A job. A career. And family.
I grew up in Waunakee, Wisconsin (yes, I’m a Packer fan and owner). I left my small hometown to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in graphic communications at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. Five years, three majors, and an “almost career” in bartending later, I took a risk. I moved to Minneapolis hoping that my hard-earned education combined with a healthy “gift for gab” might land me a decent job.
Twin Cities businesses weren’t handing out jobs to young hopefuls with zero on-the-job experience. After six months I was hungry, tired of rejection, out of cash, maxed out on my credit card, and thinking about returning to bartending. Thank heavens I finally was offered a part-time graphic designer position, and soon after obtained a second part-time position in the same field. I worked both positions even as they evolved into full-time positions. After a year of working two full-time positions simultaneously, I had my bills in check and a good financial base.
It was just a few years later that I met Mike while we both worked for a Minneapolis area printing company. Great guy, who had connections to a small town in northern Minnesota. We created a partnership, moved to Mike’s hometown of Brainerd, and opened a local print shop in 1995. We were a successful team, as we had very different skills that complimented the needs of a fledgling business.
As is common with many business endeavors, Mike and I had different long-term visions. In 2014 Mike sold his share of the business to me so he could move on with other ventures. And, I could pursue my dream of becoming the graphic design and printer-of-choice for the Brainerd Lakes Area.
In the past five years, I’ve been working on bigger and faster growth for First Impression Print & Design while maintaining a culture that is supportive of the team here. I’ve added more staff, provided better employee benefits and improved training opportunities. The team now has better resources and equipment (computers, presses, finishing, etc.). When employees are happy and enjoy their work, they provide better customer service and quality deliverables.
We are a local, family-run business. We employ family, friends and neighbors.
When I moved to Brainered, I met and fell in love with Peggy. Her large, slightly crazy and amazing family have been locals for many decades. She makes my life better every day.
We have four children ranging in age from 15 to 26, who keep us busy and questioning our parenting ability on a daily basis. They are talented, smart, hard workers and lots of fun.
A simple summary of my biography? Great wife + Awesome kids + Fantastic business = Loving life