There are many unsung heroes in every town, many of whom are small-business owners. Tom and Susan Waters, owners of Corporate CopyPrint are among my favorites. Corporate CopyPrint was founded in 1994 and has 10 employees working in the company-owned, beautifully restored, 10,000-square-foot building at 111 S. Main St. just off the historic Independence Square. The Kansas City Business Journal touted it as one of greater Kansas City’s top 25 quick print businesses.  

Tom’s interest in the printed word reaches back to his time at Fort Osage High School when he served as editor of the school’s newspaper. Intrigued by the steps it takes to transform a story from a single idea through the complicated production process before it actually appears in print subsequently led him to work five years as a paste-up artist for Barton Nelson in Kansas City and 10 years with the Buzz Print quick print chain.

“However,” says Tom, “my heart always remained in Independence, and I was extremely happy when the opportunity came for me to return home.” Enthusiasm for his hometown has led him and three of his staff to become graduates of the intensive Leadership, Education, Action and Development (LEAD) program conducted by the Independence Chamber of Commerce. Incidentally, this 7-month course is one of the best programs of its kind in the entire Midwest.

In 2005 Corporate CopyPrint expanded through the purchase of Quick Press Express, which was a 20-year-old printing press business in Independence. Staying on the growing edge of the quick-print business has always been central to Corporate CopyPrint’s success. Using the latest digital technology to produce high-quality printing, it offers qualified in-house designers to provide clients everything from simple layouts to creative new concepts in black and white or color. A recent acquisition, particularly important to engineers and architects, offers up to 36” x 48” copies. They also offer bindery services, folding, die-cutting, stapling, laminating, drilling, gluing, binding, collating and inserting. They can even make banners up to 5’  x 25’  in size and offer free pick-up and delivery anywhere in the Metro K.C. area.

As with most quick print businesses, the majority of their work is with quantities of 100,000 or less and using 11” x 17” sizes or less. But the real measure of heroes can never be expressed in statistics or a list of technical abilities. It has more to do with the heart and one’ s mental attitudes.  What makes Corporate CopyPrint stand out from the crowd is more effectually measured by the experience of its staff and its deep commitment to remain in retail. That translates to meeting clients face-to-face at the counter daily to explore each client’s needs and how those needs most effectively and cost-efficiently can be met.

Recently Corporate CopyPrint purchased and restored the formerly empty and dilapidated, small 750-square-foot building next door. It now houses another local business asset: Freeland Photography.

For several years some 500 persons and businesses have received a free Corporate CopyPrint 60-page, bound daily planner. Each year service organizations such as the Bi-County United Way, Community Services League, The Salvation Army, Crossroads emergency housing center, the Ethiopia Health Support Foundation, Sunshine Center, Hillcrest Ministries and many other service organizations have received sensitive pricing, guidance and support as Corporate CopyPrint fulfills its perceived and accepted role as a community partner.