You worked in the private sector before coming to the GPO. What inspired you to take charge of big printing operations, and what influenced your move to the public sector?
I’ve had 20 to 25 years of private-sector experience, mainly in the health-care field or health-care insurance field. It was mostly on the operational side, managing large groups of people, meeting metrics and deadlines. I also worked for a couple of start-up companies where I liked starting and finishing big items, big projects. I decided to come to the federal government because I thought it’d be interesting to blend my private-sector and public-sector experience. Once I came into the Government Printing Office in the customer service environment, it was just fascinating. . . . And I ended [up] moving up and moving up, and going all over the building getting more and more responsibility and learning.
Was there anything about printing specifically that inspired you to take on a bigger role?
It wasn’t so much printing; it was the mission of GPO. The mission of GPO is to keep America informed about the business of the government. I was intrigued about the mission. Printing is just one way that you can keep people informed. I liked the whole idea of figuring out different ways for people to communicate with the public.
Can you tell me about the government book blog that you started?
We need to find a way to excite [people] about the books that we sell. A lot of times when people think about government documents, they think they’re kind of boring. Nothing could be further from the truth, because government documents tell you what’s going on with the government. It tells you all the facts and statistics. It tells you how the government helps people have better lives. So the whole idea of a book blog was to generate excitement about the books that we currently produce or publish or have on sale, either through our online bookstore or in our bookstore downstairs. And it works; it’s really great.
Could you tell me more about your partnership with Google to turn publications into e-books?
The younger population deals with digital technology every day. It’s part of their life. In order to keep relevant and to make people realize that government documents are available and they mean something to your life, we need to offer them in whatever format constituents want. The best way for us to do that was to partner with an expert. Google certainly is an expert. They provide us with all the analytics that relate to our Google e-books. They took all of our books in our online bookstore, scanned them, and they have them sitting out there. And it’s turned out to be a very good idea and a very good partnership.