Ron Witters and Jeff Cottrell founded Screen Works in 1987 in a one-car garage. Today, we are located at 3970 Image Dr. Dayton, Ohio in a 60,000 sq. ft. facility. Originally, the two owners realized the need for T-shirts and event specialty items within their sport of motocross racing. A two-person staff was utilized during the day on one four-color manual press. Ron and Jeff maintained their full-time jobs while printing in the evenings. Evenings could, and often did, turn into the wee hours of morning. Our daily output at that time was 500 shirts a day.
The first large order came in 1987 for the Kenworthy's Pro National Motocross Race Series. We were chosen to print the official event shirt. From our inception, we wanted to be known as "the Event Specialists" and the Kenworthy's race was certainly a major event in the Dayton Area. We had our start and were on our way.
In 1988, the we moved to the more spacious confines of a barn. We also purchased an additional press and a larger print dryer. During the famed drought of that year, we produced a T-shirt design for the public displaying they had survived the drought. Jeff devised a marketing plan to both sell shirts and help the community through the Ohio Farmer's Support Program. For every t-shirt purchased, we pledged $1.00 to the relief fund. We not only raised more than $2,500 for the fund, but also caught the attention of the local news media, which provided us with some very positive publicity.
1989 marked the beginning what long-time employees refer to as the "Valley Years". We took on a 2,000 sq. ft. facility on Valley St. in Dayton. It also saw the two owners leave their "day" jobs and devote themselves full-time to their growing enterprise. Later that year, the we purchased our first computer system devoted to the production of print art. This was a major financial commitment and to make sure production deadlines were met and profits turning, Jeff and Ron would find themselves printing all day, late into the night, and sleeping at their new shop. But their dedication was starting to reap some benefits.
In 1990, we doubled in size to 4,000 sq. ft. and nine full-time employees. We purchased an eight-color automated press and a larger dryer to handle our increasing volume. In July, we became the "Official Printer of the United States Air and Trade Show." In January of 1991, the United States became involved with Operation Desert Storm. We created new designs showing support for the war. Turning to the formula used during the drought marketing campaign, we donated profits gained on the sale of these shirts to Operation Support. Operation Support was a non-profit organization created to aid families with loved ones involved in the Gulf conflict. The response from retailers and the general public was overwhelming for these shirts. The media helped promote the program with virtually non-stop coverage. The end result was over $40,000 being raised for use by people right here in the Miami Valley. In addition to being immensely proud of our achievement, we gained the respect of the community and received tremendous media coverage.
Dedicated efforts of employees permitted a gradual growth to more than 8,000 sq. ft. by the end of 1993. We were now servicing customers such as Harrah's Casino, Merv Griffin's Resort Casino, and many other of Atlantic City's well known casinos. We developed a sportswear line called Grafix that sold well both nationally and internationally. We continued steady growth from 1994 through 1996. In 1997, we purchased a ten-color automatic press, again in an effort to keep pace with production demands. It was obvious that we needed a bigger home, and the process to find that location started in early 1998.
In November 1998, we moved to our current address of 3970 Image Drive. The 21,000 sq. ft. location seemed immense to those who had shared our early years. The move from Valley St. to the new building was completed in one weekend. Due to employee and management teamwork on the move, only one day was lost in the production schedule. We would not have had any down time if the local power company could have made the needed inspections on time. This period is looked at, by those involved, as near perfect coordination of a very large under taking. Our work force on Nov. 1, 1998, including owners, management, and production personnel was 11 people. The stage was now set for us to really spread our wings and soar with other well established corporations.
Currently, we have expanded the Image Drive facility four times to 60,000 sq. ft. We continue to purchase equipment and now boast three fourteen-color and three ten-color automated presses. In addition, we also use three eight-color manual presses and three dryers. We incorporated equipment to allow the capability of in-house image setting and direct to screen capabilities with three full shifts and 65 full-time employees, we have the capacity of producing up to 60,000 shirts a day. Our latest expansion includes a complete commercial laundry division, and in December 2000, we unveiled an embroidery division.
Then came September 11th, 2001. A very sad day and time for the United States, but once again we were already looking for ways to help. Three hours after 9/11 started we had our internationally recognized "United We Stand" design! Ron and Jeff were ready and dedicated the entire company to help those affected by the September 11th attacks. With all the support from the community and all the GREAT VOLUNTEERS that HELPED make this possible... WE THANK YOU
! By October, we had raised enough money to donate one million dollars to the American Red Cross, National Disaster Relief Fund. Click here to read commendations from President Bush and others.
In 2007, God gave Jeff a vision to help put America back to work by helping our troops and their families past and present. That's when Keith and Carolyn Maupin came into Jeff's life, to help them get their son, Matt home. Matt Maupin (POW/MIA/KIC) was our first captured solider in this Iraq war on April 9, 2004. From meeting Matt's Parents, the www.UnitedWeStandforAmerica.org
website was started, a charitable division of Screen Works. The Some Gave All
design was created to help raise funds for the Yellow Ribbon Support Center that was started by Keith and Carolyn Maupin to keep the awareness of Matt's capture in the news, for he would NOT be forgotten and hopefully found.
These are some of the other programs that God sent at the right timing...
- Honor Flight, sponsors FREE trips to courageous survivors of WWII, to visit their memorial in Washington D.C.
- National K.I.D.S. (Kids Identity Safety) is a rewards program that rewards children from pre-school to 3rd grade for knowing their name, address and phone number.
- For God and Country, will Help restore the Ten Commandments back in our Great Nation.
- NEVER FORGET 9/11, with the troubling news at ground zero the NEVER FORGET design has been created in memory of those we lost on 9/11... along with honoring all our first responders and military branches.
In 2009, we had the privilege to work with ABC's show Extreme Home Makeover on one of their projects in Beavercreek, Ohio. Not only did we provide shirts and hats for the workers and volunteers, but employees also donated their time to help with whatever needed to be done on the project.
The future appears to be bright for our company. We continue to push the envelope of print technology everyday, to give our customers the best quality and service possible. We would like to "THANK YOU"
the customer for making us go the extra mile and for giving us the opportunity to serve you! May God Bless You All!
God Bless the USA!