April '20

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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3 2 P R I N T W E A R A P R I L 2 0 2 0 EPSON In July 2019, Epson partnered with NBA Hall of Fam- er Shaquille O'Neal on a program entitled "Epson and Shaq Give Back." The initiative partnered the two with Communities In Schools (CIS), a group that works inside schools empowering students to stay in school and on a path to graduation. Nils Madden, marketing director of consumer imaging at Epson America, says the endeavor was designed to create "a transformative learning environment to help expand students' imagi- nations, inspire career dreams, and motivate them to dream big using Epson technology." The project fo- cused on the Los Angeles Unified School District and Epson supplied the school with a lineup of Epson equipment as well as a surprise Q&A/meet-and-greet with O'Neal and Keith Kratzberg, CEO of Epson America. "The small event was designed to help inspire and encourage stu- dents to peruse their dreams, and let the students experience how impactful, vibrant and life-like their schoolwork can be," explains Madden. WHY DOES THE COMPANY CHOOSE TO CONTRIBUTE TO THESE ORGANIZA- TIONS/PROJECTS? Madden says that Epson recognized how acutely CIS approaches the challenge of helping students complete their ed- ucation and sought to lend a hand in that effort. "CIS understands that the path for a student to give up on their education, and some- times themselves, typically isn't a long path, but simply one bad day," he explains. "Having a place to turn to, and a person in authority, in their corner, at their school on those days is key to keeping them engaged and motivated in their scholastic journey." Through the "Epson and Shaq Give Back" program, Madden says the organizations can empower students through access to technol- ogy which can make a difference in the quality of their work and help foster creativity and the desire to dream big. WHAT ARE THE LONG-TERM GOALS OF BEING PART OF THIS ENDEAVOR? "Simply put, Epson hopes to work with CIS to help cultivate and foster creativity in students and inspire them to dream big," states Madden. WHAT DO YOU HOPE YOUR EMPLOYEES AND PEERS LEARN FROM THIS? "We hope our employees learn the importance of working with local nonprofits and how the smallest donation can make an enormous impact on a person's life," says Madden. "By using technology in the classroom these students will build problem solving skills and the confidence to embrace future technical challenges." GSG A frequent participant in community-minded projects, one of the most recent endeavors GSG undertook was fundraisers for Be the Match. The foundation finds marrow donors for patients bat- tling life-threatening illnesses. The company start- ed the initiative in the fall of 2019 with a custom pink heat transfer color, Payton Pink, named after the granddaughter of GSG president Mark Gran- berry. Payton Granberry was diagnosed with Se- vere Aplastic Anemia (SAA) at age 12, and finding a donor match was a difficult task, says Mallory Varner, apparel decorating product manager at GSG and Payton's aunt. "None of us were a match in the family, so through (Be the Match), they were able to find a donor in Europe," she explains. "Because of that, they were able to save her life." With the help of industry peers like Siser, Wilflex/ PolyOne, and GraphicElephants, the company has since developed a custom-colored transfer, screen-printing ink, and a shirt design aimed at raising money for the cause. Since the start of the initiative, GSG has donated all proceeds from the T-shirt back to the cause, selling upwards of 2,000 shirts by late last year. WHY DOES THE COMPANY CHOOSE TO CONTRIBUTE TO THESE ORGANIZATIONS/PROJECTS? With the endeavor, the company has helped to put Pay- ton Granberry's life back on track, as well as raise awareness to the efforts of Be the Match. WHAT ARE THE LONG-TERM GOALS OF BEING PART OF THESE ENDEAVORS? Varner says she hopes the campaign continues to build momentum. Since the launch of the campaign, in addition to end- user and client sales, Varner says a reseller has stepped up to help push the message and raise funds. That client, Varner explains, bought a stack of the shirts and includes them with any customer purchase of Payton Pink vinyl. WHAT DO YOU HOPE YOUR EMPLOYEES AND PEERS LEARN FROM THIS? "There's a story out there for everybody, this just, of course, touched our family," contends Varner. Through an ongoing campaign, she adds, the company can help raise awareness for those far outside the GSG family circle. COMMUNITYOUTREACH

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