One could look at Mike McGuirk—the architect of the “Worst Copier in AZ Sweepstakes,” where the winner has their temperamental machine dropped from a crane at 100 feet in a live, web- and radio-broadcasted event—and assume he just marches to the beat of his own drummer.
But truth be told, the president of Tempe, Arizona-based ProCopy—even with the occasional offbeat ideas—is very much an old-school executive who values both individual growth and team success. With 37 years under his belt, McGuirk has carved his own unique path—backed by the tutelage and guidance of some highly-respected industry veterans—and earned a spot among the 2019 ENX Magazine Difference Makers.
“To me, it’s really simple—do what you say you are going to do and people will trust you and eventually want to take the hill for you,” McGuirk noted. “Our culture is we can do anything as a team and accomplish so much when no one cares about who gets the credit.”
While a team player at heart, McGuirk simply loves watching the personal development of ProCopy employees, particularly those who might not have much in terms of a business or industry background but eventually become great at their jobs. Whether they continue to thrive with ProCopy or spread their wings in another industry, McGuirk knows his team has done its part in aiding their development.
“Even if they leave us for another industry, we helped them get ready to take on the world,” he said. “That is why I still love doing this 37 years down the road.”
It didn’t take long for this Arizona State University graduate to hear the siren song of the industry. His best friend/fraternity brother nailed down a job with Xerox upon graduating, and the brother of a close childhood friend landed a gig with A.B. Dick. According to McGuirk, both men loved their jobs and were making great money—two elements that truly appealed to his 22-year-old self.
McGuirk’s journey through the industry enabled him to rub elbows with several respected luminaries, including Gary Clancy of Uni-Copy, Dan Doyle of Danka, Tom Johnson and Tom Metzler of Global Imaging, and Frank Gaspari of Flex Technology Group (parent company of ProCopy, which McGuirk joined in 2010). Johnson offered at least one nugget of advice that has stuck with McGuirk…all of business is making changes in anticipation of change being shoved down your throat.
“They all shared one basic value: it is always the right time to do the right thing,” McGuirk observed.
McGuirk had an instant impact at ProCopy. The company increased its revenues and profits five times in less than five years. And while the dealer joined the FTG collective three years ago, the DNA of the company has remained firmly in place.
“We have a “heave-ho” mentality meaning everyone grabs the rope when it comes to our customers,” he said. “I am proud of our people and the leadership at FTG for allowing that to continue to flow.”
While revenue and profit growth are high on the priority list moving forward, McGuirk also sees the value in proliferating the brand and supporting the community. On the latter count, the ProCopy Foundation is aimed at giving back and especially supporting youth. Better citizens make better business partners, he adds, and that partnership mentality is at the heart of ProCopy’s ascension.
Beyond the walls of ProCopy, McGuirk has made his presence felt with other organizations, including board positions with the Business Technology Association, Ricoh’s National Dealer Council, the ASU alumni association and the Better Business Bureau. He is also president of the Select Dealer Group peer organization. Still, McGuirk hasn’t forgotten his roots when it comes to personal improvement.
“It is almost the same as president as it was when I started as an entry-level sales rep who was ranked 41 out of 44 reps during his first 6 months,” McGuirk noted. “It is grinding away, nibbling away at a lot of little things that turn into big things. For me, it is not forgetting where I came from but also not losing sight about where we are going.”
McGuirk and his wife, Kelly, have been married for 19 years. “We love to travel and laugh at each other, and try to squeeze a lot of living out of life,” he noted. They have three grown children—Matt, Nick and Makenzie. His penchant for involvement also includes Junior Achievement and Big Brothers/Big Sisters.
McGuirk is a diehard New York Mets fan, even though “they break my heart every year.” He loves all sports and playing golf, which he didn’t take up until he turned 50.
“And it shows,” he quipped.