BATTLE GROUND – About two years ago, Steve Walker retired from his full-time career as publisher of The Reflector Newspaper but he knew he wasn’t ready, or able, to fully retire altogether.
Walker and his wife Annette took some time to decide what they wanted to do with the rest of their lives. Steve also spent a large part of his career as a chief financial officer for LaFromboise Communications – which owns The Reflector. He considered hanging up his shingle to start his own accounting business, but that just didn’t provide the proper excitement in his mind.
“My friend Bruce Randall and I had a goal to find a business that we might work together,’’ Walker said. “We found a scanning business (now in La Center, re-named DocuDriven), which neither one of us knew much about, and made the purchase.’’
DocuDriven is a scanning/storage business that services a medical practice, real estate firm and a number of school districts.
“This business provided scanning, storage and software solutions in archiving and record retrieval,’’ Walker said. “This fascinated me. Still, I felt a stronger desire to serve individuals and very small businesses, rather than larger organizational clients. I sold my part of the business back to my business partner and my wife and I launched Archive-Easy.’’
It was about that time that Steve became his own first client.
“I looked around my garage one day and I saw 12 boxes of photos,’’ Walker said. “I thought to myself, ‘it would really be nice not to have those 12 boxes sitting around.’’’
Walker knew there had to be a better way to store the more than 10,000 photos he and his wife cherish. The couple has been married for over 38 years and have eight children and 16 grandchildren. They have a lot of history to preserve.
“During the course of our lives, we have done many things to record the history of our family,’’ Steve said. “Most of that history is found in photos, journals and personal records. The preservation and organization of these records has become increasingly important to us.’’
The Walkers began to practice their new profession on themselves. They attacked those 12 boxes of photos and made significant headway. Before too long, they were ready to open their doors to the public.
“We learned the archiving process through work on our own personal records,’’ Walker said. “We decided we wanted to provide an affordable and reliable archiving solution to other individuals – and small businesses, as well.’’
The Walkers discovered a new storage medium, the M-Disc, that is produced by Millenniata, Inc., which Steve said “provides reliable disk storage for hundreds of years at an affordable price.’’
The Walkers provide archiving services from various sources: original photos, photos currently on electronic mediums, documents, cassette tapes, books and journals. Additionally, by January 2016, they will also be able to archive 8mm and Hi 8 tapes (from camcorders) and VHS tapes.
“We are adding this service due to public request,’’ Steve said. “Most importantly, we felt we could provide a personal touch in helping others preserve their precious personal records and history. Annette and I had a great desire to work together in a business that would be satisfying, allow us to provide a high level of customer service and work in a home office environment.’’
Archive-Easy is located at 1105 SE Rasmussen in Battle Ground. The Walkers are available by appointment only. To make an appointment, call (360) 606-1344. For more information, visit www.archive-easy.com.