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This is Fred Ball for Zions Bank, speaking on business.

I have known Jim Macfarland and Jerry Lake since my college days at the University of Utah. Even then, they seemed entrepreneurial and very success oriented.

James L. Macfarlane went to work for the Rocky Mountain Bank Note Company upon graduation in 1956. Little did he know that employment decision would evolve into a very long, successful business career that would culminate in an integrated group of companies where he eventually would be an owner chairman and CEO.

Jim left Rocky Mountain Bank note in 1982. During his time with the company, Rocky Mountain grew into an $85 million company.

It was a big step in 1982 when Jim and his good friend Jerry Lake decided they wanted to be owners of their own company. They started IC Group as a printing brokerage business with four employees. In 1983 they began manufacturing business checks.

Jim, Jerry and the other principals were all former employees of a major MICR forms manufacturing company. Now, in the banking business you hear the term "MICR" a great deal. It is such a part of our vernacular that we don't stop to think what the MICR stand for. It means, "Magnetic Ink Character Recognition." Visualize the checks you have in your checkbook. Those numbers down on the bottom are all magnetic ink characters. On the back of your credit cards are magnetic strips that again contain encoded information to assist you in making financial transactions.

The IC Group manufacturers custom MICR products for large financial institutions. They write custom software to fit the check and forms requirements of large financial customers. They also distribute Visa and MasterCard plastics to many financial institutions and print checks for many local businesses.

Over the years, IC Group (the "IC" stands for "integrated companies,") acquired the assets of American Bank Stationary, Great Western Business Forms and Advance Graphics. Recent acquisitions of two small companies have added strategic product lines.

Jim Macfarlane and Jerry Lake started the business 19 years ago in a West Valley garage basically manufacturing voucher checks on two old second-hand presses. Today, the company has over 65,000 square feet of manufacturing facilities in two locations, 250 employees including sales people across the United States and a reputation for quality, accuracy, fast turn around of orders and tight security principles in place for customers.

For Zions Bank, I’m Fred Ball. I'm speaking on business.

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