“Toyo Ink is an excellent company,” Mr. Copeland said. “Toyo Ink’s reputation for quality and consistency sets us apart from many other ink companies. There is no perfect ink formula, but every pound of ink that Toyo manufactures moves us closer to the perfect ink. Overall, we have a quality minded and committed team of people at Toyo Ink America.
“I first developed a strong interest in graphic arts as a high school student,” Mr. Copeland said. After serving in the U.S. Army for three years, Mr. Copeland went to college at Sinclair College, Dayton, OH, earning a degree in graphic arts technology and printing science.
“I had just gotten out of the Army, was going to school at night and working for a printing company, when a fellow student in one of my night classes asked me if I wanted to work in the laboratory of a printing ink company.” That company turned out to be Sinclair & Valentine (S&V).
“I began my ink career at S&V in Dayton, OH in 1978 as a lab technician,” Mr. Copeland said. Prior to joining Toyo in 2003, Mr. Copeland worked for Handschy for 11 years in a number of roles and was technical director of paste inks when he joined Toyo Ink America.
“Tak O’Haru, then president of Toyo Ink America approached me to join the company as vice president of operations,” Mr. Copeland said. “Joining Toyo Ink allowed me the opportunity to work for a global company with a strong position in the U.S. market. I was thrilled at the chance to work for Toyo and have a challenge of this magnitude.”
Mr. Copeland quickly moved up in TIA’s leadership, as he was promoted to executive vice president and COO in 2006 before ascending to president in 2007. He was awarded “Ink Maker of the Year” for 2005 by the Chicago Printing Ink Production Club.
For Mr. Copeland, raising the profile of Toyo Ink has been an important goal. “Things are going very well,” Mr. Copeland said. “I’ve been very busy traveling the country working with printing companies, distributors, suppliers and trade organizations, and building new relationships. We are dispelling the myth that Toyo Ink is the high-cost leader. Lowering product quality and pricing to match does not serve our industry or customers well. If a commodity product causes your operational costs to go up there are no savings.
“The printing industry is in a rediscovery mode,” Mr. Copeland said. “There’s been some print erosion, but globally, especially in packaging, printing is strong. On a worldwide basis, printing in Third World countries will continue to increase, but the U.S. market still has plenty of opportunity, skill and know-how.
“Toyo sees a bright future in the U.S., even though the ink industry is suffering,” Mr. Copeland said. “We work hard to service our core markets well. We are raising our profile, and our attention to detail and quality has given our operations an advantage. We just had a great performance at Graph Expo, where our inks ran on about 95 percent of the show presses.”
Mr. Copeland credits the leadership of Toyo Ink, particularly Kunio Sakuma, Toyo Ink Manufacturing Co., Ltd.’s president and CEO, and Fusao Ito, president of Toyo Ink International, with their vision for the future of the company worldwide and here in the U.S.
“Toyo Ink is very proactive in planning for the future,” Mr. Copeland added. “We have a stable leadership group in Japan, and it provides us great leadership and knowledge. While others are cutting back, we are investing in strategic plans and people necessary to grow our business and provide more value to our customers.”