BJ Kramer - President
1. Please describe your background (degree, field of training, related experience).
Having grown up in a home with a dad who was a pressman, I was introduced to the world of print from literally day one. As a kid, I spent many hours hanging out around printing equipment and I developed a strong interest in mechanical things. I never planned to join the print industry, however, as my early interests were automotive. After graduating from Pioneer HS, I went to Ferris State and earned an AAS in Automotive Machining, and a BS in Automotive and Heavy Equipment Management. Upon graduation from Ferris, my first job was with Pontiac Motor Division in Pontiac. I also worked for Audi of America when they were headquartered in Troy. After a few years in the corporate world, I had an opportunity to return to Ann Arbor and help my dad with his fledgling printing company. That was in 1988.
2. What is your role now and how has it changed since you hired in?
My initial responsibilities related to both sales and production support. I worked on estimates and workorders, along with scheduling production workflow. As the company grew, I began to work directly with clients and became more deeply involved in the administrative and management aspects of the business. I’ve been involved in every aspect of what we do at one time or another, from sales to production to ownership. In my present role, I’m lucky enough to interact with a number of outstanding clients along a fantastic team of coworkers who are very good at what they do.
3. What is the most satisfying part of your job?
In my work, as in my life in general, my greatest satisfaction is derived from those opportunities in which I’m able to help someone. This can range from assisting clients in the completion of projects within restricted timelines and budgets, to assisting fellow team members in their positions here. My goal is to be a positive influence in the lives of the people I’m fortunate enough to have in my life.
4. Outside of work, what activities or hobbies are you passionate about? In other words, where might we find you on the weekends?
My interests outside of work include traveling with my wife (although she frequently reminds me we don’t travel enough), tinkering around the house and yard, cars, and playing some occasional golf. I try to maintain some form of regular exercise routine to counteract my not-so-great eating habits, but I’m certainly not training for the Olympics. I also cherish those limited opportunities to spend time with family and friends.
5. What was your first car?
I bought my first car when I was 15. I saved all my part-time jobs money and purchased a 1968 Camaro. It was in rough shape, but it was a Camaro, so it was cool. The plan was that I would fix it up a bit and have it in better shape when I turned 16 and got my driver’s license. The reality was that I started to take things apart and almost immediately learned I could not afford to purchase the parts I would need to make the repairs and put the car back together. I eventually sold the Camaro – it was undriveable at that point. The purchaser towed the car home using one of the seatbelts as a tow strap.
6. What is your road trip must-have?
Luggage. I know, it sounds obvious, but an experience with my wife several years ago brought the importance of luggage much more clearly into focus. We had left our home in Saline and driven roughly four hours to the Petoskey area. When we arrived at the hotel, I opened the rear hatch of the car expecting to grab our bags and check in. But there were no bags. She thought I had grabbed them and I thought she had grabbed them, but neither of us had. After some “conversation”, we decided to have lunch while we were there and drove back home the same day.