Kline’s Printing and Office Products named Small Business of the Year
by Sarah Farmer
Contributing writer, Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce
The Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce has named Kline’s Printing and Business Products as the 2011 Small Business of the Year. The award is one of three Gary Justice Business Excellence Awards given annually by the chamber.
Kline’s will be recognized at the Chamber’s 90th Annual Meeting and Membership Banquet presented by Andrews & Andrews Attorneys at Law, Tuesday, Sep. 27, 6 p.m. in the SFA Grand Ballroom.
Chris Kline, pictured, got what he was looking for. Having spent many of his growing up years in Nacogdoches and then graduating from SMU, Chris was on a hunt. “I was looking to own my own business,” he said. He bought King’s Printing in 1981, two weeks after getting married.
When Chris and his wife Terry learned their print shop had been selected for the Small Business of the Year Award, Terry was shocked. Chris said “I was flattered and felt very humbled by it.”
What does good customer service look like to Chris? “Getting things done on time,” he said. “In 31 years, we’ve always had jobs ready when we promised.”
Chris and Terry will head out of town this fall for their regular trek to Colorado. They have a favorite spot to hike and enjoy the cool weather.
Chris dreams of traveling to Western Europe. He said he’s been blessed with a successful business and fortunate to have a good family. His mom, Mrs. Robert Kline, and daughter, Houston attorney Ellen Kline Mabry, round out their small family.
Nacogdoches has impacted Chris’ life through the community’s caring for each other and sticking together.
Chris and Terry hope to pass along good sense, responsibility and a good work ethic to their daughter. Chris grew up in a civic-minded family. His parents started the Samaritan Counseling Center and were instrumental in starting the public library. Chris and Terry continue that tradition by actively supporting non-profits, churches, schools and clubs through the printing business. They generously printed raffle tickets for someone dying of cancer.
Chris explains, “That’s just the way I was brought up. You give back to your community.”
Chris hopes others remember him as fair, honest and ethical. His wife of 31 years adds that he has a wonderful sense of humor, is easy going and intelligent. Chris returns the favor and describes Terry as hardworking, organized and structured.
So what makes it worth coming to work every day? Loyalty to the business, customers and employees.
“We’ve been blessed with good employees through the years,” said Chris.
An avid golfer, one would expect Chris to have stories of exceptional shots. Instead, he tells of fulfilling a dead man’s last wish.
A friend told Chris of a gentleman who’d died, been cremated and had one outstanding desire: to have his ashes spread in the golf course’s #18 trap. Chris told his buddy to meet him close to dark. They would carry out the wish. When they arrived at #18, they discovered two traps. Which to spread his remains in? They said a little prayer, poured ashes in both and returned to the country club to toast the man.
Currently, Kline’s Printing has one part-time and three full-time employees, not including Chris and Terry. They are Chris Faussett, Delisa Dunn, Tom Bankston and Jammie Lewis. The 5,000 square foot building on University was constructed in 1985. Previously, the print shop was in the old Mize Department Store. There they had no hot water, no heat and only one window unit.
For 25 years, Kline’s Printing has produced a historical calendar. Inspired by one they discovered in the Midwest, they collect old photographs from locals to display in the calendar. Calls come in from across the country requesting the memory-laden piece.
Paul Smith, past chamber chairman, has known Chris for two decades. Paul is impressed Kline’s Printing remains a family-owned business and that they do so many things for the community. “Chris is regularly donating his time, resources and supplies to local non-profits.”