Employee Spotlight: John Sullivan, Team Lead – Production

Synergent’s mission is to ‘help credit unions succeed and improve the financial lives of their members.’ In our monthly Employee Spotlight series, we feature one of our dedicated staff members to help you get to know the people who are working as an extension of your credit union team.

John Sullivan

John Sullivan, Team Lead – Production for Marketing Services at Synergent, just passed his seventh year with the organization in mid-October. In the world of production, day-to-day tasks can shift drastically from one thing to another, and Sullivan manages it all beautifully.

“My day usually starts with a team check-in to discuss work in-progress and prioritize work for the day,” explained Sullivan. “When Synergent is processing statements, my team is focused on those, and I generally shift to support them by covering shipping and receiving, digital printing, and my normal responsibilities. I check email, answer questions, and review job tickets, as well as check supplies needed for jobs. I also order stock, ink, and other supplies as needed from local vendors to ensure production can happen as needed and credit unions have what they need on time.”

Other parts of his day are spent communicating with coworkers and company managers about what is going on and what is coming down the road so the Production team can prepare for their role in projects. Additionally, he reviews and adjusts the production schedule in order to best serve credit union needs.

“I started as a Printing Press Operator and Inserter Operator,” recalled Sullivan. “When the opportunity to apply for Team Lead opened, I felt it would be a good way to utilize the skills and knowledge I had gained from previous jobs to make a bigger impact for better serving our credit unions. I love what credit unions do for people and that my team and I are part of it.”

Sullivan has long held a position in the world of production. When he joined Synergent in 2016, he came with more than 30 years of experience in commercial printing.

“I have operated printing presses from forty feet long and two stories high to ones that are three feet long,” detailed Sullivan. “I have held positions from Folder Operator to Paper Cutter, Second Shift Supervisor, Weekend Shift Supervisor, Press Room Foreman, and Production Manager. I started as a Press Helper on a five-color press.”

His path to production felt like a natural progression of what kind of work he had always been drawn to.

“I have always liked fixing things,” said Sullivan. “When I was in high school, I worked part-time at a local printing company at night cleaning the offices and shop floor. I thought all the equipment was really cool, and the people that worked there were great, happy people!”

In high school, he even took advantage of the two-year graphic arts course offered by his school.

“I like to think that what you do should be impactful,” stated Sullivan. “I really like what credit unions do with “People Helping People” and that my team and I are part of it by providing them with some of the tools they use daily for members.”

Sullivan’s position is essential to credit unions.

“My role is to ensure products that are needed are produced with the quality and standards the credit unions expect, delivered on time,” explained Sullivan. “This enables them to better serve the needs of members.”

His expertise and experience in the world of printing has enabled him to make smart, informed decisions regarding the operations of the production center—an ability of which he is rather proud!

“When we had to replace equipment, I am very proud that we switched to a light production digital press from offset four-color printing,” explained Sullivan. “This change enabled us to reduce waste, improve quality, and have consistent color.”

During his time with Synergent, he has gained knowledge in digital printing and team management—two important skills he has utilized in advancing his career here. He feels “the management style is newer and better than past/old methods” he practiced.

While he does love the actual job at hand, Sullivan is sure the best part of his job is not what he does but who he does it with.

“Hands down, my favorite thing is everybody I work with at Synergent,” said Sullivan. “The people here are great! They are very knowledgeable, supportive, and driven to provide the best service.”

When not in the office, he enjoys riding his bike to different places around Maine with his wife, skiing at Sugarloaf, vacationing on different Caribbean islands, and fly fishing in remote places in Maine. He says, “This is a very beautiful state we live in!”