[From time to time, Oregon’s President, Judd Plattenburg, provides commentary for the Oregon blog about the state of the business, industry, and community affairs.]
How lucky I was for 13 years. Not many people can say they love what they do and get to work with their best friend every day, but from 2005 until early in 2018, Bob Allbery and myself worked as co-owners of Oregon Printing.
I write this now, because Bob quietly retired this past spring, and as is his way, he did it without much fanfare but with a lot of class. Bob left his fingerprint and his way of doing things on Oregon, and that is going to be with us for a long time.
I’ve considered Bob my best friend since the 8th grade. We met in Mrs. Benzinger’s math class. I was not a good math student nor was I anywhere near a model student. I think Bob fit the same profile, but had a little more style about it than I did. Over the years, we became roommates (before we both got married), went on a lot of adventures, and eventually started our families and watched our kids grow up together. We tried to paddle as many rivers and streams as we possibly could. Bob and I have always argued over who was the better paddler, and since I’m writing this I can say I am, but since Bob lives on the river now and has a lot more time to paddle than me, he might disagree, but I digress.
Bob and I both went to vocational printing school together years ago, and somehow by 2005 had both ended up with our own successful printing companies, a good friendly competition I guess you could call it. One night, while sitting either in my basement or a bar somewhere, we said, “Why aren’t we doing this together?”
With that, we combined forces into one company, naming it Oregon Printing Communications, and together we went on a successful 13-year run. Over the years and among countless other things, we added a 5 color Heidelberg press, expanded our building (yes, we still are partners in that), went digital as well as adding mailing and data services, re-branded ourselves and finally added state-of-the-art digital printing by joining the HP Indigo family.
While no one can fill Bob’s shoes, we were lucky enough to bring back Mike Green as Operations Manager after Bob’s retirement. Mike has a long history with Oregon dating back to 2001 and also a history of working with Glenda Abston, now his Oregon co-manager, prior to either of them starting tenures with Oregon. Mike and Glenda are funny, like Bob and I. They know each other so well that they frequently communicate without words. So, with Mike and Glenda acting as co-managers of operations, they’re able to cover a lot of ground.
Bob is enjoying retirement, and is more than likely off paddling or helping his daughter renovate a house in Indianapolis. He’s probably also sneaking in a game of golf here and there.
Me, I’m doing what I love also. With Mike and Glenda running the day-to-day operations at Oregon, I’m meeting with more customers than ever, helping them with their print and communications projects and having more fun than I’ve ever had.