The Board of Directors of Printing Industries of New England, PINE, has announced the planned retirement of their long serving President, Jim Tepper, and released a plan for his succession. At their quarterly Board meeting this week, the leaders of the 124 year-old management association, serving the graphic communications industry throughout New England, identified the schedule, which would allow for a smooth transition.
Jim has been with the association since late 1976, joining the staff as the Director of Education and quickly being named as the Assistant Executive Director adding labor relations activities to his responsibilities. He assumed the role of Executive Director in early 1984 and has remained as the chief staff executive since then, changing titles to President in 1990. PINE grew from 125 members when he joined the staff, to over 500 at its peak in the late 90s but has slimmed down to the current membership of 350+ as the industry has contracted in recent years.
The announcement indicated that on April 1, 2012, Jim will assume the title of President Emeritus and that Charles Parker, former owner of Odyssey Press, will assume the full-time role of President. Jim will work with the new chief executive over the ensuing months effecting a transition aimed at providing continuous services and support to the membership. Special effort will be made in assisting the new President with an aggressive schedule of meeting members, partners, and prospects as well as managing some on-going special projects. Parker, from a printing family, brings a long history in the industry to the position along with the vision of expanding the base and scope of the association.
During Jim’s tenure, the association has expanded many services and has moved locations twice, each time to larger and more regionally located space. In 1998 he oversaw the selection of a site and the construction of the current headquarters building at the intersection of major arteries connecting New England. Under Jim’s guidance, the association expanded its insurance programs establishing its own Insurance Agency, launched a sponsored member employee focused Credit Union, which was eventually merged into a major regional institution, began an association owned Credit and Collection Agency serving the industry, purchased and operated a regional trade magazine, created and ran for over seven years a regional trade show, and has instituted a host of value added partnerships with vendors providing member focused products, services, and benefits.
Over the 35+ years with PINE, Jim has been active in both national and local organizations and efforts. Among the many positions he has held were: Chairman of the PIA managers group, serving on the Boards of PIA and GATF, member of the PIA finance committee for over 15 years, served on a number of national task forces dealing with dues and insurance issues, as well as serving on numerous management committees. Jim is a trustee of the Printing Industries Consolidated Trust and Secretary and trustee of the PINE Health Benefits Trust, both providing employee benefits to employees of member firms.
Regionally, Jim has served on the Board of the New England Society of Association Executives, as well as being active with committees of the society. He has served as a trustee and is currently a member of his church’s financial oversight committee and is on the Board of Directors of the Westborough Rotary Club and active in numerous projects. Over the years he was active with the Westborough Hockey and Athletic Boosters Associations raising funds for each of the group’s activities.
Jim came to the association after earning his MBA at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst where he also worked in the Division of Continuing Education. Prior to that, he was on active duty for five years with the U S Marine Corps as a helicopter pilot, serving a tour in Vietnam. Following his discharge from active duty, he continued flying with the Marine Reserves and served an additional 22 years including a tour as the Commanding Officer of a Marine Air Base Squadron.
When asked about his plans following his departure, Jim indicated that he would spend more time with his family, including his wife of 43 years who is experiencing advanced health issues, as well as his two sons, their wives, and five grandchildren, all active in a wide range of sports activities. An avowed type “A”, Jim will undoubtedly stay involved with organizations, projects, and other new challenges that will inevitably come his way. “I will miss the daily interaction with this great industry and the wonderful, dedicated people that populate it. I have learned and grown from every interaction during my tenure and, have made many, many lifelong friends whom I will stay involved with in some capacity” Tepper said. He added, “I look forward to our family place in Vermont and to expanded time on the lake and in the woods enjoying nature.”