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May 10, 2012 Volume 33, No. 31

Patty Gash

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Patty Gash

Bindery Supervisor, Printing Services

Chancellor’s Outstanding Staff Award

Being supervisor of Printing Services’ bindery department probably has been Patty Gash’s biggest challenge. Gash was promoted to the position in 2010. Previously she worked as a press operator and as a prepress imposition specialist.

Some co-workers describe the department — before her promotion — as a poor work environment. 

“Patty met the challenge fully from her first day in the new role,” her nominator said. “She passionately told the employees why they had to work together professionally, courteously and continuously.”

Gash oversees the daily production of jobs done on various bindery devices, such as folders, collator-stitcher-trimmers and cutters. She assigns daily work tasks to the 13 full-time employees, exercises quality control throughout the department and coordinates communication with customer service representatives. She also is responsible for the proper maintenance and operation of the equipment.

Bindery is a complex department that requires many different tasks. Gash asks her employees to suggest new ways of doing things — to think outside of the box — and not just settle for the we’ve-always-done-it-that-way mentality.

 Leading by example, she has been successful in helping the department turnaround. “She did it by treating all bindery employees fairly and by her personal commitment and passion for serving the customers of Printing Services,” the nominator said.

She has succeeded with new innovations in her department, such as trying a different way to collate or hand fold, moving and arranging the equipment and supplies into more efficient patterns, and redistributing tons of paper to significantly reduce the number of steps people take to finish a job. 

Gash required the staff to cross-train on other equipment to increase flexibility when illness or vacations caused a staffing shortage.

“With some creative thinking, things that we thought couldn’t be done are now being produced by the bindery department,” a colleague said. “By involving the staff in process improvements, she has built morale and renewed energy in that department.”