Cowan Happy to Be Part of Political Process

It’s been a roller coaster ride the past few years for Harvest Graphics. Back in 2008, the Lenexa, KS-based commercial printer had one of its best years, but it wouldn’t be long before the pendulum went in the wrong direction. There was a recession…you might have heard about it in the news. It got really cold—hiring and capex spending froze. A chilly wind shook the trees and all of the mature fruit fell off. Natural selection, business style.

John Cowan didn’t want to do it, but the company president and his partners, Pat Kieral and Price Williams, had little choice but to institute a 10 percent wage cut. No one was spared. But those 50 employees were comparatively lucky. Their jobs were still intact.

It wasn’t all that long ago, really, and now the momentum seems to have swung back to the sunny side of the ledger sheet. The 10 percent was restored during 2011 and, by year’s end, Cowan negotiated a solid deal to acquire a much-needed, brand new Heidelberg Polar cutter. While no one’s ready to belt out “Happy Days Are Here Again,” it will do for now.

It was against this backdrop that Rick Santorum, the former senator from Pennsylvania, rumbled through America’s heartland last week, looking to unseat Mitt Romney in a bid to become the Republican presidential nominee. In a lead-up to Kansas’ caucus last weekend, Santorum made a stop at Harvest Graphics, a visit that was brief and borderline spontaneous.

Consider this: On Monday, March 5, Cowan was contacted by the local Republican committee, which was vetting small businesses to serve as a host for Santorum. The following day, Cowan convened a briefing between the Secret Service, local fire and police departments. On Wednesday, the potential next leader of the free world stopped by and delivered a 35-minute speech in front of about 350 people.

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  • Concerned Pennsylvanian

    "the potential next leader of the free world"… It won’t be free for long if Rick’s in charge.