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UM print shop to close

By Jessica Connor

After more than a year doing everything possible to turn itself around, the S.C. Conference’s Print Media Center will be closing its doors.

The Conference Council on Finance and Administration announced Jan. 23 that the print shop will close March 1.

Your support of the print shop over the last several years is very much appreciated, and this is not a decision that was made lightly,  read a statement emailed to the Advocate and others by Conference Treasurer Tony Prestipino.  The council is thankful for the hard work of Melanie Dotson and Rhonda Foupht and all prior employees of the print shop.  Please keep Melanie and Rhonda in your prayers during this challenging transition. 

Prestipino said information concerning new conference printing options and vendors will be provided in February.

A year ago, faced with years of rising costs and dwindling numbers, the print shop “ which operates downstairs in the United Methodist Conference Center “ announced a new business plan to help it stay afloat. It had been operating at a deficit, losing $31,455 in 2011 and $15,858 in 2010. Prestipino told the Advocate last year that success would be breaking even.

But while the print shop did break even “ and even earned about $9,500 in August and in September thanks to gains in customers, turnaround time and cost savings “ questions remained about whether the print shop would be sustainable long-term. Printing industry changes and aging equipment were two top concerns.

Prestipino has noted many projects the print shop used to produce, like the conference journal, are now nearly all digital.

Foupht and Dotson have expressed appreciation to all their loyal customers and friends as they prepare to close.

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