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Chirs Proctor - 2002 Hall of Fame Books Inductee

October 2002
When Chris Proctor started working in the warehouse at American Technical Publishers, he was just looking for a steady job. Almost 13 years later, Proctor enjoys a successful career as the company's print purchaser. Before acceding to his current position, however, his love for photography and drawing prompted him to become an illustrator.

"I was always into photography and I'd shoot a lot of photos for the company," he says. "I enjoyed drawing and illustrating, and that position provided an excellent opportunity for me to do that." And to get paid for it as well. "I still do a little of that but my main responsibility is print purchasing."

Proctor handles all of the press issues for the catalog and book business, as well as the press okays and any issue that may arise from the print shop while the books are on press. He also works with the editors in determining the best materials to use for certain publications, including paper stock, cover and binding materials. All that work in a relatively short time frame has led to induction into Print Media's 2002 Production Executives Hall of Fame.

Printing for over a century

American Tech, an employee-owned company, publishes vocational and technical text books for schools and colleges as well as union apprenticeship programs. The company was founded in Boston in 1898 as American Technical Society and moved to Chicago in 1902. The company published material for trade bookstores and home study until World War II, when it switched gears to publish vocational materials for the purpose of training industrial workers for the war effort.

In 1980, the company became American Technical Publishers when American Technical Publishers Inc. Profit Sharing Retirement Plan and Trust purchased the company. It is the only employee-owned vocational publisher in the country and handles everything in-house from manuscript editing, art and photography.

Chip off the old block

Proctor followed his father, Tommy, to the company, a 30-year veteran of American Tech, who was named the second president of the new company in 1985. Tommy joined the company as a salesman and attained positions as sales manager and editor in chief before taking the reins of president, replacing Robert H. Carrigan. Proctor would not say if his ambitions are as lofty as his dad's. For the time being, he is content to monitor and maintain the quality of American Tech's print products.

An Illinois native, he now lives in Crete, IL with his wife Pamela and daughters, Natalie, 5, and Jessica, 3. Proctor spends his time away from the office fishing in Canada, woodworking and rooting for the Chicago Bears.


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