Every morning Jeff Stallings wakes up with a couple goals – get rid of all the negative thoughts by 9 a.m. and help provide his Print NW employees with purpose. Volume is down, as is true in so many industries. But purpose and positivity? That’s up.
Print NW is the largest commercial printer in the South Sound and a partner of the Tacoma Rainiers and Tacoma Defiance. They help us produce our matchday magazines, concourse posters, tickets, and so much more. Without games, without in-restaurant dining, without charity golf tournaments, Stallings and team have had to find other ways to keep staff involved and employed.
“We’re trying to keep focused, on point, and meaningful.”
In order to keep up with the times, Print NW has shifted uses of traditional products – floor graphics are now markers for social distancing and yard signs that celebrate graduating seniors are becoming popular for those who might not be able to host a party.
Through this, there was a desire throughout the company to make more of an impact. To do that, Print NW started two new projects.
First, they expanded the use of acrylic, plastic shields, and other safety equipment. Rather than the Personal Protective Equipment necessary for medical personnel and first responders, these shields are for businesses that are essential and those that will re-open during the phased return to normalcy.
The see-through barriers are becoming more and more common at grocers and other businesses.
“The PPE products aren’t about making money. It makes our employees feel good and keeps us busy, doing something.”
A more ambitious project the printer has taken on for Print NW is United Today, a charity endeavor with dozens of participating non-profits stretching from Ocean Shores to Lake Tapps and all areas in between. Without charity golf tournaments or dinners, Stallings and team saw an opportunity to help these non-profits raise funds.
“United Today started so that I would have something positive to talk about every day.”
Now, every day, he updates staff, fellow owners, and business partners about the good being done. Stallings and Print NW found a way to amplify joy and solve problems.
Every step of the project is another positive story to share. Every shirt helps an organization in need, with $15 going to the charity partner. Those shirts mean a small boost of positivity.
Stallings says the company is “trying to create an environment where they’re feeling they are in the right place for a few years.” United Today is a small bit of positive energy in a world where it is too easy to get lost in the negative.
With that, there are still lows, but because of their new projects and #UnitedToday the majority of a Print NW employee’s day can focus on hope, service, and community. Some days the reduced hours do not feel like enough time to get everything done.
Tacoma, the South Sound, and Washington state are better because companies like Print NW have switched gears and adapted. Their changes will mean thousands of dollars towards those in need. Staying open means those businesses that need see-through separation will get what they need.
As you drive through the area, you may see a “Now Open” sign or a “Take Out Available” display. Many of those are from Print NW, a South Sound anchor business, connecting so many of us through the printed word.
They’re still open, still focused on helping others get their message out, and by 9 a.m. the focus is on doing the next good thing.
About Tacoma Defiance
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More information on social distancing and how to prevent the spread of Covid-19 can be found at Tacoma-Pierce County Health. The most up-to-date information on how COVID-19 is affecting events at Cheney Stadium can be found here.