[Congressional Record Volume 158, Number 65 (Wednesday, May 9, 2012)]
[Senate]
[Pages S3036-S3037]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                     TRIBUTE TO THE WHITAKER FAMILY

  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, today I wish to honor a family who has 
chosen to live and work in the small town of Cromona, KY, which they 
have come to love over the years. The Whitaker family has successfully 
owned and operated Superior Printing and Publishing Company, Inc. since 
1958. Three generations of Whitakers have been involved in the 
proceedings of the company, with a fourth learning the family trade as 
they grow.
  Superior Printing was started as a local printing operation by 
Charles and Bobbie Whitaker. They began the business in a remote part 
of Letcher County, KY, in a town called Cromona. The small town now has 
a population of 665 people, but the success of Superior Printing has 
far surpassed the boundaries of little Cromona. The company has become 
one of the most popular printing firms in the tristate area, offering 
business in Kentucky, Virginia, and West Virginia.
  You may be asking yourself, how does a company in such a small town 
become so successful? Charles's son, Mike Whitaker, president of 
Superior Printing, thinks it is due to their customer service. He has 
said that the only difference between Superior and the larger firms in 
metropolitan areas is the family atmosphere that Superior provides. 
Superior employees have love and pride for their hometown and home 
State, and they don't try to hide it.
  Superior provides services that promote the local economy and the 
entities within the local economy alike. They offer professional color 
printing that has been known to help all of the local schools in the 
area with various things like sports programs and bulletins. They also 
are a big distributor of print for local fundraisers and fundraising 
groups. The Whitakers have also recently just began printing hardback 
books--something that isn't common in most local printing firms. Mike 
believes that the new hardback binding will help local authors be able 
to easily print and publish their books. With some of the amazing 
artistic talent I have seen come out of the Bluegrass State, I am 
anxious to see some of the works by Kentucky's own authors that will 
come from this new way to print and publish.
  Not only does the Whitaker family run a successful printing and 
publishing business, but they keep busy with providing Letcher County 
with the news in their own paper, the News-Press. The Whitaker family 
is devoted to keeping the locals of Letcher County informed about what 
is going on in the county, State, and country, further proving that the 
Whitakers are truly focused on bettering themselves and those around 
them.
  Charles and his wife Bobbie are the proud parents of Mike, who has 
two sons, Paul and Nick. Paul is a U.S. Army veteran who has completed 
two tours of Active Duty in Iraq, while Nick has just recently 
graduated from Eastern Kentucky University. Both Paul and Nick are 
planning on staying in Letcher County so that they can be close to 
their family and local community.
  Whether it be creating a business that provides a convenient and 
professional service to the local community, making a conscience effort 
to support the local economy with their services, informing the 
citizens of Letcher County on the news, or helping many undiscovered 
Kentucky authors and artists get the exposure they deserve, the 
Whitaker family of Cromona, KY, have made a contribution to their State 
that will not go unnoticed. I am inspired to see an entire family give 
in so many ways to their local community.
  Mr. President, I would like to ask at this time for my colleagues in 
the Senate to join me in recognizing the Whitaker family of Cromona, 
KY. There was recently an article published in Eastern Kentucky's local 
periodical magazine, the Sentinel-Echo: Silver Edition, highlighting 
the hard work of the Whitaker family. I ask unanimous consent that said 
article be printed in the Record.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

          [From the Sentinel-Echo: Silver Edition, Nov. 2011]

         Superior Printing: Family Pride in Each and Every Job

       As you wind along State Route 805 in northern Letcher 
     County, you may not think there's much going on. But Cromona, 
     Kentucky (population 665), is home to one of the finest print 
     shops in the tri-state. Established in 1958 by Charles and 
     Bobbie Whitaker, Superior Printing and Publishing Company, 
     Inc. is a thriving, family-owned business with three 
     generations of Whitakers working and a fourth generation 
     expected to ``watch and learn.''
       Charles and Bobbie Whitaker's older son, Mike, is the 
     president of the company and currently sees to its day-to-day 
     operations. The company offers all the expected print shop 
     products and services like business forms, letterheads and 
     envelopes, but what is surprising is that it also houses the 
     region's only four-color, sheet-fed press capable of printing 
     up to a 19-by-26 sheet.
       ``The installation of the press in 2008 has increased our 
     production capabilities as well as the quality of products 
     that we can offer,'' said Mike Whitaker. ``Local firms no 
     longer have to rely upon faraway print houses for their 
     color-printing needs. We're very competitive with the big, 
     out-of-town firms so we can save our customers time and 
     money. Most of our customers really appreciate the 
     convenience of having us close by, and they understand how 
     important it is to keep business here at home when they 
     can.''
       Mike explained how their press and booklet maker, which 
     automatically collates, folds, staples, and trims books and 
     magazines, has boosted the company's production of programs 
     local schools use as fundraisers. ``Last fall we produced 
     football programs for 16 different schools in Kentucky and 
     Virginia. Our jobs range from full-color brochures and rack 
     cards for the tourism industry to flyers, multi-page 
     newsletters, magazines and books. In fact, more than 500 
     businesses throughout the region have turned to us for their 
     printing needs.''
       Since the press purchase, the Whitakers have added hardback 
     book-binding capabilities to the business. ``This is new to 
     us, and we are just getting started producing hardback books 
     in small and large quantities,'' Mike said. He is especially 
     proud of a leather-bound project utilizing the new hardback 
     book-binding equipment. ``With the growing number of local 
     authors, we are excited to offer both soft- and hardback book 
     bindings to our customers.''
       In addition to commercial printing, the Whitakers own and 
     operate the News-Press, a newspaper based in Letcher County. 
     The conservative-based newspaper has promoted the coal 
     industry, faith and family for over 50 years.
       Offering quality products at competitive prices is the mark 
     of any successful business, and Superior Printing is no 
     exception. ``Perhaps the only difference between our firm and 
     one from a metropolitan area is the

[[Page S3037]]

     sense of family pride that goes into each and every job,'' 
     Mike said. ``We may have to work a little harder at getting 
     our raw materials such as paper, plates, and ink, but we make 
     up for it with the satisfaction that we are able to live and 
     work in the place we love, here in eastern Kentucky.''
       Mike Whitaker's sentiments are echoed by his sons, Paul and 
     Nick, who both work in the business. Paul is a U.S. Army 
     veteran with two tours of duty in Iraq behind him and is 
     anxious to spend the remainder of his adult life near his 
     home. Nick is a recent graduate of Eastern Kentucky 
     University who chose to stay in the area to be near family as 
     well. Both plan to raise their families much the same way 
     they were raised in Letcher County.
       If you have a print order for Superior Printing, you may 
     want to call it in or perhaps email it. If you want to stop 
     by the printing company to place your order, call ahead for 
     directions. It is a little hard to find.

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