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BEP director Felix to retire

Larry R. Felix, director of Bureau of Engraving and Printing since 2006, has announced his plans to leave that position effective Jan. 31.

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BEP director Larry R. Felix announced he will retire Jan. 31 after more than 8 years of service.

Deputy Director Len Olijar will step into the post as acting director.

In a message shared with his BEP team, Felix said:

“It is with mixed emotions that I announce my retirement from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP), effective January 31, 2015.

“It has been a distinct honor and privilege to have capped my 31 years of federal service as BEP Director for the last nine years. Helping to shape United States currency has been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for which I will always remain humbled and grateful.”

According to a biography at the BEP’s website, moneyfactory.gov, Felix joined the BEP in 1993, working in a variety of leadership positions, including chairing the Inter-agency Currency Design taskforce, which was responsible for recommending technical enhancements for U.S. currency design.

Prior to being named BEP director on Jan. 11, 2006, he served as its deputy director.

“Over the last nine years, global confidence in U.S. banknotes remained strong and undeterred, as the value in circulation grew from nearly $800 billion to more than $1.25 trillion,” Felix wrote. “Our notes continue to be a global reserve currency and it was an awesome responsibility to help maintain and enhance the global integrity of the U.S. currency franchise for these many years. Moreover, it was a privilege to lead the many dedicated employees at the BEP who have been mission-focused, outcome-driven and exude extraordinary pride in their work.”

Among the accomplishments during Felix’s tenure was the completion of design of the next generation currency series, including the NXG $100, which was put into circulation on Oct. 8, 2013.

He has also implemented “a massive retooling/retrofitting operation to transition the organization into a 21st century manufacturing plant” and led “the organization in a massive update of its quality management system.”

“As I look back over these last nine years, we should be justifiably proud of the many things we accomplished together,” Felix said. “Yes, we met the day-to-day mission, but we also created the strategic infrastructure for future advancements.The foundations we have established now allow the BEP to make data-based decisions (BEN), to manufacture quality banknotes with consistency and efficiency (CQA), to leverage our workforce engagement to optimize productivity and quality (BPTW), and to design the next generation of banknotes that meet the counterfeit deterrence, technical and utility interests of all stakeholders and users (BDS).”

Felix thanked BEP staff for their “hard work, dedication, support and friendship and for making the success of BEP possible.”

This article was originally printed in Bank Note Reporter.
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