At Miller Zell, this introspection uncovered a series of themes from 2018. The year saw our growth by strengthening client partnerships. We continued to prioritize our communities and made thoughtful investments to fuel innovation. Perhaps most important, our company reconnected with our roots by remembering our founder.
In the spirit of keeping our clients first, Miller Zell successfully executed two of the largest in-store graphic programs in its history. To support this undertaking, we added 48 new employees across a variety of areas to better serve our clients.
Community development lives at the heart of Miller Zell’s core values and corporate mission. The Miller Zell Charities Foundation and our associates were significantly involved in raising money for breast cancer and Alzheimer’s research and actively sponsored deserving organizations like the Special Olympics and Wellspring Living. In September, we hosted our 11th Annual Charity Golf Classic and played host to the “Serve for the Cure” tennis tournament.
But our sense of community extends to caring for the environment, and in 2018 we advanced our environmentally-friendly policies and practices. Largest among these was the installation of a solar array on the roof of our corporate office that will produce 1,470,000 kWh of energy per year, offsetting our non-renewable energy use by nearly one-half and reducing our carbon footprint by 1,206 tons annually. We also earned recertification from the Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (SGP), making Miller Zell one of just 58 companies in the nation whose printing facility operations are certifiably sustainable.
To continue to deliver high quality and efficiency in our client work, Miller Zell purchased three high-speed digital presses (two EFI HS125 and one Durst Rho1312 Plus) as well as an Esko automated robotic digital finishing cell, three smelters and a Royal Sovereign Laminator. To facilitate our client-first focus, we underwent a major Enterprise system upgrade, a project that we completed on-time and $300,000 under budget.
But our year end message wouldn’t be complete without honoring our founder Sandy Miller who passed away in November. Sandy started Miller Zell in 1964 and over the next several decades built a robust retail solutions organization. His legacy as an entrepreneur with a passion for his employees and community endures and sets the stage for a company that will continue to thrive. And while 2018 was an exceptional year, perhaps the best thing we can say about Miller Zell as it turns its focus toward 2019 is that Sandy Miller would be proud of the ongoing and positive evolution of the company he put his heart and soul into for more than 50 years.