McCormick Armstrong Honors Chairman, CEO Jake Shaffer for His 50 Years of Service
WICHITA, KS—April 17, 2015—In an age where job security can seem as distant as hot metal typesetting, one thing has remained constant: Chairman and CEO Jake Shaffer has shown up every day for the past 50 years to manage the finances and shape the growth of McCormick Armstrong Printing.
On May 1, McCormick Armstrong will honor Shaffer with an Open House from noon to 6 p.m. to celebrate his 50th anniversary with the company and launch his second 50 years at the helm of one of the largest privately held printers in the Midwest. Fellow graphic arts industry members, vendors and clients are invited to attend the event at McCormick Armstrong's plant at 1501 E. Douglas in Wichita.
Shaffer joined McCormick Armstrong fresh out of college in 1965. As an accounting major with minors in economics and psychology, his freshly minted diploma earned him a starting salary of $3 an hour as the company accountant. Over the years, Shaffer took on the duties of controller, CFO, treasurer, president and eventually chairman and CEO.
McCormick Armstrong was founded in 1901, making it one of Kansas’ oldest continuously operating companies. Shaffer has been there through almost half the company’s history.
"Technology has made longevity in the graphic arts business a challenge at times,” relayed Shaffer, who has overseen numerous upgrades to McA’s plant and equipment over the years, including a $10 million expansion in 2008 to keep the prepress and press operations state-of-the-art.
"We had nearly 140 employees when I started and we have about 60 today," he added. "We’re busier than we’ve ever been, but technology lets us do more work with fewer people. I’ve been blessed to have employees who have worked tirelessly to make this company great, and that’s what makes it easy for me to come to work every day and still love what I do."
In fact, McCormick Armstrong has been named one of the Wichita Business Journal’s "Best in Business" finalists seven times in the last eight years.
Shaffer hired a new president, John Bobbitt, last year, to take over day-to-day oversight of McCormick Armstrong's printing, direct mail, catalog, fulfillment, distribution, and other brand management operations. That shift has allowed Shaffer to continue as chairman and CEO of McA while devoting more of his time to one of its related companies, On Point, printer of specialty products and high-end coffee table books in Kansas City, KS.
"As I look ahead at the next 50 years of McCormick Armstrong, it’s an exciting time for the company and for me, personally," Shaffer said. "Finding a successor like John Bobbitt—someone who has run a highly profitable multi-million-dollar printing business for decades—has allowed me to move away from the daily operations at McA with confidence. I’ve been able to focus my attention on long-range planning for both McA and On Point and I find it exciting to be building that strategic roadmap for our future."
Bobbitt also noted, "Jake’s integrity, loyalty and sense of commitment business is one of the key reasons I moved from Houston to take this position at McCormick Armstrong. Privately held companies operate with a value structure that treats employees like family. Jake is certainly the patriarch of our McCormick Armstrong family, and an incredible mentor to all of us in this company. His incredible business acumen has brought us successfully through the ups and downs of the past 50 years. As he launches his second 50 years with this company, his vision and leadership make us truly optimistic about McCormick Armstrong’s future in this industry."
McCormick Armstrong has full printing and in-house mailing capabilities, including a five-unit Goss M600 and prepress technology. The company holds a G7 quality certification and is an FSC certified printer.