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Opening day at GUA 2009 in Orlando Florida. For those that don’t know, GUA stands for Graphics Users Association and is the annual North American conference.  This years conference is taking place during one of the toughest times printers have face in modern history.  The 180 or so attendees are a testament to the strength and power those in the printing industry willingness to grow and improve their services and capabilities to survive and succeed in spite of the economic environment

Tom Clifford, GUA President, kicked off the morning with a quick presentation talking about focusing on the good and not the bad.  Not the 8.4% unemployment but the 91.6% employed people.  He emphasized that the GUA is about its members and their input.

Michelle Laird-Williams, executive director for GUA took care of some logistics and thanked her team for a wonderful job of preparing the event.  They all did a great job in getting things ready.  Hat’s off to her team for getting a complex event like this done and making it look seamless.

Dave Wigfield, Worldwide Sales and Operation Director Business Solutions and Services Group – Eastman Kodak took the stage and talked about the changing printer and their split into two distinct groups. Those that make the move upstream and become marketing service providers or those that focus on cost, efficiency and become the best supplier of print within the supply chain.

Andy Popparrozi VP and Chief Economist NAPL then took the stage to deliver his keynote on the state of the printing business.  He talked about the last quarter being one of the worst NAPL has surveyed but April showed promise.  Talked about sharing success and communication.  In fact, he used something I’ve been saying for years, printers are in a communications business.  Share your successes with the world, no matter how small.  Visit for more information.

Great morning at GUA 2009, now time for some breakout sessions and lab time.