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Caroline Kirk currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Kirk-Rudy, Inc., a position she has held since February 2023. In this role, Caroline has been instrumental in driving the company’s strategic vision and operational excellence. Prior to her promotion to CEO, she served as the Vice President of Operations, where she honed her leadership skills and developed a keen understanding of the company’s core business processes.

Before being Kirk-Rudy’s CEO, Caroline gained valuable experience at DailyPay, Inc., where she held multiple roles over the span of two and a half years. As the Chief of Staff to the CMO, she was responsible for coordinating high-level marketing strategies and initiatives. Her tenure at DailyPay also included roles as a Senior Product Marketing Manager and Product Marketing Manager, where she successfully launched and managed several key products, enhancing the company’s market presence.

Caroline’s career is marked by a diverse range of experiences, including her time as the Director of Market Operations at BeeRoll and as the founder of Big Spaghetti. She also has a strong background in public service, having served as a Press Secretary and Press Assistant in the U.S. Senate. Caroline’s multifaceted career has equipped her with a unique blend of leadership, marketing, and operational skills, making her a dynamic and effective leader in her current role at Kirk-Rudy, Inc.

Since 1967, Kirk-Rudy has been a pioneer in industrial inkjet printing and product handling solutions for the direct mail, printing, packaging, newspaper, and card industries. With over 200 system solutions, including inkjet printers, feeders, conveyors, and software for RFID systems, they engineer and manufacture their products in a state-of-the-art Georgia facility to ensure cost control and exceptional quality. Their global network of dealers provides customizable, modular components, offering customers worldwide flexible, easy-to-operate, and cost-effective solutions.

Chris: Welcome back to the Think Factory podcast, powered by OGC Solutions, and I’m Chris Santomassimo, the host, and I’m with OGC Solutions of course, and I’m on site in Georgia with the CEO, Caroline Kirk of Kirk-Rudy. So welcome to the podcast.

Caroline: Thanks, Chris. Great to have you here today. Thanks for coming out. Really excited to be chatting with you. Oh, it’s great. Yeah.

Chris: What I love is the ability to see actually what how you do what you do. And we’ve done a plant tour and seen a bunch of happy folks that are making the equipment and making the parts. All right. Here in Georgia.

Caroline: For sure. I think that’s something that definitely sets Kirk-Rudy apart is, you know, our people. First of all, we have an excellent team, a lot of tenure here. We’ve been around for, you know, 55 plus years. And we have a lot of folks who’ve been here for ten, 20, 30, even 40 plus years. So, lots of really great people. And yeah, we make a lot of our parts and of course our systems in-house. So, it’s really cool to show off and, you know, kind of give you a tour. Glad you could check it out and see for yourself.

Caroline: So, my grandfather, Harry Kirk, actually started Kirk-Rudy back in 1967. He was working for a company called Cheshire out in Libertyville, Illinois, and my grandpa had actually emigrated from the Czech Republic. So, when he came over to the U.S., he did not have a formal education or contacts or anything like that. And when he was out at Cheshire, he was up for promotion, wanted a promotion. But his manager said that since he didn’t have a college degree, they couldn’t give him the job. So, he kind of went off, started his own company with a couple of trusted coworkers. And Kirk Rudy was born, moved everything down to Georgia in the 1970s. And since then, operations have just continued to grow. Now we have a global presence, you know, all around the world. We sell custom and specialized solutions for the mailing and packaging industries, our real bread and butter. And I think what we kind of started off super successful with was, you know, a lot of equipment in the mailing world and then in the nineties, you know, really started to get involved with inkjet technology. That’s continued through today. We do a lot of really great printing systems and one of our more recent markets that we’ve really gotten involved with is the packaging world and specifically RFID. There’s a lot going on with RFID technology and you know, we’re keeping a close eye on that. And we have some systems that offer some really great solutions in that area. So, we do a lot of cool stuff. But I would say kind of our core areas that we like to serve are kind of mailing and packaging.

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