SmithBates Big New Year!

SmithBates Owners Sell to Oregon Tech Alumni Entrepreneurs

On January 1, 2023, after 45 years, Dan Cavanaugh handed over the reins of his 100-year-old company to new owners—David and Bobbi Johnson and Kendra and Rafael Santiago. David and Kendra are current employees, and will oversee the daily management of the business, with support from Ann Cavanaugh during the transition. 

It was important to the Cavanaughs and the legacy of the ownership of SmithBates to place the business solidly in the hands of new owners who share their values about customers, innovation, commitment and integrity. The Johnsons and Santiagos understand the importance of evolving to clients’ ever-changing needs and engineering solutions that solve problems and streamline processes.

“We are excited to step back and retire, but also thrilled that we were able to hand off the business to the next generation in a seamless manner,” said Dan. Adding, “The business will be in great hands.”

SmithBates has a rich history serving the Southern Oregon and Northern California marketplace for five generations for over 100 years. It is one of the oldest continuously operating businesses in the Klamath Basin and one of the longest running printing companies in Oregon. There are not many businesses that have survived and thrived despite the Great Depression, the Great Recession and the pandemic. To learn more about the storied history of SmithBates go to

All employees will stay on with the new ownership, and a few new positions will be created as services continue to expand. Ann Cavanaugh, who serves on the Oregon Tech Foundation board stated, “This fulfills our dream of leaving the company in hands of young entrepreneurs who will take what we created and make it even better!”

David, who is an Information Technology graduate of Oregon Tech, has been with SmithBates for over 15 years, and is responsible for all IT and web development services. For the last four years, he has managed the print and fulfillment services. David shares, “We are excited to carry on the SmithBates legacy and bring new ideas and innovations. We will continue to lead with a focus on putting everyone that works here in a position to deliver top-level service to our customers.”

“This is a tremendous opportunity that we’ve been presented with, and we’re humbled to be stewards over SmithBates, and work alongside our employees to see this company into the future,” said Kendra, who recently joined the company.

Kendra is a graduate of Oregon Tech with a degree in Business Management and Marketing. She will continue to lead Marketing and Business Development along with the existing sales team including Mike Klein. David and Kendra’s spouses will be key advisors in the areas of accounting, lean management, and process implementation as the company continues to grow.

The new owners plan to further expand and grow the company by enhancing full-service marketing agency services—including branding, web development, advertising, social media, and campaign management. The print and fulfillment services will still be a foundational component and compliment to their marketing communication services. They will continue to ship packaging and fulfillment products throughout the US and Canada.

We invite you to join us in welcoming David and Kendra into their roles and seek out SmithBates for any marketing and print needs. The team can be reached at or by calling 541-884-3714.

537 Northern Heights Blvd., Klamath Falls, OR 97601 / 1.800.303.3714 /
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