Tim Hendrix: Head of State Printing
For Tim Hendrix, it has been a long and winding road leading him to the position of State Printer and Program Manager for the State of Oregon’s Publishing & Distribution division.
Originally from California, Hendrix first landed in Oregon to attend Willamette University. He loved the Pacific Northwest and its various outdoor pursuits so much that, after earning a degree in environmental science, he never left. He later added a public management degree from the Atkinson Graduate School of Management.
“From almost day one, back in high school, I was interested in the graphic arts,” Hendrix recalls, noting that he attended a small private high school in Monterey, California, where he enjoyed photography and working on the school yearbook.
When he arrived on campus at Willamette University, he found work on the school newspaper and served as a darkroom manager.
“But after graduating, I realized there were a lot of layoffs going on all around the country, and the economy was pretty bad for environmental science,” he contends. “If couldn’t find a job.”
Since he had put himself through college doing photography, Hendrix continued on and became a contract photographer doing commercial work. He also served as a contractor for Gamma Liaison (now known as Getty Images) tending to jobs throughout the Northwest.
Hendrix later started his own company, which involved photography, graphic design and print brokering duties.
“So I evolved from being a photographer to doing marketing, prepress work, print bids and visiting printers around the Northwest for clients,” he explains. “Marketing and printing became my passion, especially variable data and digital printing.”
In 1999, after being self-employed for 15 years, Hendrix decided it was time to try something new. He heard about an opening for a customer service role doing print production for the state, and he landed the gig.
“I started on October 13, 1999, and I will never forget it because it was a Friday the 13th,” he says with a laugh.
No Stranger to Government
Although he took a new position, Hendrix was not totally unfamiliar with the government printing world, having worked with the state printing division on many projects with state agency clients, including the Oregon State Fair and the Oregon Marine Board.
“So I was very familiar with state printing and what its role was in state government,” he says.
He was promoted several times, before landing a valued position as an IT manager.
“I was very interested in moving in that direction and worked very closely with others on staff to develop our first Web-to-print software in 2003,” he points out. “There really wasn’t anything on the market at the time that we really liked, so we built our own.”
The software was later revamped but the in-plant has been using its own Web-to-print solution ever since.
Hendrix has held his current position for four years, and directly oversees a staff of six managers and six support staff members, including a pair of security officers, since the in-plant handles documents containing sensitive information. About half of the documents the shop produces are considered secure documents, including financial and HIPAA information.
“Information is flowing through here that is highly sensitive, so our operation is broken down between what we call production print and mail, and then secure printing, which is a 24/five operation primarily doing work coming off the state’s mainframe systems,” Hendrix explains.
An All-digital Operation
Oregon’s state printing facility transitioned to an all digital shop back in 2007, when the in-plant’s offset presses were sold off to the state corrections division, which has its own print shop.
Today, the in-plant is a mix of color and black-and-white high-speed digital machines. Last year, Hendrix decided to add wide-format printing to the mix to produce posters and trade show displays for the shop’s government clients.
“It launched and became very successful very quickly, even without doing much marketing,” Hendrix reports, adding that he is planning on doing some outreach programs to make the wide-format area even more successful.
Hendrix proudly reveals that the Publishing & Distribution division recently underwent a remodeling project. The printing offices and production floor formerly sat at opposite ends of the building, causing a physical and mental disconnect. Now all the administrative offices are in the same area as production, with large windows that show the production floor.
“I feel it was a really good achievement to bring the plant closer together,” he contends. “And it was something I had been working on for the past four years.”
Hendrix is a big supporter of the In-plant Printing and Mailing Association (IPMA), noting that the first thing he did after becoming state printer was to renew the shop’s IPMA membership.
“In-plants are a unique yet very numerous type of business,” he points out. “I have found a lot of the inspiration for what we do here has come from other IPMA members.”
Hendrix confides that he is currently coming up with a strategic plan for 2017-2019. A big part of the plan is looking for a full-color, high-speed inkjet solution.
“I have been watching it very closely for the past few years, as the prices drop and the capabilities and quality increase considerably,” he contends. “I believe that is the future.”
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