Andy and Julie Plata are well-known pioneers in the document and high volume transaction output (HVTO) industry. Over the past quarter-century, the Plata’s have contributed greatly to its continuing evolution. Andy was the third president (now called chairman) of Xplor International, where he traveled extensively to help establish chapters in Canada, Europe and Australia. Julie was the developer of the Laser Training Institute and a consultant to Kodak during the development of its initial high-volume products. Both Andy and Julie have served as advisors to many of the major HVTO companies; and the couple’s business achievements have been lauded in the business and technology press.
Today, the Platas, owners and publishers of OutputLinks and Graphic Communications World, talk about their involvement with EDSF, the international non-profit organization dedicated to the document management and graphic communications industries. Visit EDSF at www.EDSF.org.
How long have you been involved with EDSF?
Eight years. We attended the Foundation’s Inaugural dinner and started funding scholarships in 2002.
How many scholarships have you funded to date, and what type of scholarships are they?
The first scholarship we established was an endowment to fund in perpetuity the John Lopiano Endowed Scholarship. To date, we have funded approximately 30+ annual scholarships including an annual $5,000 scholarship honoring the 50+ OutputLinks Women of Distinction. Other scholarships honor Lifetime Achievements, Stewardship and Sustainability contributions by industry leaders. By partnering with EDSF to manage our scholarships, we do what we enjoy, fund the scholarships, while EDSF manages the day to day work and selection process to make it all work smoothly.
With the difficult economy and contributions to non-profits in a significant decline, your support for scholarships has increased. Can you share your philosophy on this?
Yes, these are challenging times and a recent report in the WSJ indicates a dramatic decline in charitable giving with one of the hardest hit being education. We see stewardship as an opportunity to be of service and, when times are tough, the need for stewardship is greater than ever. We have have steadily increased our donations and will continue to do so despite the economy. It may mean we have to work harder to find the available funds, but if those of us in business are being hammered by the economy, just imagine what those who are trying to complete an education must be going through. Hence, we simply feel that financial support for education is more important than ever before.
Have you met any of the scholarship students?
Over the years, we’ve had the opportunity to meet many of the scholarship recipients and they are wonderful people. Their great and enthusiastic aspirations inspire us. Funding an EDSF Scholarship is a super opportunity to play a small role in helping them achieve their dreams. They are so appreciative of the financial support they received from our industry. They are the spark our industry needs to prosper. Every young person needs to know that others believe in them.
What message would you like to share about EDSF?
We all know the need is out there. We all know we need to keep new blood coming into our industry. We all know it is an exciting time in our industry and a great place to start a career. So, let’s all do what we all know – allocate the finds to fill the pipeline of s new generation of output professionals. EDSF makes it easy.
EDSF has several new programs: Adopt-a-Scholar and the Holiday Giving program that provide new ways to contribute at whatever level is comfortable for you or your company. All the donations are tax deductible and can go directly to supporting much needed scholarship funding. To learn more, visit www.edsf.org.
EDSF Scholar of the Day
Carolina Modenessy, New York University –
John Lopiano Scholarship 2008
EDSF Board of Directors Scholarship 2007
“The scholarship that EDSF has awarded me is such a wonderful help for my academic and future professional careers. I am very excited about fulfilling my career goals as a graphic designer/manager and, with help from organizations like EDSF, I can continue to reach for my dreams. Thank you!”