Meet some of the people that make great work possible.
When Phil Kotula opened the doors of what is now The MPX Group back in 1987, the printing business was significantly different from when he began it as a small Minuteman Press shop in Plymouth’s Four Seasons Mall. All the printing was done on offset presses, stripping with rubylith, opaqueing negatives, cutting and pasting type, and making camera stats. Floppy discs were cool, and not a Mac to be found. His goal is still to provide a great client experience and help our clients grow, while using all the cutting edge technology that is available today.
For Phil, he has two sets of families, those at home and those at work. As founder and one of the owners of The MPX Group, Phil believes in balancing the two, encouraging his team to indulge in their passions, and set priorities that don’t overlook the importance of family. It’s a simple philosophy, happier employees lead to happier clients.
Mike DuRoche is the Chief Operations Officer and co-owner of The MPX Group. A career that started in flexographic printing as a press operator eventually led to leading a multi-million dollar packaging corporation. This experience and knowledge provided him the opportunity to buy Anchor Printing Company in 1999. In 2011 Anchor Printing merged with The MPX Group. Mike’s expertise in process control and continuous improvement plays a big role in delivering effective solutions and products for our clients. You won’t meet anyone more passionate about quality. Mike has two granddaughters that he cannot spend enough time with. When he is not spending time with his granddaughters Ava and Macy he is spending time with his wife of 44 years.
Scott has been with The MPX Group since 2004. Following in the footsteps of his father, Mike DuRoche, he graduated with a packaging engineering degree from the University of Wisconsin-Stout – where they have a famous saying “When in doubt go to Stout because they can’t even kick you out!” But don’t let that fool you – his passion is marketing, his background is print and his new found love is data, all which have played a major role in delivering proven results for MPX’s clients.
Scott has two beautiful daughters, cherishes his family time, likes to play a little golf and enjoys a Summit Pale Ale every once in a while.
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Paula Hirdler has been collaborating with clients to improve their brand and increase results for over 17 years. Having earned a B.F.A. from MCAD, Paula engages her creativity as she teams up with her clients and coworkers to find solutions fitting the desired outcomes. Some of her core values are open communication, express happiness and believe it can be done.
Paula is the middle child of three, who grew up hugging trees, playing sports and helping others. This upbringing has laid the foundation for her to be empathetic, care about the environment, find inspiration from teamwork and search for ways to spread goodness in her community.
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Robin is a valuable member of the sales team at The MPX Group. She has been involved in the printing industry for over 35 years. She got her first job at a printing company working part time in high school and never looked back. She is passionate about her work and loves the responsibility of following through on all the important details of a project and providing value to her clients. When she isn’t working you can find her volunteering at her local American Legion – where she and her husband enjoy helping our veterans. She also likes to spend her free time fishing at the family cabin or attending a Twins game.
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Shortly after college graduation, Vicki was lured away from her position at an ad agency to work for a printer. To Vicki, it was more than just ink on paper. She quickly realized that consultative selling was helpful to her clients; and finding the right blend of media and message was challenging and exciting.
Vicki loves collaborating with her clients during the brainstorming process. Assisting in the procurement of mail lists is a critical component in the process, making sure to reach the intended target market.
Need help producing a marketing plan? She’d be happy to buzz over in her F150 and discuss the details.
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After graduating college in 1993 with a degree in Studio Art, Peter started his career in printing with a Sir Speedy franchise in downtown Minneapolis. As the first employee he was responsible for everything from customer service to deliveries. The success of the business led to the addition of many more employees - and gave Peter the chance to focus on his love of graphic design.
Peter has been able to interact with many wonderful clients and collaborate on lots of interesting and rewarding design projects.
When he is not thinking about fonts and colors and images - Peter loves watching his two daughters play basketball and fast-pitch softball. When there is a break in the sports schedule the family, including his wife of 22 years (Karen), loves to travel and explore new places.
Suzanne has been a professional graphic designer and artist since 1990. Originally educated at UW Stout and North Hennepin Community College, Suzanne graduated with an Associates degree in Commercial Art. Over the next 25 years, she has built an impressive portfolio, including pieces that have earned several awards, including the 2008 PrintImage Excellence Best Of Show award, 2012 Central Minnesota Printing Professionals Gallery of Superb Printing Gold Award, and Printing Impressions' 2014 National Gold Ink Award for a board game concept and design created with her fellow designer Peter Murray.
Suzanne has a 24 year old son who is also in the printing field as a silk screener. She is originally from Stillwater and now resides in Plymouth, MN with her 20 year old cat Smudge. In her spare time, Suzanne enjoys cooking, sewing, drawing and painting.
Jason has been immersed in the web and digital arena since 2006. He has built or helped build many websites over the years. He enjoys making great websites that have a compelling user interface and a pleasant user experience. There's a lot of emerging web and digital technologies and Jason enjoys learning about them to help clients utilize the right tools for what they need.
Outside of work, Jason enjoys hanging out with his wife and four kids as well as doing some fishing, mountain biking, volleyball, strategy and speed games - like Catan, chess, spoons and crazy Uno.
Alva Crom grew up in a print shop at his family’s company Applied Graphics/Jet Quick Printing. He joined the company full time in 1988 and since 1990 has worked in prepress and graphic design. Alva has been with the MPX Group since 2011.
I have literally grown up in the printing industry as Applied Graphics Associates, Inc. was my family's business, and it was started the year I was born! From roaming the shop from my toddler years, collating book jobs when I was 10 or 11, to hand sorting mailing jobs as a teen, basically learning the ropes as I grew up, my life has been centered around printing. After getting my degree in Business Economics in college, I returned to the family business to work full time. By pure personal interest, my expertise has evolved around the technology aspect of the business, learning as much as I could about our computers and networking. In 2011, our company joined The MPX Group, and although many of my duties remain the same, my daily routine mainly focuses on Estimating and Job Planning. When not estimating the next big job (or small one) I enjoy time with my family, watching my 4 kids grow up (much too fast), and fishing whenever I can.
Over 20 years ago, Paul started off in the Prepress world of printing with a small prep house. There he began with film assembly and compositing. Shortly thereafter, he took an interest in the newer digital prepress workflows. Ever since, he has had an ever-growing interest in the fascinating and rapidly changing technology of print. Today with the MPX Group, Paul leads the Prepress Department into the future of digital workflows and color management systems.
Paul enjoys spending time with his wife Nicole and his two daughters Maia and Eve. He also dedicates his time to serving at his church including playing his favorite worship songs on acoustic guitar.
I started in the printing industry in 2006 after completing my B.F.A from Minnesota State University, Mankato. I have a passion for collaborating with clients and making their projects come to life.
My time away from the MPX group is spent chasing my mini me – Payton. She is my hobby, my stress reducer, my stress inducer and the light of my life.
Originally hired FOR his inexperience in the printing industry, Sean grew into his role in Prepress through the digital print world. Working with customers and designers to learn what it takes to make a printable PDF. After nearly 15 years in the industry he’s honed his skills, both in Prepress and in Customer Service. Enjoying his role in the borderland between the graphic arts and the technical output, Sean continues to look for new ways for customers to get their message out.
Away from MPX Sean pursues Graphic Arts, is an incorrigible amateur photographer, tinkers with cars and is continually amazed at the number of things his 100+ year old house needs to have fixed.
Lyle has been with The MPX Group since the merger in 2011 and previously with Anchor Printing since 1986. Starting in the printing industry in 1982 he has experience with printing equipment from table top to 36” web presses. His focus is working with customers to estimate and plan their projects in the most efficient and cost effective way. Lyle and his wife have 3 grown kids and 6 grandkids and enjoy their spare time with family in the great outdoors.