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Oct 7, 2010 12:00 AM
Printing Industries of America announces the recipient of the 2010 Naomi Berber Award, Wilma Grant. The Berber Award recognizes a woman in the printing industry who has an outstanding record of accomplishments that demonstrate her contribution toward the development of the graphic communications industry. PIA reports, “Wilma Grant has embodied this mentality since her early career days and has a list of accomplishments attributed to her passion and hard work in the field.”
Wilma Grant was born near Glasgow, Scotland. At Royal Air Force HQ - RAF Medmenham in Marlowe, Bucks, UK, she spent three years working on NATO and RAF work during crises in Cyprus and Aden. Typesetting and communications in those days entailed having the ability to read and punch 5-, 6-, or 8-hole paper tape. Reading/punching that tape could be equated to learning/translating a foreign language. After completing her military service, she married and moved to the United States, where she took a typesetting job at a newspaper in Virginia. She has remained in the printing industry ever since.
She later worked in the commercial book and job industry in Washington, then at The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal. In 1980, she accepted a position with the U.S. Government as a phototypesetter. A few years later she became the Supreme Court's "Secure In-Plant Manager" of the Publications Department/Office of Information Technology. She has worked there for the last 30 years and has directed the legal book publishing/typesetting and production of U.S. Reports, Preliminary Prints, Bench Opinions, Slip Opinions, and related products. She also has responsibility for all other in-plant printing, design/graphics, print-on-demand, data conversions, and electronic product delivery of Court documents for the Court's Hermes telecommunication transmissions and for the Court's website. Protecting the security of all such documents on site and backups going off-site fall under her management responsibility, as does Disaster Recovery for Print, an important task for many print managers. In addition, Wilma Grant is responsible for the safety and security of all documents handled by her department, including landmark cases such as Bush v. Gore; U.S. v. Nixon. Cases heard here are on constitutional relevance; thousands of petitions are filed annually to that end. Another responsibility is the expeditious handling of orders in death cases from all states.
Following graduation from George Mason University's Executive MBA Program in 1995, Wilma pioneered the reengineering of the Court's Publications Unit with the addition of networked print-on-demand and color technology; an open architecture system; expanded data conversion services; Hermes telecommunications and BBS support; imaging support; extending composition and binding services; and creating an ergonomically attractive printing department. The MBA Program included attendance at Oxford University in England and meetings with dignitaries in Luxembourg, Paris, Belgium, and Holland.
Rivaling her professional endeavors are her numerous honors and accomplishments in the printing industry. Wilma credits her parents for teaching her the responsibility of work and the joy of sharing and helping others.
The Berber Award will be presented at Printing Industries of America's Fall Administrative Meetings, November 11–14, 2010, in San Francisco.