Member Spotlight with Gail Anderson and Dan Levine, Universal Presentation Concepts
A Card Talk Member Interview
Tell us about your company and/or your products.
UPC has been partnering with businesses to design and manufacture stunning display fixtures for over 43 years. Madison, WI is home to our 120,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art facility where we design, engineer, manufacture, package, warehouse, and ship. Possessing the capabilities to do this all under one roof affords us the ability to control each and every process resulting in cost savings, value, accurate timing, and controlled quality. We have a vast catalog of in-stock, ready-to-ship displays that are the best in the business.
What’s your role at your company?
I am the Stationery & Gift account manager here at UPC. I take good care of our S&G customers and work on business development. It’s my job to maintain our fabulous customers and find ways to acquire new clients that could benefit from UPC’s displays and superior customer service.
Why did you become a GCA member?
Patti Stracher introduced us to the GCA. We were already well-involved in the industry and it only seemed right to support the organization.
What inspired you to get involved in the greeting card industry?
Dan Levine started UPC in 1978. He started in the gift industry in the middle 80s. Our first tradeshows where we exhibited were the Chicago gift shows. We had created a European-looking “tubular” island fixture showing VHS video cassettes in clear acrylics surrounded by the color tubes. Little did we know that this fixture was going to rock the industry. We had several potential customers in the greeting card industry who were interested in designing this fixture for greeting cards. Amongst those customers were three men (Mort Baron, SVP, Marc Trobman, SVP, and Ray Neufeld, Pres.) all from Recycled Paper Products. Ray asked why they weren’t using UPC fixtures as they had not heard of us. Dan told them, “I couldn’t get in.” Ray asked Dan to meet with him on that following Monday. The rest is history…
How has your company handled things during the pandemic? What has changed?
We created a line of PPE called HealthShield™. We offer clear barriers for schools, restaurants, libraries, government buildings, etc. We also offer face shields, decals, and sanitizer. This transition allowed us to keep our staff employed while offering businesses the equipment they needed to remain safely open to the public. While this was all happening, it afforded us time to continue with our core business—displays. We reevaluated current customers, manufacturing processes, product development, and internal operations.
Has your company shifted creative focus during these last few months and if so, how?
Our focus has always been on what customers need and how we can deliver. Business seems to be ramping up and that’s really exciting. We’re always looking for new ways to reach people and that has led us to try some new marketing initiatives. In 2021 we will expand our communication platforms as well as implement new technology to help spread the word!
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
We’re just happy to be part of the greeting card industry as a supplier. The GCA is such a great resource for us to meet and interact with publishers. We’re grateful for the relationships we have with the old faithfuls as well as the amazing new companies that come along.
-Gail Anderson & Dan Levine
Thank you for taking the time to share your story with us, Gail and Dan!