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.
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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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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René graduated from college with degrees in Marketing Communication and Writing. She joined the printing industry in 1997 after spending time in the crazy world of radio marketing and promotions. René loves how MPX doesn’t limit the ways she can help her clients, who respect her honesty and positive attitude about projects big and small. She loves consulting to achieve everyone’s objectives.
René loves working with people that look for ways to spread goodness at work and in our community. She is proud to be the only member of her book club that still reads paperback books, and she is slowly accepting her need for reading glasses. Her favorite job is being mom to two fantastic kids and a sweet rescue dog. She tries to spend her free time on Woman Lake and survives on love, laughter, and strong cups of coffee.
direct: 763-548-0208 direct: 763-548-0208
Doug started his career in the printing industry over thirty years ago working for a small printing franchise. Starting as a pressman and working his way up through various positions to senior management, he understands the many complex and ever-changing aspects of the printing industry. Throughout his career, Doug has learned that he enjoys working directly with our customers and staff. As production supervisor for MPX, he has been charged with process improvement and quality control to assure customers receive the very best in service and a quality work product.
Although Doug committed to his professional role with MPX, his family is his main commitment. His role as husband, father to two grown children and grandfather to his three (soon to be four) grandchildren is what he says is his most important role. Doug loves spending time with his wife on their boat fishing during the summer months and enjoys playing golf when time allows.
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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.
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.