2011 Hall of Fame: Ken Kaufman - From Publisher to Printer
Dean of Newsletters
NSI was so renown in newsletter printing circles, it often had competing titles on its facility's dock. For example, during the energy department's heyday of the late 1970s/early 1980s, the printer had six competing energy titles coming through the plant.
For 20-plus years, NSI enjoyed a healthy share of the newsletter niche. Then a competitor came along, carrying the www prefix, and it proved to be a game changer for Kaufman & Co. That's when he made the strategic decision, circa 1994, to shift focus more toward direct mail. And, since the newsletter moniker seemed limiting to potential clients, Kaufman changed the company's name to Omniprint.
It wouldn't be the last change Kaufman made. In January of 2008, he sold the firm to longtime friend (and 2005 Printing Industry Hall of Fame inductee) Michael Marcian, of Corporate Press. Kaufman loved the synergies: Corporate Press offered four-color sheetfed offset and digital printing, but didn't have direct mail clients; Omniprint had no digital printing gear.
The tandem has also delved head-first into the marketing services provider menu—QR codes, Web-to-print, fulfillment, etc.
"I've learned a lot about printing, and I give much of the credit to the people I've met along the way who have helped me," Kaufman relates. "(Early on) I joined the local PIA affiliate chapter here, and there were a lot of guys willing to give me advice, talk to me about any problems. I hired the right people on the technical side, and used my managerial skills. Along the way, some wonderful people have helped me a great deal."
Kaufman has repaid the kindness through his 30 years of industry association participation. He has served on the board, including stints as chairman, of both the local Printing Industries of America affiliates (Printing Industries of Metropolitan Washington, then Printing and Graphics Association MidAtlantic) and the national association.