Bend Firm That Printed Clackamas County Ballots Was Purchased by Out-of-State Buyout Firm in 2020

Lakewind Investments is based in Indianapolis.

In defending her handling of the Clackamas County election debacle, caused by poorly printed bar codes on thousands of ballots, County Clerk Sherry Hall says she’s used the same printer, Moonlight Business Process Outsourcing, for 10 years with no problem.

During that time, one major thing has changed at the company: its ownership.

Moonlight BPO, as it’s known, was founded in Bend in 1985 “with a goal to provide small businesses a valuable and efficient source for all their printing, mailing and document management needs,” according to its website.

In 2020, company founder Brenda Grigsby sold the company to Lakewind Investments, an Indianapolis-based private equity firm founded by Rob and George Van Vliet, according to a 2020 article in Cascade Business News. Lakewind has invested $150 million in more than 20 companies, according to its website.

The printing snafu that is causing one of the worst election delays in Oregon history comes just two years after Lakewind bought Moonlight BPO, bringing unwanted attention to a nuts-and-bolts business.

It also cost Moonlight BPO a valuable client.

“I don’t intend to ever use them again,” Hall said in a press conference last week. “We were shocked with this one.”

George Van Vliet said he had no comment on the Clackamas County election beyond what Moonlight said in a recent statement: “Moonlight BPO was founded in 1985 with the focus to serve the Oregon community with mailing services. Over time, we have installed processes and controls to ensure high quality printing and mailing standards from mailing professionals with over a combined 75+ years of experience. The ballots were prepared in accordance with these procedures. These controls include a quality check for the barcode with the use of a scanner that has been used in every ballot production by us. Upon learning of the county’s difficulty in scanning certain ballots, we met and discussed possible solutions. We continue to offer any help we can in getting the ballots processed in time.”