Trotter presses for positive work environment
Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.
Email This Story
Manager of Printing Services Gerald Trotter describes himself as a “person who rarely says no and is always willing to find solutions.”
“He does not have to stand over anyone to be their boss. He trusts his employee’s professional opinions and ideas, and you can come to him with anything,” said Jim Schmitt, finance duplicating equipment operator.
Schmitt explained the printing department is very much like a family with most of the workers averaging around 20+ years of experience in the department. With 29 years in the printing department, Schmitt said “what sets Trotter apart from many other supervisors is that he started here as a regular worker 22 years ago and took steps from there as he furthered his education. This meant that once he had reached a position of management he understood every facet of the facility.”
Trotter started his education at what was then West Division and is now known as Milwaukee High School of the Arts. He knew he enjoyed drawing and considered going into architecture. From West Division, he went to the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee; after two semesters he struggled with direction and dropped out. This was around the same time Trotter had started working for At-A-Glance, a printing company that made calendars.
After a couple years with the company and after he was passed over for promotions, he decided it was time to continue his education. Trotter enrolled in the printing program at MATC. He finished the program, and continued working in the printing department at MATC, where he started to move up the ladder.
A day in the life of Trotter includes a large amount of responsibilities. Trotter now oversees all of the copiers throughout the college as well as many stations directly in the Printing Services department. Trotter has to check daily to make sure all of the machines are running properly. He often works long hours and weekends trying to get as much done as possible.
The Printing Services department has a lot to do to keep things flowing smoothly at the school. Not only do they print the MATC Times with the school’s own onsite four-color printing press, but they also work with marketing, design and photography students to help build portfolios.
According to Schmitt, a lot of what they do requires a high level of good service and a cordial atmosphere, which would hardly be possible without a supervisor like Trotter.
One special thing, said Schmitt, is “anyone could come to that door with just the slightest inkling of what they want to do and there’s enough people in this department to help them find exactly what they want and work with them, so that they leave comfortable and happy with their experience,” which he attributes a lot to the role Trotter plays.
Although a large portion of his time is spent with his managerial responsibilities, Trotter has made time for other interests. Outside of the printing department Trotter is an adviser for BSU (Black Student Union) and ISO (International Student Organization).
He is close with his family, namely his mother, and his sister and her children. He tries to work out daily and enjoys listening to many genres of music, including rap, jazz, reggae and easy listening.
After 22 years and many levels of responsibilities, Trotter still manages to maintain a humble and approachable demeanor and is loved by many. People will be sad to see him leave but when asked about retirement he replied, “I don’t think I’m ready, there’s still much to be done.”