Farewell to Our Beautiful Pug, Kenan


On Wednesday November 7, 2012, we said goodbye to our beloved AlphaDog, Kenan, who was my daughter Sarah’s dog and was born on January 5, 2005. Kenan was very healthy, but she suddenly developed fluid in her lungs accompanied by a fever. The cause of her death is a mystery, but hopefully we will get some answers soon.

Kenan started her life as a puppy in Manhattan and traveled the world with Sarah, most recently living in Sydney, Australia, for the past two years.  When traveling to Australia, Kenan made the journey to Los Angeles and New Zealand alone, and she continued on to Sydney where she was met by the Animal Center and spent a required 30 days in quarantine.  She was such a trooper!

While in Australia, Kenan traveled and made many four-legged and human friends.  Her wonderful, feisty personality was infectious, and despite some of her particular habits, you couldn’t help but fall in love with her.  She was a companion to many, because Sarah took her everywhere she traveled.  Whether it was walking the streets of New York City or spending weekends in the Hamptons, making trips to Washington, Boston, Philadelphia, Virginia, Michigan, and Pittsburgh, or skiing in Aspen, Kenan’s unique personality made a lasting impression on everyone who spent time with her.

Kenan moved to Pittsburgh two months ahead of Sarah, in April 2012, and that is when I really got to know her.  I quickly fell under her spell—we bonded, and it was love!  She spent her days at AlphaGraphics where many of you saw her sitting in the window of my office.  When I would walk her around town, she put a smile on everyone’s face.  Most folks wanted to pet her, and she dutifully sat to enjoy the experience of her soft fur being stroked.  I, in turn, enjoyed feeling like a celebrity walking her and observing the delighted reactions of all who came in contact with her.

As Sarah stated, “Kenan was the love of my life, my globetrotting companion, and my wing mate.”  Their gypsy lifestyle, adventures, and wonderful memories will always be with Sarah and hopefully will give her some peace during this difficult time. As one of Sarah’s friends said, “Losing a pet is sometimes harder than losing a human, for one big reason.  With humans, you typically have a range of emotions invested in every relationship.  Along with all of the good stuff like love, joy, respect etc., there might be anger, jealousy, disappointment and resentment.  With animals, however, the only emotion we really know is LOVE.”

I can’t imagine how Sarah is feeling, but I hope she knows what a great mom she was to Kenan.  As one of Sarah’s friends said, “Everything you ever needed to know about what kind of a friend and person you are, one can learn by watching your relationship with Kenan.  With that amazing dog you are patient, and kind, and always overflowing with love.  You care for her ferociously, and put her needs and happiness first, always.  It’s truly been a marvel to watch.”

We are all very sad at the loss of our beautiful, elegant baby girl.  Her memory will live on in our dreams, thoughts, and memories.

– Clare Meehan


Ocean Pug


Bella, my partner in crime.


Tamarama Beach, Sydney


Down Under Pug – Last days in Australia.


The Thinker


Unconditional Love


Aspen Pug


My Cousin Buddy (excuse the waist line)


AlphaGraphics Pug in the window.


Regal Pug in Virginia.


Hampton’s Pug.


My Philly friend, Sage.


Mommy Love


My private patio in Bondi.


Honored and Proud

AlphaGraphics in the Cultural District proudly announces that we were awarded the 2012 UPMC Center for Inclusion Supplier Diversity & Inclusion Award at the Annual Partnership Appreciation Event on Thursday, July 19, 2012.

This award recognizes our center for promoting excellence in the workplace by fostering, sustaining, and advancing an inclusive environment, demonstrating dignity and respect in everyday interactions, encouraging collaboration, and giving back to the community through volunteerism and financial support.

Clare Meehan, our President and CEO, comments, “We are thrilled and honored to receive this prestigious award, and truly proud to be a partner in promoting inclusion and social responsibility.  The UPMC Center for Inclusion is to be applauded for the tremendous impact its programs and initiatives have had throughout the greater Pittsburgh area and across the nation.

She continues, “Through our team-based culture that puts positive attitude and collaboration first, we ensure that each employee and each of our customers are treated with the utmost care, dignity, and respect; and that we go further to enrich the communities in which we work and live through our contributions of time, talent, and support.”

In 2008, UPMC launched the Center for Inclusion and its “4C Integrated Inclusion Strategy”—Customers, Community, Culture, and Company. The 2012 Partnership Appreciation Event recognized more than a dozen internal and external partners who have been instrumental in helping the Center’s efforts to promote inclusion, dignity, and respect.

From the Beginning…

While interviewing for the position of Project Coordinator with AlphaGraphics I was told that everyone who was hired started off in the bindery to learn exactly what is we do here at AlphaGraphics. I thought this was a great idea and when I was offered the position I was excited to get started.

Thinking I would spend my first day watching some people operate the machines in the back for a few hours and then spend the rest of my time at my desk, I wore my usual work attire complete with three-inch heels. Big mistake. When they tell you you’ll be learning what exactly they do at AlphaGraphics, they mean it.

I quickly found myself operating the cutter, binding cookbooks, slitting business cards and a myriad of other tasks that kept me busy and on my feet. By the end of the day I was barefoot, but I loved every minute of it. Never before have I felt so completely immersed and part of a business after the first day.

Now, nearly four weeks later, I’d consider myself a “pro” in the bindery. I’m excited to take the knowledge I’ve gained during my time cutting, punching, binding and shrink-wrapping (all in flats now) and help our clients get more out of their experience with AlphaGraphics than they ever thought possible.

-Carrie MacDonald,
AlphaGraphics in the Cultural District’s Newest Project Coordinator (Welcome Carrie – We’re so happy to have you!) 

agTwister Connect the Dots Wrap-Up

May 24th marked the culmination of AlphaGraphics’ “agTwister: Connect the Dots to Win the Multi-Channel Marketing Game” self-promotion campaign with a lunchtime marketing event that drew more than 40 high-value customers and shone a spotlight on three in particular who served as guest panelists.

The trifecta of customers—Drew Chelosky, Director of Development at University of Pittsburgh School of Law; Brad Wucher, Group Creative Director at Brown Mackie College and Argosy University; and James Malezi, Director of Annual Campaigns and Special Gifts at University of Pittsburgh/UPMC—agreed to share their multi-channel marketing success stories. Each described the challenges they faced in their departments or organizations, the options they had for addressing those challenges, the innovative approaches they took with the help and expertise of our marketing strategists and designers, and the impactful results of their efforts.

Said one attendee afterward, “I appreciated learning about real-world applications and results—thank you!”

The self-promotion as a whole educated our customers on the four “must-haves” of multi-channel marketing—target, engage, integrate, measure—and the marketing event leveraged the power of first-person customer testimony to demonstrate proven success.

Written by Michelle Warren,
Account Executive,
AlphaGraphics in the Cultural District 

2012 Lindenmeyr Paper Show – a Success as Always!

On Thursday, May 17th, Lindenmeyr Munroe had its annual Paper Show. The event was at the Omni William Penn Hotel in downtown Pittsburgh. Art Groll of Lindenmeyr Munroe has handled the event for the past 19 years.

It is always exciting when we receive the invite for the event. Every year the invite is creative and engaging. Art shows his lighter side to promote the event. This year’s theme was “Make Your Own Art.” The invite had Art in the form of a paper doll. The invite was a way to inspire creativity with the use of print.

Several paper vendors were on hand to showcase their offerings. The vendors are an excellent information resource. These are the same papers we use on a daily basis. It also gives the Marketing and Design team at AG a chance to think of ideas for our clients. It also allows a chance for networking with other industry professionals. Nearly two-thirds of our staff was able to attend the event. It is always interesting to see what is new in the paper industry.

Local designers and printers are also showcased at the event. There are numerous pieces displayed in the center of the room. AlphaGraphics in the Cultural District had a few pieces on display. Each piece had the designer, printer and the paper used.  This is a great example of the tremendous amount of talent that Pittsburgh has to offer within the graphic arts and printing industries.

We will apply the knowledge that we received from this show. The connections gained are vital for growth potential. When the spring of 2013 arrives, we will anxiously await the next invite. How will Art engage our professional community again? We will have to see next year. Until then, we will use what we learned to good use.

Written by Shiloh Massey,
Production Scheduler,

AlphaGraphics in the Cultural District 

Paul w/ “Art” traveling around downtown

EQT Wiro Booklet, Designed by Anne Flanagan of AlphaGraphics, and printed by AlphaGraphics as well

Elias Savion piece, printed by AlphaGraphics in the Cultural District

Connect the Dots: Helping your team win the multi-channel marketing game.

In April, AlphaGraphics in the Cultural District launched our “Connect the Dots” self-promotion campaign with the mailing of agTwister, a play on the classic game of Twister, with our own AlphaGraphics twist!

Many of our clients jumped in, gave the spinner a whirl, and joined us in our multi-channel marketing game. They visited their personalized URLs and gave us some great feedback on their own marketing efforts.

May has arrived, and the game continues. On the heels of the boxed game, we mailed a brochure that describes just what we mean when we say, “the multi-channel marketing game.” To our clients who responded to the first mailing, we threw in a little something extra—a set of four agTwister coasters (handy for agTwister parties, of course).

Our “Connect the Dots” message is simple. For marketing success, you’ve got to put into play four must-haves:  Target, Engage, Integrate, and Measure.

It breaks down as follows…..

TARGET – Prioritize and personalize.

•  Target marketing = focus.
Segmenting your list allows you to concentrate your marketing efforts and zero in on your target. 40% of your direct marketing success depends on the effectiveness of your list.

•  Define customer lifetime value, and segment accordingly. Know how much each customer spends and how long they’re with you. Focus on those with the greatest value to get the biggest bang for your buck.

•  Develop the relationship. Speak one-to-one with each customer by personalizing your messaging.

ENGAGE – Knock their socks off with relevancy.

 •  Don’t underestimate the power of a good offer. A relevant, timely offer increases response rates. In fact, 40% of your direct marketing success depends on the offer!

•  Start with a big idea and great design. Add relevant images and personalized messaging through variable data. Now you’ve got the “wow” factor that engages and motivates your customer to respond.

•  Remember the 40/40/20 rule:  40% List, 40% Offer, 20% Creative = Direct marketing success!

INTEGRATE – Market strategically across multiple channels.

•  Most successful marketers use 3-7 touchpoints to reach a customer.

•  Choose the channels that best fit your target. Skip those that don’t. It doesn’t have to be complicated—just smart!

•  Follow best practices. Each channel has rules and best practices that successful marketers respect. Leverage the strengths of each channel.

•  Build your brand. Speak with one voice across all channels. Be clear, cohesive, and consistent.

MEASURE – Measure total value: sales, leads, data, cultivation, brand building.

•  Tracking, measuring, and reporting of results adds up to an integrated view of your customers.

•  There’s value in cultivation. It’s proven to increase customer retention, engagement, and brand building.

•  Put costs together with customer lifetime value and look toward what’s really important: return on investment (ROI.)

Written by Anne Flanagan,
Marketing Strategist & Creative Designer,
AlphaGraphics in the Cultural District


Call for Interns

AG Pittsburgh is proud to mentor students from local educational institutions. We have participated in an intern program with many students over the past few years. We are committed to help grow young people within their desired fields.

Prospective interns are interviewed by management. We want to make sure they would be a good fit within our team. We search for individuals who are inspired and determined for success. All interns are immersed within our culture. We want them to be strong members of our team while they are here. In some cases, employment is offered to the strongest of candidates.

Most interns come from design and/or marketing educations. In most cases, internships are for completion in their respective programs. Each intern spends time within each department. They learn the processes of production from beginning to end. We allow them to pursue training and education within the departments they choose.

AG Pittsburgh will continue to develop this program. We accept resumes all year round. We are always looking for the best and brightest. Developing and growing within our community is a priority at AG.

Interested in submitting your resume?  Contact us at us514@agpittsburgh.com.

Written by Shiloh Massey,
Production Scheduler,
AlphaGraphics in the Cultural District