Changing of the Guard at GPO
It was only a little over a year ago that I stood inside the U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) chatting with the top three executives at the country's largest in-plant: Director Davita Vance-Cooks, Deputy Director Jim Bradley and Chief of Staff Andy Sherman, a trio of wonderful people. I always enjoyed spending time with them, and Sherman in particular is one of my oldest friends in the in-plant industry.
Over the past eight months, however, things have changed quickly at GPO. First, Vance-Cooks departed for a job in the private sector, moving Bradley into the role of acting director; then he retired four months later, moving Sherman into the top position. Now this week, Sherman announced his retirement at the end of June, after 38 years of federal service, all of it at the GPO. This moves GPO Chief Administrative Officer Herb Jackson into the role of acting deputy director.
Jackson won't have much time to enjoy that job, however. On Tuesday, President Trump reached back eight years to pluck former Public Printer Robert C. Tapella from the list of candidates for GPO director and announced his intention to nominate him for his old job. Tapella was nominated by President George W. Bush in 2007 and spent three years in the position, helping to turn GPO’s financial situation around and overseeing the launch of GPO’s Federal Digital System (FDsys).
The period between nomination and Senate confirmation can vary. For Vance-Cooks (who had already been serving as acting director for 16 months) it took three months; for Tapella (last time) it took four months; for Bruce James in 2002 it took about eight months.
Though I've always found Tapella to be very down to earth and easy to talk to, I will certainly miss having Sherman at the helm at GPO. From the day I met him at a conference in 1995, he's always been friendly, helpful and full of insight about printing in the government sector. But as he noted in an email to me this week: "It’s been a good run and I enjoyed working here, but it’s time to move on, and I’m ready to go."
I wish him all the best in retirement.
GPO Acting Deputy Director Andy Sherman testifies before the Subcommittee on Legislative Branch Appropriates about GPO’s FY 2019 Appropriations Request. pic.twitter.com/cU0NDvbDR5
— U.S. GPO (@USGPO) April 12, 2018
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.