Like many other technologies, the printing industry was an evolving species when Mike Reno got involved in the business in 1976.
Back then, Reno serviced office equipment for A.B. Dick Company, including "Hildegard," an automated offset copier that occupied a large room on the north end of second floor of the old Eastern Mennonite College (now University) administration building. The behemoth piece of equipment was so unusual at the time that the local newspaper wrote a feature article extolling its/her reproductive capabilities.
Reno recalls when EMU purchased an A.B. Dick 901 copier capable of cranking out an amazing five letter- or legal-size copies a minute.
In the late 1980s, Reno started his own business of selling and servicing office equipment, with EMU among his regular clients. He sold that business to his former employer, A.B. Dick, in 1990, worked for other printers and eventually bought his own print shop in Waynesboro.
In April, 2003, Reno became a contract printer for printing and copying services on the EMU campus, meaning he owns the business and contracts his services to clients, with the university taking first priority. The shop, at the north end of the physical plant facilities, provides full-service printing and binding to EMU persons and departments and a number of off-campus clients.
"The university is strongly behind this operation, providing utilities, computer, phone and other support," Reno said. "In return, I’m able to give special pricing to EMU for its print needs, large and small jobs alike."
It’s now a fully digital shop that includes a digital platemaker. This means that Reno can receive a print piece like the faculty-staff monthly newsletter, "Campus Bulletin," in PDF format on his computer, make a plate in about three minutes and once on the press, 500 copies of the publication roll off the press in roughly 20 minutes.
He recently added a full-color printer capable of producing anything from business cards to 13" x 19" posters. The development and admissions office submit the biggest jobs on a regular basis, although the annual Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival program is another major print piece.
Reno does most production work in the evening, freeing him during the day for consultations with clients and preparing jobs for printing.
Even though he feels the "press" of the moment, he welcomes queries from EMU faculty and staff anytime at 432-4543 or mike.reno.@emu.edu.
"I never thought I’d enjoy standing next to a printing press, but I find myself enjoying it – it’s a challenge," Reno said.