2006 PRINTING INDUSTRY HALL OF FAME — SUCCESS, THE HARD WAY
THERE’S LITTLE doubt that Jim Hopkins personifies the concept of a self-made man. That the road to success wasn’t paved, and actually began in his garage, makes his story all the more compelling.
Hopkins serves as president and CEO of Hopkins Printing, a general commercial printer based in Columbus, OH, that does $16 million a year in business. His voyage into the world of printing seems to be an accident of time and space or, to be more specific, a pleasant set of circumstances. And Hopkins can thank his wife for helping the stars to align just right.
Still, make no mistake about it. Hard work, a willingness to learn the business world without the aid of a college degree and the desire to seek out industry experts has enabled Hopkins to build his own printing empire and gain entrance into the 2006 PRINTING IMPRESSIONS/RIT Printing Industry Hall of Fame.
Unlike many Hall of Famers, there were no bloodlines connecting Hopkins to the industry. Born in Virginia, Hopkins’ parents separated when he was young. His mother remarried, and the family moved to Pittsburgh, which proved to be a trying period for Hopkins.
“I basically came from a blue- collar family,” says Hopkins, who as a boy used to enjoy peering inside a wide-open print shop, which had no air conditioning and kept its doors open. “I had a wonderful mother who instilled a great work ethic in me. I’ve always tried to do the best I could with who I was and what I had.”
Upon graduating high school in 1959, Hopkins entered the U.S. Air Force. Following his training, he moved on to a manufacturing job with a roller bearing company, then went to drafting school for two years. Hopkins never followed a path into architecture but, wanting to do more than manufacturing-type work, he entered the world of sales.
Related story: Hopkins PI/RIT Hall of Fame Speech