Jim and Arnie Hopkins enjoy a quiet moment in Venice, Italy.

Jim and Arnie Hopkins with their grandchildren in St. Thomas.

Jim Hopkins

It’s a night out on the town for Jim Hopkins and his grandchildren.

Jim Hopkins catches the train while on holiday in Milan, Italy.

THERE’S LITTLE doubt that Jim Hopkins personifies the concept of a self-made man. That the road to success wasn’t paved, and actually began in his garage, makes his story all the more compelling.

Hopkins serves as president and CEO of Hopkins Printing, a general commercial printer based in Columbus, OH, that does $16 million a year in business. His voyage into the world of printing seems to be an accident of time and space or, to be more specific, a pleasant set of circumstances. And Hopkins can thank his wife for helping the stars to align just right.

Still, make no mistake about it. Hard work, a willingness to learn the business world without the aid of a college degree and the desire to seek out industry experts has enabled Hopkins to build his own printing empire and gain entrance into the 2006 PRINTING IMPRESSIONS/RIT Printing Industry Hall of Fame.

Unlike many Hall of Famers, there were no bloodlines connecting Hopkins to the industry. Born in Virginia, Hopkins’ parents separated when he was young. His mother remarried, and the family moved to Pittsburgh, which proved to be a trying period for Hopkins.

“I basically came from a blue- collar family,” says Hopkins, who as a boy used to enjoy peering inside a wide-open print shop, which had no air conditioning and kept its doors open. “I had a wonderful mother who instilled a great work ethic in me. I’ve always tried to do the best I could with who I was and what I had.”

Upon graduating high school in 1959, Hopkins entered the U.S. Air Force. Following his training, he moved on to a manufacturing job with a roller bearing company, then went to drafting school for two years. Hopkins never followed a path into architecture but, wanting to do more than manufacturing-type work, he entered the world of sales.

Related story: Hopkins PI/RIT Hall of Fame Speech

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  • http://JaniceDoddridge Janice Doddridge

    Dear Mr. Hopkins, I am proud to say I know you and that my daughter works for a company with such good ethics. Keep up the good work. It pays. Good luck in the future.

  • http://KelleyLeonard Kelley Leonard

    Very impressive, Jim & Arnie! Congratulations on this achievement!

  • http://JoeHorchak Joe Horchak

    Jim & Arnie, we am so pleased for both of you! Keep up the great work and dedication to all whom you work with both professionally and personally. Wish we could have been there! Jackie and I are honored to be your friends.

  • http://SheilaGardner Sheila Gardner

    Jim, what a great article. Congratulations! I feel honored to know you. My dad should treat you better! :-)