Following Opportunities to SUCCESS
TONYA DEMERSON follows a simple path to success: She takes the opportunities given her, excels and earns more opportunities.
Throughout her brilliant career this cycle has repeated itself, and it continues to pay off. At April’s IPMA conference, Demerson received the James M. Brahney scholarship, awarded annually to an IPMA member who is pursuing a degree in corporate publishing or management.
Demerson, Reprographics manager for the City of Denton, Texas, took a unique road to her career in printing. Born in Queens, N.Y., raised in Amarillo, Texas, Demerson originally arrived in Denton to attend the University of North Texas as a psychology major. But even then she kept her options open.
“I was undecided,” Demerson recalls. “I thought I would wind up teaching school.”
In 1989, though, she left the world of academia for a different one—the wonderful world of parenthood. She worked various jobs to support herself and her son Dantrell. All the while Demerson kept the idea of finishing school firmly in mind.
In 1995 she entered court-reporting school. After her daughter Myaa was born in 1996, she landed a job with the city’s Parks and Recreation department. Eight months later she moved on to Administrative Services, the department that would eventually become Reprographics.
At that time, Administrative Services did all desktop and computer work for the city, and provided some printing and graphic services. As computer use became more widespread in the city, the department began to focus on its reprographic side.
An In-plant Comes to Life
At first, the in-plant had only black-and-white Xerox equipment, desktop color printers, lamination and a bindery. Soon, however, color copier/printers arrived. Then the city data center merged with Reprographics, which added a Xerox 4850 and a wide-format printer. Now, the five-person Reprographics department produces roughly 35,000 color impressions and 87,000 black-and-white impressions per month and operates on a $600,000 budget.