John Crawford – Owner
In 1973 John started his retail career in the grocery business as a bagboy with HyVee and worked his way up to management at stores here in Iowa and Arizona. He also served as a retail counselor for 8 years by helping other retail operations work on goal setting, budgets, scheduling, and event planning.
I think my time as a retail counselor helped me to become a better business operator. I was able to see average to great business people and give them help in making their business run better and at the same time gain experience on how to run my own business.
John entered the printing world in 1998 as an outside salesman for a local quick printer. After moving on to management with the company he took a position with a national chain in Des Moines overseeing their operations in the metro area.
Now that I have seen how others do things in retail printing, I feel that I can offer everything and more of what my customer’s wants and needs are.
I also have to give credit to God and my wife Becky. Jesus Christ has been with us as we put our business plan together, built counters, opened our doors and through the thick and thin. Without centering our business decisions around Him, I know things would not run as smooth. Maybe that’s what people notice is different about Alpha Copies. I hope so!
Becky Crawford – Owner
Keenan Gehman – West Store Manager
Keenan graduated from Marion High School in 2004 and came to Ames to attend Iowa State University. In February 2006, his brother-in-law, who was one of the original employees of Alpha Copies, mentioned that they were looking for an additional weekend employee. Within a week, Keenan was working part time on nights and weekends.
In October of that year, he went full time and became a manager shortly thereafter. He became the center manager of the East Ames location when it opened in March 2011. When Alpha Copies co-branded with FASTSIGNS in August of 2016, Keenan became the center manager of the West Ames location.
Alpha Copies has been a training ground for me – not just in the printing/copying industry, but in all aspects of my life. I’ve learned so much since I started working here at the age of 19. There’s just something about having the owners around all the time, it motivates you to push yourself to the next level because that’s what they are doing. Nobody works harder at Alpha Copies than John and Becky. Nobody. Alpha Copies has always been about more than just making copies. It’s always been about a level of service that exceeds everything the customer ever expected. From ‘Yes we can!’ to ‘Measure twice, cut once’ – the philosophy that drives this business is amazing. I consider myself extremely fortunate to work here for such amazing people.
Keenan lives in Ames with his wife, Chelsea, and their children (Riley, 5; Kyla, stillborn; August, 2; Nora, 10 months).
Derek Larson – East Store Manager
Derek graduated from Ames High School in 2002 and then graduated from DMACC with a degree in Criminal Justice. He began his career at Alpha Copies in 2011 when we opened up our East location that spring and had need of an assistant to work under Keenan.
Having no past experience with graphic design or printing, this job was honestly pretty intimidating when I first started, but, fortunately, Keenan is a very patient and realistic trainer. I just tried to stay humble and learn whenever the opportunity arose and here I am, over 5 years later, training people to work under me. All the new people think I have a graphic design degree and I just let them keep thinking that!
Some of the best advice that I received early on from John was that people will give you all kinds of leeway and patience if they can tell that you’re eager to help them and that it’s important to you that they’re happy with the work that you have done for them. That was referring to customers, fellow employees and bosses. That really helped me get past my learning curve here and it can also be applied to almost anything you do in life outside of work, too.
Derek is the proud father of his daughter/best friend, Naomi, who is turning 7 this fall (2017). Together, they enjoy a wide variety of hobbies, such as raising hedgehogs, telling stories, recording funny videos, gardening, going on “adventures” in the woods, awarding people with random trophies, making homemade salsa and smoothies that they give away at Naomi’s Neighborhood Health Market in the front yard, and spending time with friends and family. When Naomi grows up, she wants to either be a vet, a princess, a teacher, a zookeeper, an actress, a gymnast, a singer and dancer, or own her own restaurant or hospital. When Derek grows up, he wants to be 7.
Martha McIrvin grew up in Kansas, and while there’s no place like home, she has grown to love the community here in Ames Iowa. Martha joined the team here at Alpha Copies in 2013, after several years working for a small family owned business here in Ames, where she learned many things about the business world, domestically and internationally.
I moved to Ames to be a part of the church here that I had done a summer program with. Their love of the Lord Jesus Christ, each other, and their desire to serve the Lord wholeheartedly with their lives resonated deeply with me and is what I seek to do every day. I joined Alpha Copies as the new delivery driver and have loved getting to know so many of our customers as I take their orders directly to them. I love the interaction with our customers as we fulfill orders, from business cards to invitations and beyond. I am deeply grateful that John and Becky truly care for each of us as their employees and seek our development both in life and in the company. I have learned so much in my time here and look forward to continuing to do so. Here at Alpha Copies we seek to serve our customers with a level of customer service that can not be rivaled anywhere. I am proud to be a part of a team that seeks excellence in our work and it is my pleasure to serve the wonderful people of Ames and the surrounding community.
Danielle grew up in Washington, Iowa. Once she graduated high school, she moved to Cedar Rapids to attend Kirkwood. After 2 years, she received her AS. She then moved over to Ames. Danielle am currently attending Iowa State, working towards her business management and animal science degree.
A few things I do when I am not in class or working: I enjoy hunting and going on trails with my dog. I also enjoy traveling around the United States. A goal is to have a postcard from each state by the time I turn 30. Working at Alpha Copies has been a fun learning experience. I learn something new everyday, from designing or even customer service skills. It has made Ames a great place to live!