Growing up in a fishing village in Peterhead, Scotland, Trish Sports could not have envisioned she would one day become the first female in the 84-year history of the Printing Industry of the Carolinas, Inc. (PICA) to chair its board of directors.
Sports, who has served as general manager of Sheriar Press in Myrtle Beach since Sept. 11, 2002, appears unintimidated stepping into a role dominated by men since establishment of the trade association in 1931. PICA, headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., provides both educational seminars and services to 232 members in the printing and graphic arts industry. As board chairwoman for the next year, Sports said she plans to focus on maintaining membership to keep the organization strong.
“PICA is very important to our industry because it provides a platform to go to for questions about our industry,” Sports said. “It helps us to stay aware of trends, network with vendors and even provides discounts with vendors and insurance suppliers.”
232Members of the Printing Industry of the Carolinas
The strongest aspect of PICA, Sports said, is the educational component it offers with access to webinars and white papers and because of its ties with the Printing Industry of America, an organization that recently awarded Sheriar Press three certificates of merit out of a national field of 2,400 entries.
Sports said as chairwoman of the 20-member PICA board, she will run the quarterly board meetings and help pull together the organization’s 50th anniversary awards event in April, while focusing all year on membership development.
“Last year the board adopted a three-year strategy to keep membership growing. Our goal is to show them [members] a return on their dues and try to get them more engaged,” she said.
Sports came to America in 1986 after marrying an American who was working in the oil industry in Scotland following an oil boom that overshadowed the area’s fishing industry. She worked in the travel department of an oil company, arranging travel for Spanish and American pipeline workers and later sold tools to companies for use on the oilrigs.
She moved to Myrtle Beach in 1987 with her husband, Philip Sports of Florence, who died eight years ago from lung cancer. Initially employed with a printing company in Florence, Trish Sports found work in 1988 with Sheriar Press in customer service by “sheer accident,” she said.
This country has given me a lot of opportunity. This is home.”
Trish Sports, general manager of Sheriar Press and chairwoman of the Printing Industry of the Carolinas
Her work ethic allowed her to rise through the ranks at the printing business moving into scheduling and later accepting her current role as general manager, although she said she still wears many hats.
“It’s a team effort here. We all do a little bit of everything,” she said of the company’s 20 employees, several who have been with the company for 30 and even 40 years.
Sports said working in printing is not boring because there are different jobs to complete daily. She added that changes in technology and even the affects of humidity on the printing process are challenges that keep the work interesting.
Founded in 1971, Sheriar Press offers full-service commercial printing with both offset and digital capabilities. The privately owned company that opened in 1971 provides services to Grand Strand clients and to clients as far away as Wilmington, Charlotte and even New York.
“Our clients include Coastal Carolina University, the hospitality industry in Myrtle Beach, and even the Pelicans,” Sports said. “We have quite a varied customer list that also includes McLeod Hospital in Florence.”
Sheriar Press President and owner Andy Lesnik, who formerly chaired the PICA board, said Sports is a “great asset” to both his company and the PICA board.
“It’s truly gratifying to see her reach this milestone in her career,” Lesnik said. “As the first woman chair of our board, Trish will bring a different leadership style and a new way of looking at issues.”
Sports joined the PICA board after Lesnik cycled off as board chairman, she said. “It is interesting to be part of a group of owners and builders of companies. Hearing their stories has been a great plus for me. It’s a network of people who don’t mind sharing. It’s not like you are in competition with each other.”
With a busy work schedule, taking trips to visit family in Scotland are limited but Sports remains in touch with her parents and siblings and stays busy outside of work with her boyfriend and her two Boykin Spaniels. The daughter of a commercial fisherman, she loves spending time on the water at Lake Moultrie.
Having given up her British citizenship in 1998 to become an American citizen, Sports said she is glad she did it. She plans to remain in the U.S. and will continue her efforts to keep Sheriar Press running strong with a leadership style she said her boss has called “fearless.”
“This country has given me a lot of opportunity,” she said. “This is home.”
Contact Angela Nicholas at email@example.com.