About Us

Who We Are

What started out in central Minnesota’s lake area in 1899 as a commercial printer has evolved into one of the nation’s leading short- to mid-run book manufacturers and the founding company of CJK Group.

Today, Bang Printing offers a complete book solution, with 1-, 2- and 4-color printing, binding, fulfillment, eBook conversion, direct to consumer eCommerce solutions, and more—all in-house, all at competitive prices. Through a personalized, one-on-one attention approach, we find solutions that fit your needs—regardless of whether you’re a first-time author or seasoned university press, trade, association, education, or children’s publisher. With a foundation in family values, we treat customers, and employees, like family.

Our History

It all started in 1899 when E. E. Beard, a newcomer to the Brainerd, MN area, started a commercial printing business and a daily newspaper, The Arena. Years later Beard’s paper was purchased by R. M. Sheets and renamed The Brainerd Journal Press. When Sheets died suddenly in 1936 the paper was sold to Ralph R. Cole and Ralph E. Lindberg. Shortly after World War II, Ray Bang, a restaurant and nightclub owner, became a partner with the two men and eventually bought his partners out, but not before the partnership had purchased the area’s oldest newspaper, The Brainerd Tribune. Years later, Ray sold the paper and the company became strictly a commercial printer and was renamed The Brainerd Press, and later changed to Bang Printing.

In 1973, Volkmuth Printers bought Ray out, and two years later, John Kurtzman and Dennis Johnson bought the company.

Together, they upgraded the facility and expanded the company’s sales force, invested in state-of-the-art printing and bindery equipment, and relocated to a new building on the outskirts of Brainerd.

In 1985, John Kurtzman became the sole owner and president until his son, Chris Kurtzman, took over leadership of the company. In 2015, Sentinel Printing Company of St. Cloud, Minnesota was acquired by Bang Printing and in 2019 merged with Bang Printing to operate as one company out of Brainerd, Minnesota.

Today, with Chris Kurtzman at the helm of parent company CJK Group, Bang Printing has emerged as a key player in the book printing industry.

Leadership

Meet the Bang Printing leadership team.

Todd Vanek

President

Todd Vanek

President

Todd started at Bang Printing in 1997 in customer service and eventually moved into a sales role in 1998. He was promoted to Vice President of Sales in 2000 and held that title until 2018 as CJK Group began to evolve through various acquisitions. In 2018, Todd was promoted to President of Bang Printing and today also serves as the President of Sentinel Printing, Hess Print Solutions, and Webcrafters in addition to assisting in the overall CJK Group strategy for growth and development.

Doug Walter

Vice President of Sales

Doug Walter

Vice President of Sales

Doug started his career in the printing industry in 1984 working in the web press department. He has held key leadership positions as Vice President/General Manager and today serves as Vice President of Sales for Bang/Sentinel Printing and Webcrafters, approaching each opportunity with a creative and consultative approach. For over 36 years, Doug has provided knowledge-based leadership with an unending pursuit and focus on customer care.

Joe Saiko

Vice President of Operations

Joe Saiko

Vice President of Operations

Joe began his tenure with Bang Printing in 2000 and served as Bang Printing’s Maintenance Manager for 17 years. In 2018, Joe was promoted to Vice President of Operations. With over 30 years of print experience, he oversees operations at Bang/Sentinel Printing, Hess Print Solutions, and Webcrafters.

Brian Larson

Vice President of Front End Solutions

Brian Larson

Vice President of Front End Solutions

Brian began his tenure with Bang Printing in 1994 and has held positions in prepress, scheduling and estimating. In 2018, Brian was promoted to Vice President of Front End Solutions. Brian’s leadership encompasses prepress, estimating, purchasing and scheduling at Bang/Sentinel Printing, Hess Print Solutions, and Webcrafters.

Our Values

1. We Have Fun

  • We fill our organization with great people
  • We find joy and pride in work done well
  • We enjoy and celebrate our success
  • We have a positive and optimistic environment
  • We create opportunities and make time to enjoy a good laugh

2. We Develop People

  • We hire, train, and retain quality people
  • Our employees are key stakeholders who should enjoy their work
  • We have high expectations of each other
  • We provide opportunities for employees to advance and grow
  • We seek out and mentor emerging leaders
  • We drive out fear of failure
  • We recognize individual and team accomplishments

3. We Have Integrity

  • We are honest and up-front in dealing with each other
  • We show respect and courtesy to one another and treat each other fairly
  • We build trust among ourselves as well as our customers, suppliers, and communities
  • We obey the law
  • We make principle-based decisions
  • We are committed to maintaining a safe workplace environment and safety-conscious culture

4. We are Cost Conscious

  • A dollar saved is a dollar earned
  • We believe that every process can be improved
  • We eliminate unnecessary waste or outlay
  • We aggressively pursue the best deal through strong supplier partnerships
  • We reinvest our profits in people, new technology, and equipment

5. We are Growth Oriented & Customer Focused

  • We are entrepreneurial in our approach; growth is our oxygen
  • We are open to new requirements that support increased sales
  • We nurture customer relationships
  • We provide superior products, services, and solutions to our customers
  • We do what we promise and always act in the best interest of the customer
  • We take calculated risks for large opportunities

6. We are Problem Solvers

  • We solve problems for our clients
  • We embrace internal issues as opportunities for improvement
  • We will find a way to accomplish anything
  • We Identify, Discuss, and Solve issues

Environmental Initiatives

Just as Bang Printing is passionate about printing, so we are about our environment. We are committed to the preservation and management of our natural resources. It’s our policy to:

  • Comply with all applicable environmental laws and regulations required by local, state and federal factions.
  • Source printing papers from responsible mills and distributors certified with at least one certification from an independent third-party verification.
  • Help reduce our carbon footprint, reuse energy and resources, minimize waste during the manufacturing process, and recycle 100% of scraps, paper, aluminum plates, trash, cartridges, equipment and solvents whenever possible.
  • Secure materials from sources that provide fair and acceptable working conditions for the employees of our suppliers and their suppliers.
  • Identify potential environmental risks and implement appropriate means to control such risks.
  • Educate our employees, customers, and suppliers about environmental issues relevant to the industry.
  • Empower employees to take responsibility for awareness and control of environmental issues relating to their jobs.
  • Ensure that no unfair or child labor has been used to produce the raw materials we purchase.