At Printing Industries of America, we have some outstanding employees. PIA has decided to open the doors and introduce our readers to the people that make us who we are. We choose to feature those outstanding employees with a blog dedicated to them: introducing the Staff Spotlight!
Our very first staff spotlight will feature Mike Packard, Manager, Sponsorship & Logistics.
Mike has been working at PIA for 11 years, and he is our most recent Peer Employee of the Year recipient. He's a natural relationship builder who exudes trust, experience, and an even-keeled communication style. He's simply likeable and one of our most loyal employees. "Mike is one of those people you can always count on to step in wherever or whenever necessary. He is unflappable and always calm in the midst of the storm, as he handles all conference and event logistics as well as the continuous requests and questions that arise from sponsors, attendees, and speakers before, during, and after," said Karen Keller, Director of Business Development at PIA.
What is your favorite part about your job?
The Premier Print Awards (PPAs). We are in our 69th year! I've been managing the program for nearly 3 years and the process is highly rewarding from beginning to end. Starting with the pieces that come in to PIA and what people and/or organizations are producing and how they are producing them is genuinely remarkable.
Tell us a little more about the PPAs.
It is an international printing competition. We accept entries into 115 categories such as 3D Printing, Calendars, Binding, and They Said It Couldn't Be Done. We also continue to grow our international entrants from countries such as China, Australia, India, and Mexico to name a few. This, of course, makes for an extremely intriguing and diverse competition. Plus, for those who enter, it shows for that year and in the future, winning a Benny is a prestigious honor. It demonstrates that the entrant is one of the best of the best printers in the world; that is something that lives on. The company and employees can be proud of the work they produced.
What is your most memorable PPA piece?
It was an entry of 50 individual Scientology (submitted as a single entry piece) books translated into 50 different languages. Each piece was leather bound, embossed, and had magnificent imagery.
When you aren't managing the PPAs or sponsorship and conference logistics, what can we find you doing?
Camping and traveling. I am the Committee Chair for the local Boy Scout troop here in Pittsburgh and I thoroughly enjoy it!
If you could switch jobs with anyone here, who would it be and why?
I don't think I would switch jobs with anyone here because every day is different. When dealing with conferences, sponsors, and attendees, no day is boring! Even though I'm part of a team, I still have many tasks I do independently that present their own challenges, and I enjoy solving those challenges independently.
What's the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?
Recently? Well, we were canoeing with the Scouts on the Youghiogheny river and we paddled to the shore to let the boys swim. As I was holding on to the boat, my son easily stepped out in about one-foot of water. I go to step out of the boat and somehow it was about 4-feet deep and was too late. Right in the river I went.