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  • Writer's pictureKathie Hartmans

Where Can You Get Answers?

Questions: Who do you call when you have an OSHA issue? What do you do if you have an HR challenge and don't have a staff person to handle it? How do you find sources for items or services you need? How do you learn about legal matters in your industry that pertain to running your business? Where can you network with like-minded individuals and create new business contacts (and friends)?

Answer: Find all the above in your region’s professional trade organization. For Quality Bindery Services’ sector, it’s the Printing Industries Alliance (PIA).

PHOTO: PIA President Timothy Freeman presented outgoing Chairman, Kathie Hartmans, with a framed print entitled, “First Amendment,” which pictures Benjamin Franklin outside a print shop circa 1791.

Per the photo here, I was recently honored as outgoing Chairman of the PIA. Due to the pandemic, what was to be a one-year term ran to three. No one was counting or campaigning for the position, as we found ourselves meeting and networking on our PCs, tablets, and smartphones. Yet, we made it through, survived, and thrived in red, white, and blue flying colors this past 4th of July. I have President Timothy Freeman, Marketing/Program Director Kim Tuzzo, and Office Support Manager Caroline Wawrzyniec to thank for making my tenure enjoyable—with all the team supporting our efforts to keep serving the membership. My best wishes to incoming 2022-2023 Chairman Adam Avrick, President, Design Distributors, Deer Park, NY!

Quite frankly, I can’t imagine not being involved in PIA.

I’m surprised with the excuses people give for not joining. It’s a proven fact that people do business with people they know, like, and trust. The connections you make are the primary benefit of joining a trade association. You meet others in your field, find potential piggy-back service partners, meet suitable mentors, and constantly network.

Trade associations, like PIA, give their members many advantages, such as:

Networking/Relationships Meeting potential contacts, clients, and partners who may help your business move to the next level and become more profitable. Also, you have an opportunity to connect to other associations and further your collaborative opportunities.

Training & Education Regularly attending events, seminars, workshops, and training classes that help members learn and grow in their profession. Recognition Providing and receiving accolades for contributing to the organization’s leadership. These endorsements afford an invaluable level of prestige and credibility with clients and customers. Buying Power Get discounts on supplies and services. Each organization typically puts together a package of benefits.

Influence Gives you the ability to support the vision and mission of the organization and possibly influence legislation/policy that affects your industry sector. Insight Get insider information through the newsletters, email updates, and informative resources to help you stay updated on new developments or trends in the field. Promotion Gives you visibility on the organization’s website membership directory. Offers opportunities to reach your target audience by contributing content on critical issues at the appropriate time through its newsletters, email blasts, and magazines. Best Practices/Standards

Offers membership a vital link to staying on top of the constant updating of these day-to-day practices. In addition, trade associations provide a forum for members to share ideas and develop new ways to improve the industry.

For more information on the Printing Industries Alliance, go to

If you are not part of the printing industry and you would like to find an organization in your industry, check out this list of trade associations at

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