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WOA's Newest Executive Director

April 2004
By Kristen E. Monte

This past January, the Web Offset Association (WOA) concluded its search for a new executive director by naming Mary Garnett to the position. Garnett, who filled the open position created with the retirement of Tom Basore, took over on February 16.

Garnett previously served as a vice president with Printing Industries of America (PIA) and, in addition to her duties as the new WOA executive director, she is also serving as GATF/PIA's senior staff member responsible for Special Interest Groups and Sections.

In 1994, Garnett joined PIA as a director of education and moved up to vice president of education. She holds a B.S. degree in business education from Shippensburg University and a masters degree in counseling from the University of Central Texas.

As a vice president, Garnett says that one of her major accomplishments was being able to put the right resources together to meet the needs of PIA's members. "When I look at what has been done it's because of our outstanding staff support," says Garnett. "We have been able to revitalize meetings and offer better services for our members."

Under her watch, PIA has also been able to form award-winning programs, such as the Digital Printing Council. During her tenure, PIA initiated the E-Business Council and currently is working with the National Association for Printing Leadership (NAPL) to combine training programs to launch the Management and Leadership Institute this June.

It is because of these achievements that Garnett has won many PIA employee awards, such as the President's Award and, last year, the prestigious Peer Employee of the Year Award.

"Like all associations, we are constantly finding and developing products and services that our members want and need," explains Garnett. "We have to prove our relevancy on a regular basis."

One potential challenge that hasn't been an issue for Garnett is being a woman in what was once a predominantly male dominated industry.

"It is about who can best do the job," she states. "Our industry is progressive; there are many companies with women owners, presidents and vice presidents."

Garnett plans to carry her experience and lessons learned from PIA over to her new position with the WOA. She says her primary goal is to create a member-centric focus so that WOA members are the top priority. "I want to seek and identify the needs of the group first," Garnett explains. "Then we can help members to increase their profitability."
 

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