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The Specialty Graphic Imaging Association

terryblogThe Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA) is an international trade association for the large-format graphics industry. Founded in 1948, SGIA has grown and evolved with the print industry. Its membership includes screen printers, wide format digital printers, photographers, offset printers, printed electronics providers, garment printers and more. Headquartered in Washington DC, SGIA is a vital partner for anyone in the printing industry. The SGIA website contains a wealth of resources to members including a vast archive of industry articles and webinars on everything from print technology to marketing your business.

Firehouse has been an SGIA member since 2005 and I have been serving on the board of directors since 2011. Our VP of Operations, Paul Meek, serves on the Graphics Production Committee, and he is the incoming chairperson for the Safety, Health and Personnel Committee for 2016. Committees meet annually and collaborate throughout the year to assist and support SGIA members.

SGIAmainThe annual trade show (SGIA Expo) has over 25,000 attendees, over 500 exhibitors and nearly 250,000 square feet of exhibit space. The 2015 show is coming to Atlanta on November 4.

It’s safe to say that SGIA has had a major impact on the evolution of Firehouse. There’s nothing like collaborating with your colleagues around the world who are all dealing with the same challenges.

I’ve also become heavily involved in a sub-group of SGIA named SPIRE. SPIRE is a network of CEOs and top executives, representing the industry’s leading producers of retail, point-of-purchase, OEM, transit, outdoor and similar graphic solutions. As the Chairman of SPIRE, I set the annual meeting agenda around topics of particular interest to the group. Our 2015 meeting was the Automation Summit.

Check out the SGIA website and consider becoming a member. Among the many benefits are free OSHA and environmental consulting, equipment reviews and industry statistics. I hope to see you in Atlanta or at our SPIRE meeting in 2016.

Terry Corman
Firehouse CEO

What’s a Firehouse Boomerang?

JonPicIt’s long been true during Firehouse’s history that employees will leave the company and later return. Maybe they received a new job offer, were going back to school or just wanted to explore new opportunities. But after months, or years, many return to Firehouse. It happened so frequently, we named those employees boomerangs. I used to kid around about the term, until I became a boomerang myself. I left Firehouse in 1999 to pursue creative interests at several local ad agencies. A decade later, with the economic down-turn, I was one of many hit by a round of lay-offs. One of my first calls was to Firehouse. And, fortunately for me, they welcomed the opportunity to begin a marketing program, so here I am.

FirehouseBoomerangThe boomerang phenomenon speaks to Firehouse’s corporate culture. We have always said Firehouse is a unique mixture of a family-owned business with collaborative management practices. But, in basic terms, Firehouse is simply a great place to work. It’s a place where learning and personal development are nourished. A long-time employee recently wrote to CEO Terry Corman explaining why he was having so many successes in his personal and business life.

“I heard things like create a brand. Marketing. Email blasts. Create a business of business people. I took those things to heart, and basically sat every night applying them. I was told no, you’re not good enough more times than I can tell you. I was told to give up. Had I listened to any of that rather than filter it all out and persist, I would never have made it. I kept a positive focus on what I wanted. I now have articles and photos published world wide, I have been featured on a PBS TV show, one book in full production with a second (and possibly a third) on the way. All of this because I was at a place where I was tuned into hearing what you were saying and adopt some of it into my personal life.”

Not surprisingly, we see the boomerang effect with clients. Like employees, they explore other options, different vendors and technologies. More often than not, they return with comments such as, “Their print quality couldn’t match yours.” “Your QC team is SO much better.” “I really missed my Firehouse project manager.”

So, to all boomerang clients and employees, welcome back.

Jon Heilman
Marketing Director

Firehouse Fires Up EG Conference Attendees

PaulPicEG11Since 2006, the EG Conference has possibly been “…the best-kept secret in the world of conferencing.” The annual gathering showcases “…inventors, educators, artists and designers, writers and thinkers, scientists and engineers, musicians, magicians, the young and old, the famous and the undiscovered.”

Firehouse has produced graphics for the last three EG Conferences and we were pleased to add our printing expertise to EG 2015. We partnered with EG to create a wide variety of graphics for their reception hall. It showcased many of the conference’s presenters and served to whet the appetites of attendees.

Firehouse printed tyvek banners mounted to standing hardware and hanging from the ceiling. Wall mounted graphics included canvas prints and textured vinyl. We also produced tabletops with laminated PSV and dye sub direct to wood. The collection of print technologies and styles on display was as eclectic as the EG 2015 presenters.

“All of the reproductions were delivered on-time and were spectacular—beautifully printed—perfectly mounted—flawless. I look forward to using your reliable expertise in our venue.”

– Christopher Newell
Producer – EG Conference




This year’s conference was a huge success and we look forward to aiding EG again in 2016.

Paul Meek
Vice President of Operations