Editor's Note: Mark Beilman is retiring at the end of this year as executive director of the Reprographic Services Association (RSA) after a 14-year stint there. He replied to a series of questions from IRgA below.
What's next for you?
The best answer would be the retirement norms; Travel, hobbies, passions, more volunteer work and hopefully the opportunity to work on an occasional industry task.
What do you think the biggest changes have been in repro during your tenure at RSA?
I believe most would agree, that in the last dozen years the shift to digital distribution of design and build information and subsequently, the distribute and print model have had the deepest effect on the our industry.
It has been amazing to have witnessed the transition of our industry businesses from core AEC printers to the expansion of document management, graphics printing, scanning, closeout, archiving, equipment sales and the list goes on. The resilience and creativity of the business people in our industry is absolutely incredible.
What accomplishment are you proudest of?
Proud is not really the correct word. The RSA, by cooperative design, is a team effort and accomplishments are shared by many. There are a number of programs that I am pleased with, in that they provided positive results for the many. Most are related to educational efforts on the subjects noted above. It is difficult to single one out, but if I had to, the equipment sales and marketing programs (including FM and CPC or MPS) has provided substantial profit and annuity opportunities to a significant number of member companies.
What's your happiest memory of your time there?
I would say that every day at the RSA provides a happy memory, but you would get the wrong impression. We are very serious about what we do.
Most of the happy memories with the RSA are during meetings and member interactions. We do have some practical jokers and they can be really funny. One of our favorite targets is Jimmy O’Keefe, he is just so deserving! I can’t go into details, but at a member site visit at a Kansas City meeting, they pulled one on him and I still laugh myself to death every time I think about it. I am sure I will live longer just because I witnessed this.
RSA members are just a great group of successful and enjoyable people.
What message do you want to leave to the industry on your way out?
This is a great industry, but like any business there are challenges. I don’t want this to sound like a commercial, but if you don’t belong to a group like the RSA you should consider it. Being an island onto your own can be difficult enough. During difficult and changing times, it is invaluable to have business friends outside of your market who have your best interest in mind to speak with.