Feb 28, 2020

Running a successful business now in its 107th year is an incredible task. Operating a prospering firm in a field that has changed so dramatically during the past two decades makes that accomplishment even more rewarding for Nate Woodward and his team at The Bodnar Printing Company.

The business started in 1913 as the printing house for the Hungarian-language newspaper, Lorain Es Videke. Throughout the years, the company evolved from printing the newspaper and religious newsletters into a commercial printer in the 1970s. Ralph Woodward, Nate’s late father, a skilled photographer, and his wife, Bonnie, purchased the business in 1980 from Louis Bodnar.

While the Bodnar and Woodward families are not related, Nate said his family felt it was essential to keep the name because of the well-deserved reputation and recognition Bodnar had developed.

While the digital age has increased the number of messages that consumers are bombarded with, it has not replaced the need for skillfully printed pieces, Woodward said.

“We live in an increasingly digital world, but print remains an incredibly important part of the marketing mix,” Woodward said. “It helps businesses extend their touch with the people that are important to them and gets in front of them in a way that grabs some exposure and engagement when an electronic message is often missed or ignored.”

Around the time of its 100th anniversary, the company made plans to move into a larger modern facility. There were opportunities to relocate outside the city, but Woodward said “we are a Lorain County business and want to remain a Lorain County business.” Bodnar Printing opened its Colorado Avenue site in 2015.

After graduating from The Ohio State University and gaining experience working in the financial services sector, Woodward said he decided to return home and take a leadership position in the company. He accepted the president’s role when his father decided to retire. His mother still serves as the firm’s treasurer.

“We wouldn’t have any success without the tremendously loyal and dedicated employees who work hard to make our clients’ lives easier,” Woodward said. “In a field with lots of options, it comes down to the relationships and trust we built with our clients. We work to deliver our best work and products every day.”

Bodnar Printing offers clients a “one-stop shop” that can deliver quality and competitive costs by managing the project from start to finish. Services include offset and digital printing jobs of banners, books, packaging, stationery and more. Additionally, Bodnar Printing offers direct mail and fulfillment that continues to gain awareness in an age when possibly 80 percent of email messages might be ignored as spam, Woodward said.

The Woodward family’s ties to Buckeye Community Bank also run deep as the family was an original investor and client when the bank opened its doors in 1999.

“When you are running a business, having access to resources is essential. If you do not have a relationship with a bank or banker, you are lost,” Woodward said. “Our relationship with Buckeye has been fantastic for our company. Everyone we have worked with from Ben (Norton), Jason (McDonald) and John (Brickel) has been a great partner and always there to help. It is so important to us that they are community-based and understand our market.”

“Bodnar Printing is not only on top of their industry, but they are also very invested in our community,” Buckeye President Ben P. Norton said. “Nate Woodward, his team and his family have continued to build a successful business legacy by understanding the direct needs of their clients and how to remain competitive by leveraging what they do great. As Buckeye Community Bank continues growing successfully by serving the local business community, we are proud to have a solid foundation created by Bodnar Printing and other successful client companies.”