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7 Q+As: Jeff Mellander with Precision Graphics

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Sponsor 7 Q+As with Jeff Mellander, president and owner of Precision Graphics and renovator of historic buildings! Hands down, the nicest man in Champaign is Jeff Mellander. He makes everyone feel like his BFF. And I think you’ll understand just why when you read his responses below.

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1. What are you grateful for today?
That I was able to keep up with what was on my desk today.

2. Tell us about one of your friends and what you love about her.
Irina Stewart. Foremost in my mind because “Friends of Irina” just dedicated a beautiful garden and bench in her honor in front of the Krannert Art Museum. What I love about her…. the wonderful memories of 20 years of a friendship that never stopped growing, her wit, her creativity, her family who became my extended family, her special relationship with my partner Mike, the gardening we did together, the walks we took, drinks and dinners out, sitting on the porch, the close circle of friends we shared, the great vacations we went on together, her love of Saugatuck and Timber Bluff. This list could go on for a long time….

3. Describe one of the best days of your life.
The day a realtor friend stopped by our house in Saugatuck, to say he just listed piece of property on Lake Michigan he thought Mike and I might be interested in. At first we said there’s no way we could consider it, but when he said it was a log home with two rental cottages, on a small piece of frontage on the lake, we decided to look. By the end of the day we had an a verbal acceptance on an offer we made on a piece of property we hadn’t even known existed 8 hours before. It was a day neither Mike or I will ever forget, because it was the beginning of what grew to become Timber Bluff, a slice of heaven on earth that we sometimes call home!

4. What’s the best lesson you learned from your mother/grandmother?
It wasn’t until I was an adult that I realized my mom was an introvert who was anxious, lacked confidence among her peers, and was unsure of herself much of her life. I don’t know if I’ve ever thought of it as the best lesson, but I’ve tried to be sensitive to other people’s needs and conscious of the consequences of my actions and when trying to carve my own path. I try to ask for their input, understand their needs and objectives, and make good decisions that allow me to set and accomplish my own goals to make things better than they were before I was involved, no matter what the situation.

5. We’re all unique. What is your special gift?
Studying architecture taught me to visualize things that don’t yet exist. That training has fueled my passion for renovating under-utilized, older  buildings which I’ve been doing for the past 35 years, at the pace of about one every three years.

6. What could women be doing to make their community a better place?
Throughout my career in book production for college publishers I’ve worked in an industry predominantly made up of women effectively leading teams, divisions or companies, managing production, meeting deadlines, setting and maintaining budgets, and working with creative resources from concept to final product. My management team at work was almost entirely made up of women. I don’t’ know how they can be heads of households, moms, and career professionals all at the same time. How could they make a community a better place? What more could you ask of one human being? They have already made the community a better place!

7. What would you do if you weren’t afraid?
Ski black diamond slopes, skydive, go scuba diving….there’s more…..

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