2020 Women in Print and Promo: Jessica Pinkous, Copresco
Special Projects, Research and Development
Copresco, Carol Stream, Ill.
Beyond the fear of getting sick from COVID-19, many individuals are facing extreme economic stress and job uncertainty. The latter is something that Jessica Pinkous considered while mapping out her career path. At just 9 years old, she was copying tax returns using carbon paper at her father’s tax accounting business. Bookkeeping was a natural fit for Pinkous, and as she pointed out, “there is always a job for a good bookkeeper in any economy,” so she moved around every few years to experience different kinds of businesses.
When she was 50, she accepted a full-charge bookkeeper position with Copresco, a printer specializing in high-speed digital printing and finishing of books, publications and manuals. Because of Pinkous’ personal interest in photography, it didn’t take long for her to notice the company’s prepress graphic department, which, at the time, consisted of one Mac and one PC. She spent lunch breaks talking to the prepress operator to glean as much information as her “curious mind could absorb.” When that employee moved on to another job, Pinkous filled in until a replacement was found.
“I learned fast and was very much enjoying doing that job in addition to the bookkeeping,” she shared. “Copresco eventually hired a new prepress person. I was disappointed because I liked the challenge so much, but then was told that I would be in charge of the department. Not as much fun, but OK, and it started me off on a new journey in the printing industry.”
According to Pinkous’ nominator, she was a natural candidate to lead Copresco’s blossoming information technology endeavors. Over the course of her 24 years with the supplier, she has created, implemented and managed various websites for both Copresco and for paying clients.
“Jessica took the lead in shaping [Copresco’s] fledgling computer prepress department into an organized workflow, the continuing streamlining and automation of which remains a project that never ends,” the nominator said when discussing her technical abilities. “She is also responsible for managing the vendors and utilities to whom many aspects of our infrastructure are outsourced, and for our internal quality control procedures.”
In addition to working on special projects to keep Copresco moving forward, she is currently implementing new company-wide MIS software, which involves job cost accounting and revamping of the estimating system. Furthermore, she is creating a fresh, new look for Copresco’s website.
Pinkous said that as long as she remains in good health and continues to be challenged at work, she has no plans to retire.
What Brings Her Joy Professionally and Personally
I love the feel and look of the books we produce at Copresco, especially the perfect and plastic coil bound books. I love to be able to take photos now and then for Copresco’s “Overnight Lite” publication, its website and various press releases. Photography is a joyful challenge and a great creative outlet for me.
Her Proudest Career Achievement
When Copresco wins print quality awards, of which there have been many over the years, I am most proud because Copresco produces repeat, consistently high-quality color books as a result of the workflow quality controls I have put in place.
On Working in a Traditionally Male-Dominated Industry
I have been fortunate enough to work for Steve Johnson, who knows to never let me run out of interesting and challenging projects that will help keep Copresco stay on the cutting edge. Any day that I have learned something new is a good day.
Her Job Advice to Women
If you want a long-term career, print would be a good choice. Print will always be around. Be curious and keep learning with seminars, webinars, reading, etc., to stay up with the new technology and industry trends. As a photographer, I know that digital files have a short shelf life and the only way to really archive photos is to “print” them.
Her Upcoming Goals
[I want to] implement Copresco’s new company-wide MIS software, which will include automation of workflows. [Personally,] more travel and take a lot more fine art photos. [I’d like to] spend more time with my daughter and grandchildren.
How She Maintains a Work/Life Balance
When I am at work, I concentrate on work and when I leave for the day, I leave work behind and enjoy the time I have with my family.
Elise Hacking Carr is editor-in-chief/content director for Print+Promo magazine.