Joe Tucker: Bringing Efficiency to Ohio
Joe Tucker likes telling the story of his first press check, back when he was handling print procurement for the state of Ohio. A state motorcycle map was on press, and he and some others were inspecting a press sheet when he spotted a little problem.
"The word 'motorcycle' was misspelled," says Tucker, now state printing administrator. "Finally I got up enough nerve—because I'm the new guy—and I said, 'that's not the way you spell motorcycle.' " He laughs at the memory. "The first press check I went on I stopped the presses."
In the years since, Tucker has gone on to make some far more notable contributions to state printing, chief among them the closing of many agency-operated copy centers and the transfer of that printing into his centralized facilities. Now, as he approaches retirement later this year, Tucker is moving one last agency's printing into his State Printing and Mail Services operation. The savings to the state because of centralization is huge, he says.
"We conservatively estimate a $5.3 million savings in just this biennium," he says. "As employees of the government, our primary focus should be to save the taxpayers money. "
For one who has done so much to bring efficiency to state printing, Tucker has a fairly modest graphic arts background. His job as Ohio's State Printer is, in fact, his second career; he served 21 years with the U.S. Air Force, retiring as director of military personnel at the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1993.
Born in Mt. Vernon, Ohio, Tucker joined the Air Force right out of high school, passing up a partial football scholarship to Kent State. Toward the end of his 12 years as an enlisted man, he went to school at night, earning a degree in Human Resources from St. Leo College. He was accepted into officers' training school and then served a further nine years as a personnel officer.
Related story: Ohio State Printer Moves Downtown
Bob has served as editor of In-plant Impressions since October of 1994. Prior to that he served for three years as managing editor of Printing Impressions, a commercial printing publication. Mr. Neubauer is very active in the U.S. in-plant industry. He attends all the major in-plant conferences and has visited nearly 170 in-plant operations around the world. He has given presentations to numerous in-plant groups in the U.S., Canada and Australia, including the Association of College and University Printers and the In-plant Printing and Mailing Association. He also coordinates the annual In-Print contest, cosponsored by IPMA and In-plant Impressions.