Being ahead of the game: Jenny Berry

An excerpt from AP September 2020 

Jenny Berry’s love of printing started way back when she worked at The Age. Both the written word and the printing process has always intrigued her, and this passion has taken her down many paths within the print industry – from writing to production to management and sales and customer service.

However, with the demise of GEON almost 10 years ago, Berry’s direction in the industry was changed, yet again.

“I moved from customer-focussed printing activities to industry association involvement. Three years at what was known as the Printing Industry Association of Australia (PIAA) gave me a taste of just how an industry association can successfully advocate and assist businesses of all sizes,” she said.

“Then, three years ago, I was approached by the Ai Group – this was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up, as it provided me with exposure to other industry sectors and varied businesses while retaining my love of the printing industry.

“It’s a privilege to work with the peak national employer association in Australia, especially in serving our members in these difficult and challenging times.”

Having been associated with printing over a number of years, Berry said her experience within print has developed substantially.

“Many years in this industry has taught me that one needs to be ahead of the game and anticipate market needs with workable solutions,” she said.

“The early days were quite simple – take the order, print and deliver. The same cannot be said for today’s expectations of the industry as one needs to be extremely competitive, customer focussed more than ever, and innovative.

“I’ve seen the very best and the very worst times for the printing industry. I’m constantly amazed at how the sector can adapt and change to suit the customer’s requirements.”

Berry said the earliest key highlight of her career was helping to get The Age on trucks during strike action.

“This meant some of us performed tasks that tested our abilities, like manual handling of paper stocks, plates and ink,” she said.

Some other highlights of her career included successfully managing two of the ‘big four’ banks’ security printing requirements. Berry said lately, the opportunity to serve members during the pandemic is both humbling and gratifying when the work results in a member retaining their business.

“I have a keen interest in getting to know the people behind the businesses. The adage rings true – listen more than you talk. Sometimes very real gems of information are uncovered, and I can help people find new and innovative ways of progressing their business,” Berry said.

As a woman in print, she finds inspiration in observing people who work hard to achieve results and push through adversity with grace and integrity.

“I am very drawn to people who display complete authenticity. Print is still very much a male dominated industry. I do believe though, that as the sector is changing, more women will become involved as the traditional male operated printing presses become obsolete,” she said.

“There are several notable women in Australia who are trail blazing and providing an example to others that they can succeed and thrive in this industry. It’s also heartening to see young women entering the industry via the apprentice pathway. 

“Women who print are already valuable contributors to this industry. A quick flick through a trade journal will tell anyone that. My time as an active and influential member of the industry has largely gone however, I believe my role is to champion and support all women are working passionately and very successfully in this industry.”

Moving forward, Berry aims to continue serving members, to help them navigate the next few years while providing them with Ai Group expert advice and guidance.

“I am pretty passionate about keeping up-to-date with print trends and activities and more importantly, by keeping connected to my many printing friends I’ve gathered over the decades and making new friends into the future,” she added.

The digital version of the magazine is available here.







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