Happy Valentine’s Day … to In-plant Couples
The in-plant community is a close-knit group — and even closer than you think for some. Over the years, several in-plant managers have fallen in love and gotten married. Often, they lived nowhere near each other, necessitating long-distance courtships.
When Doug Miller, director of Printing and Graphic Services at Grand Rapids Community College, signed up for the 1996 Association of College and University Printers conference in Fairbanks, Alaska, he didn’t expect to find love on the Alaskan tundra. But he met Melva Christian from the University of Oklahoma at that event, and the two hit it off. They got married in 1998.
Perhaps a more well-known in-plant couple is Ray and Catherine Chambers, who met at the 1994 In-plant Printing and Mailing Association conference (then called COM 94) in Orlando, Fla., when Catherine was a manager at the University of the South and Ray was at the University of Louisville.
“I was in the hotel lobby and saw a group of blindfolded people following a person down the hall to a session,” Catherine Chambers recalls. “I followed them and sat in on the team-building session presented by a UofL staff member. After the session, I was so impressed with the concept of TQM/team building I asked the presenter where I could learn more about this idea, and she introduced me to Ray.”
She did indeed learn more, and over the next two years, the couple worked together on presentations for IPMA on issues such as copyright, TQM, and the up-and-coming World Wide Web.
“At the COM 1996 conference, Ray asked me to marry him, and we were married in May of 1997,” she says. “We have enjoyed a wonderful life together, mixing business and pleasure with printing friends across the United States and Canada. The only thing we have ever substantially disagreed upon is the interpretation of various portions of U.S. copyright law. Ray has always been my hero, my professional mentor, and the love of my life.”
Other in-plant managers have found just as much happiness together:
- When Gary Boyd was manager of Iowa State University Printing & Copy Services, he met his future wife Karen, who managed the in-plant at Indiana University-Purdue University at Fort Wayne. They were married in 1993.
- At the University of Texas at Arlington’s in-plant, Director Steve Burdette worked alongside his future wife Mary, assistant director, for 10 years before the couple tied the knot. They continued working together there for another 14 years before moving on to other jobs.
- Perhaps the longest-distance relationship came about when Andrew Scott, manager of Glasgow Caledonian University, met Lisa Hoover, of Bucknell University, at an ACUP conference. They got married in 2017.
Happy Valentine’s Day to these in-plant couples and to every in-plant manager (whether or not they are married to a fellow printer).
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.