AABP, business publication organization, names new executive director
Rob Kaiser, the president of the Alliance of Area Business Publishers and the publisher of the Greater Wilmington Business Journal, sent out the following announcement to AABP members on Tuesday:
I’m happy to announce AABP’s Board of Directors has selected Cate Sanderson and her firm, Sanderson Association Management, to take over management of AABP when Jim Dowden retires at the end of this year.
Cate brings with her a wealth of experience in running local publications as well as associations similar to AABP. She’s had a 24-year career in print and digital media, beginning in advertising sales, moving to sales management and then as Group Publisher for three parenting magazines — New York Family, Westchester Family and Connecticut Family. She also served as the National Ad Director for the Family Marketing Network, a rep firm selling national campaigns into regional media.
After serving on the Board and Executive Committee of the Parenting Media Association (PMA), she became interested in association management. She currently serves as the executive director of PMA and the City and Regional Magazine Association (CRMA). Both organizations have launched new initiatives and seen significant growth under her leadership, and we expect she’ll do the same with AABP. (No pressure Cate!)
The board also wants to recognize Jim and Tracey Dowden’s enormous contributions to AABP as we make this transition. Jim has been our director for the past 24 years. Under his leadership, AABP grew into a dynamic organization that supports a range of business publications around the country and beyond. Our group’s achievements and culture of openness and sharing is a credit to Jim’s (usually not so subtle) style of communication and penchant for moving things forward. Many of us need to credit Jim’s leadership of AABP for significant advancements in our careers and businesses. (Jim’s “dinner bell” that for years has chased us into conference sessions and meals will surely be enshrined into the Association Management Hall of Fame.) Tracey took over many of AABP’s day-to-day management responsibilities in recent years and has kept the trains running on time and all of us in line, which is no small task.
After Jim announced his retirement in June, we formed a selection committee that in addition to myself included AABP Vice President Gwen Moritz (the editor in Arkansas), AABP Secretary/Treasurer Jennifer Jackson (publisher in Springfield), Lisa Blossman (group publisher for BridgeTower Media), Mary Kramer (group publisher for Crain’s), Dan Meyer (publisher in Milwaukee) and Josh Schimmels (publisher in Dallas). We published an RFP and received 27 proposals from association management companies. After scoring all the proposals and having a discussion, we did phone interviews with eight organizations and then did in-person interviews with three organizations. I’d like to thank all the members of the selection committee for their many hours of reading proposals, interviews and conference calls so we could complete a thorough process in a relatively short amount of time.
Cate, Jim and Tracey will work together to transition management of the organization in November and December. The board and Cate will start talking soon about new initiatives and growth opportunities for AABP. If you have any ideas, please don’t hesitate to share them with Cate, myself and other board members. Cate’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please let me know if you have any other thoughts or questions on the selection process and other items moving forward.