GraphiColor’s President Shares reflections on 2014 – and the last 30 years

For this blog post we turn the pen over to our fearless leader, Anita Mitzel. Welcome, Anita! Take it away:

AnniversaryLogoFINALNow that January is almost behind us, it is a good time to reflect on the highlights of last year, 2014. First, GraphiColor celebrated the milestone of being in business for 30 years. It is hard to believe that it has been that long. I was going through a flat file a few months ago and ran across hundreds of examples of our work over the years. We are lucky to have worked with so many talented and warm-hearted artists, designers, visionaries and marketing experts.


Anita Mitzel at EuroShop

In February, I attended EuroShop in Dusseldorf, the world’s largest “trade fair” (as trade shows are called across the pond) for the exhibition and retail design industry. It is only held every three years and is a great place to see innovative designs and trends for exhibits and retail displays. In March I checked off one of the items on my bucket list – to go to Peru and visit Machu Picchu. It was a fabulous trip that exceeded my expectations. Of course, I would never miss attending the Exhibitor Show (the “trade show for trade shows”), held every March in Las Vegas.



Anita Mitzel and Warren Buffett

Anita Mitzel and Warren Buffett

Also in the spring, I was accepted into the Detroit inaugural class of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program. The scholarship afforded me a lot of in-depth business classes and coursework packed into a few months, and our class graduated with the 2nd class in September. And what a graduation it was! Dignitaries including Governor Snyder, Ex-New York Mayor Bloomberg, Senior Presidential Advisor Valerie Jarrett and Warren Buffett were on hand to congratulate the graduates and give their support to this fully funded program and the opportunities it creates for business growth and job creation in the Detroit area. It was certainly an honor for me to be congratulated by Warren Buffett, one of the founders of this program.

Jay announcing certification
In August, the president of the Exhibit Designers and Producers Association (EDPA), Jay Burkette came into town and announced to a group of clients, exhibit partners and our staff that GraphiColor Exhibits was one of the 1st 6 companies in the country to have been awarded the EDPA RFP Certification. This new certification is awarded to companies who meet the industry association’s stringent standards for business practices and assures prospective clients that member companies adhere to industry standards and best practices relating to ethical business practices, industry experience and participation, fiscal responsibility and operational methodology.  We are proud to have made the grade and to be the first exhibit company in Michigan to receive this endorsement.
EDPA Certification logo - Copy

The fall flew by and we had a very busy trade show season. In early December, I attended the annual EDPA Conference which was held in Tampa. As always, there was a great learning track and plenty of opportunities to learn from my peers and from experts in the exhibit design business. Don and I ended 2014 feeling very grateful for our health, for the love and friendship surrounding us and for the dedication of our GraphiColor staff, which make all of our successes possible.

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