Meet the Women in Print: Monique Berg
Big Ink's VP of operations has a passion for print and mentoring young people.
VP of Operations
Accomplishments: Has held manufacturing leadership roles for 20+ years, serves as a volunteer 4-H leader and Dakota County 4-H Auction Committee secretary, and recipient of the ILEA (International Live Events Association) Star Award for Best Use of Specialty Décor
Monique’s passion to develop and mentor the next generation of business professionals shows her commitment to the printing industry. She has played a huge role with all of our interns this summer ... Currently she is mentoring a single mother who has a passion for the printing industry and helping her develop skills to pursue a role in management within the industry.
–Janine Trutna, marketing director, Big Ink
You’ve been part of our industry for two years now. What has been the most (pleasantly) surprising aspect about working in the print industry?
The most surprising aspect of this industry has also been the most helpful; it’s the fact that there is collaboration amongst competitors. We all compete for the initial order, but after that there’s a really solid network of printers both locally and nationally who work together so we all meet our deadlines.
We reach out to shops when we have overflow or have an immediate need for a certain substrate. We also often cover overflow and inventory for other shops. A great example of this was during the Super Bowl. We worked with a larger, out-of-state printer, who needed help with printing, sewing, delivery, and installation. The collaboration created a stronger team, provided faster turns, and ultimately met all the needs and deadlines of the clients.
Talk about your passion for mentoring young people.
Throughout my career, I’ve sought out and hired high school and college students for different positions within the company. The students get an opportunity to build and try skills in an area of interest, while employees get to share their knowledge, which is empowering and rewarding for both. I like to rotate the students into different positions and encourage them to explore. That, paired with some simple do’s-and-don’ts business guidance, sets them up well for future schooling and work. This summer we had one high school student and three college students working in different parts of our shop. The high school student worked in the prepress department processing proofs for customers, so he got a feel for a design job. The marketing intern interviewed and wrote a blog post about another student working in finishing, who was headed to a NASA program in the fall! Those summer interns ended up being great workers and a source of energy and community for the entire organization.