can speak for Cal Poly where I headed the Graphic Communication program for 30 years up until a few years ago. During that period, women outnumbered men for at least two decades. I know that the same is true today. With a very high graduate-to-industry placement at Cal Poly, more women have been placed in the industry than men. With a focus on leadership in the program’s academic concentrations, more women have been placed in management positions than men. I know that these trends are the same at other colleges and universities having leading graphic communication, graphic arts, printing, or related programs. Randy, you pointed out a flaw that, perhaps, all of our industry associations should give thought to. In my opinion, industry associations, driven by membership, have the responsibility of having their boards reflect the demographics of the industry.


By Raymond Prince on Aug 11, 2018

The open letter from Allen Press addresses the tip of the iceberg. The industry has changed. The representation on the Board of Directors as well as the representation of females and minorities in the Ben Franklin Society(which is guided by PIA) to say the least is shameful.

Females are playing a large part in this industry it is time to recognize it.

I and a small group of Ben Franklin Society members tried to bring change to that group but failed. The "old guard" is alive and well. I will no longer participate in that Society.

Raymonnd J. Prince
[email protected]


By Pete Basiliere on Aug 13, 2018

Print is a form of manufacturing.

Check out: https://www.womeninmanufacturing.org/home/

"Women in Manufacturing® (WiM) is a national association dedicated to supporting, promoting and inspiring women who are pursuing or have chosen a career in the manufacturing industry... This group encourages the engagement of women who want to share perspectives, gain cutting-edge industry information, improve leadership and communication skills, participate in partner programs and network with peers."


By Gina Danner on Aug 13, 2018

Well.. I can't help but weigh in on this discussion.

Data points show that diversity in organizational leadership directly impacts financial performance. Check out catalyst.org for research points.

Now... experience. I've been an owner for about 30 years. The first time I went to an industry event, I was the only woman in the room. I had been heavily recruited to attend the local "Lithocraftsman's Club". The guys were standing around smoking cigars and bragging about the size of their presses. I was young, and a little introverted. No one talked to me.

This gender make up was virtually the same make up I have seen at the SGIA and Print shows for years.

I subsequently left and decided that I wasn't going back. Many of those owners are out of the business and their companies closed or absorbed. I'm still here and my company has evolved on a continuous basis.

Our ownership is 33% woman owned and I have two male partners. We look at things differently. We have different experiences and we have different skills.

The printing industry must evolve and one way to do that is to engage people that are different from ourselves. Dare I say... people who look and think like our clients.

Yes there are women only organizations that fill a void. I've participated in some of them. It is time for more focused engagement across genders. This starts at the top.

If PIA wants to evolve and grow for the future, it is time to actively engage women to lead.


By Robert Lindgren on Aug 13, 2018

I had the honor and pleasure of serving as PIASC's President/CEO for 35 years. During that time PIASC has had four women serve as Chair and one is a current Vice Chair. One of these women, Janet Green, later became PIA Chair. During those 35 years, I was actively involved in selecting member leaders, a process that was focused on service to and interest in our industry and not on diversity. The selected persons did include members of all minority groups, but that was a by-product not a goal. The author also makes reference to membership in BFS (the PIA honor society) of which I am a Vice Chair. A couple of years ago the diversity issue was addressed and it was determined that a greater percentage of women candidates for BFS membership were accepted than male candidates.


By susan kinney on Aug 13, 2018

Bob Lindgren ought to check the percentage. Currently Ben Franklin Society only has 7% women. Only 2 out of 7 were inducted this year.


By Raymond Prince on Aug 13, 2018

I am told that females make up about 7% of the board of PIA and of the membership of BFHS. A member of the board of PIA told me that they do not know of any African American or Hispanic members of the board of PIA. As far as the Ben Franklin Honor Society is concerned there were more females nominated than men because I nominated 5 and all were rejected.

Those are the numbers. Numbers tell the story.


By Randy Radosevich on Aug 13, 2018

Just wanted to thank everyone for the support! Keep speaking up. Things need to change and it’s up to all of us (Print nerds) to finally make it happen

Also, wanted to update that we are also focusing on diversity in general. Taking a different approach as there are many qualified women in print today but underrepresented in top leadership like on the pia board (and others as everyone is mentioning!) So we are really focused on improving that aspect

Allen Press has just donated and become part of LeBron’s amazing I promise school effort to show our support/commitment to diversity (and helping at risk kids). To help raise awareness at early school level that print is inclusive (innovative and here to stay) and that we care and our industry encourages and further needs diversity to be successful in future—as we (print nerds and leaders) need to do better at creating paths to print careers for all and letting people know that PRINT IS FOR EVERYONE!

Print community don’t stop speaking up for what is right. It’s shocking that PIA leaders refuse to even have the courage to acknowledge the board of directors gender diversity problem

Remember, “All it takes for evil to triumph is for good PEOPLE to do nothing!”


By HARVEY LEVENSON on Aug 13, 2018

Randy Radosevich, you are a printing industry hero for supporting the generous and thoughtful LeBron program to promote education among minority children, and a role model for leadership and critical thinking in our industry. We need more like you.

In a different email thread, one of you was called a "snowflake" for supporting Randy's wisdom (there is no place for name calling in an intelligent discussion), and another of you self-proclaimed as a "snowflake" if that's what it means to support Randy's position. Well, it's August and the snow is falling heavily. I'm all for "global cooling!" So count me in!


By Randy Radosevich on Aug 13, 2018

Thanks Harvey for sharing with us both your voice and courage! Everyone who speaks up now and stands together on this, like you, is a HERO imo (this is one of the most important 'printing community issues' of our times!)

Personally, am a multiple time combat veteran from both Afghanistan and Iraq wars so "snowflake" is a new one lol (it just further illustrates the problem we are trying to overcome). But, like you Harvey, I am proud to be called a "snowflake" (or any other names they come up with) if that means I care about promoting women and encouraging diversity in our print industry

Best thing for us to do is not lose hope and let bullies pull us down or keep us out. Otherwise we won't accomplish anything. Instead lets help spread this message to as many good people as possible, educate those making nasty comments, and lift as many people up as possible in our lifetimes along the way

Hope everyone continues to speak up and not let them silence us! Time for action is now. It's long overdue. Further, hope PIA leaders have the courage to acknowledge and correct their national board of directors gender diversity problem soon


By HARVEY LEVENSON on Aug 13, 2018

Pay attention industry associations supported by a membership. It's the 21 century and we need to all get on board with 21 century thinking. Even Printing Impressions is supporting Randy's position.


When the industry press speaks up to better our industry, better listen up if you want to keep present members and grow new ones. It's "real news," not "fake news."


By Randy Radosevich on Aug 13, 2018

Are PIA leaders not acknowledging the problem because they don’t want to do anything about it?


By Randy Radosevich on Aug 14, 2018

FIRST STEP TAKEN! Our PIA MidAmerica national board member has just done the right thing and resigned (hope the other regions will swiftly follow our lead!), now opening up an immediate seat on the national board

Hope we lead by example and promote the first women to the Printing Industries of America national board in PIA MidAmerica history!

Time is now to correct the PIA national board of directors gender diversity problem and show the world that PRINTING IS FOR EVERYONE!


By Andy Plata on Aug 14, 2018

Excellent topic that will help the industry.

It will be very interesting to see how the PIA, other print associations - and even printers - do a better job of developing diversify-the-team programs.

Maybe we need a tag #PrintDiversity


By Raymond Prince on Aug 15, 2018

Opinions on female participation on industry boards and association have been all over the place. Thus I offer numbers.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics NAICS 323 Printing and Related Support Actives list total employees as of first half of 2018 at 434,200 with females making up 171,110 of that total - thus 39%. The PIA Board has 26 members not counting the President and 2 of those are female thus 8%. The same is true for the Ben Franklin Honor Society membership.
Numbers do tell a story.


By Randy Radosevich on Aug 15, 2018

The Printing Industries of America network has lots of potential to do good (however acting more like the "Death Star" right now). Hope they decide to act now and become more of a force for good and role model for all orgs in our industry

Disruptive to fix 228 I know but long overdue so time to catchup now, move forward and set the example. Don’t understand their resistance to acknowledge the problem and do the right thing

Asking everyone who cares to please email or call Michael Makin and encourage them to get it done. Also, ask all your friends to do the same!!! Thanks so much again for speaking up and being part of the solution


By David Olberding on Aug 16, 2018

I appreciate the sentiment of adding more women to the Board of PIA but it is not Michael Makin that has any say on who is on the Board. This Board placement comes directly from the Affiliates. 1/3 of the affiliate directors are women and they pick who becomes a Board representative.

If you think of the PIA as an organization is like the Federal Governemnet and the Board members are like Governors of the state. The States pick the governors and not the Federal government. So pushing on PIA will not change any of these Board positions. Teresa Campbell Is your Affiliate Manager and she does an excellent job for your Affiliate and represents you well at the National Association. Please reach out to her with any ideas or suggestions.

Secondly Michael Makin is one of the strongest supporter of women and people of color of anyone I’ve ever met.

David Olberding PIA Chair 2015

Ps. Sorry for the break in my response!


By Randy Radosevich on Aug 16, 2018

Have officially resigned my advisory board position as I can no longer stand to be part of “PIA Leadership” that fails to acknowledge, let alone act, to resolve the national board gender diversity failure. Further, Allen Press senior leadership is meeting to decide if we will continue to support the PIA as a member. Going forward we are only supporting orgs that demonstrate our Values and commitment to social impact


By susan kinney on Aug 17, 2018

Why can't the association do a survey to find out why there is only 7% women in leadership roles when the industry is made up of 31% women. Survey the companies and find out what the actual percentage of women in leadership roles is. If the percentage is higher than 7% what is the perceived problem of why more aren't involved in the associations. We need to define the problem before we can find a solution.


By susan kinney on Aug 19, 2018

I think it is a great that PIA has 6 women affiliate managers out of 24 which is 25%. Why is it that PIA and BFHS can only find 7% women in leadership positions? Affiliates Board Positions need to be nominated! Believe it or not 20 years ago that were more opportunities for women to get involved with their affiliates.. At PIASC we had production conference 250+, sales conference 250+, sales club, and classes yearly and now they have coffee with Bob and membership has dropped by 50%. The local nominating committees need to seek more women (they are out there) and have a goal of at least 25% (there is 31% of women in the printing industry) to change this. Printing Company have done a fairly good job over the last 25 years of hiring more women and getting them involved.in management. Why hasn't PIA, the affiliated and BFHS?


By Raymond Prince on Aug 21, 2018

It is a sad state when people do not want to address an issue but chose to be taken off a listserve. Now is a time for leadership.


By Randy Radosevich on Aug 21, 2018

Allen Press leadership team has voted their conscience & unanimously decided to resign entirely from the PIA

We believe in our hearts that #Printing is for everyone...up to all of us now to take the lead & reimagine, making our industry’s potentially bright future a reality. But some things like fixing 228 & closing the gender pay gap must change now if we are to get there. So, we have lots of work to do still within our own companies, but necessary & overdue industrywide change is still possible if we all continue to speak up

May have failed to wake up to reality & ultimately revitalize the PIA. Hope other “legacy orgs” to remain relevant step up helping us lead print to the next level & realize the good their networks can do by setting that example for our industry. If not, like the PIA has, those orgs will also become a “wall” themselves to needed progress

Millennial CEO myself, AP is aiming to do what we can to "tear down the walls" https://www.printweek.com/print-week/feature/1165241/the-industry-needs-a-better-focus-on-gender-imbalance "My hope is Millennials, who are the most diverse generation to date, really tear down the walls when they get the power" -DC

Generations aside, for the love of PRINT!, let’s all do the right thing & join together to tear down those walls! (With or without the PIA) ensuring that our industry’s best days are yet to come

(In keeping with full transparency, an actual copy of the letter sent to PIA is posted on my LinkedIn feed)


By Randy Radosevich on Aug 26, 2018

After Actions Review... analyzing all of the input on social media & email we found that (the overwhelming majority of the #printing community supports fixing now and) those who didn’t support recognizing the problems and further correcting the gender imbalance on the Printing Industries of America national board are directly benefiting from the PIA—either financially or status

(The posts and comments are still up there publicly for all to sort thru/see for yourself)


By Randy Radosevich on Aug 26, 2018

May have failed to change Printing Industries of America. Keep pushing and we’ll see the gender pay gap closed and imbalance corrected—women will be promoted to at least 30% management and senior leadership positions industrywide

#Printing is for everyone #Diversity makes us stronger



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