Being All That He Can Be
Barry Meinerth was not destined for a life-long career in the military. Magazines proved to be his true calling.
Even after more than three decades in magazine publishing, Barry Meinerth shows no signs of slowing down. He speaks enthusiastically of publishing, even when he must be on the verge of exhaustion. He just returned—this morning—from a trip to Time Inc.'s operations in Tampa, Fla.
"And I was in Europe last week," Meinerth explains. "The travel has been unrelenting in the last couple of months, but I think we're accomplishing a lot."
Now the senior vice president of production and fulfillment at Time Inc., Meinerth has spent his entire career with the company.
Training to Be a Leader
Meinerth grew up in Massachusetts, but left to pursue a bachelor's degree from Norwich University in Vermont.
"Norwich University was, back then, an all-male, full-time military school," Meinerth remembers. "I was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant upon graduating. I applied for, and received, a deferment to go to graduate school for two years."
Within that time, Meinerth earned a Master of Business Administration in international business from New York University and returned to the Army to spend a little more than four years on active duty.
"I was an infantry captain, Ranger Airborne-qualified, with an M.B.A.," Meinerth explains. "But I never served in Vietnam. So, my military career as an infantry officer wasn't going to go very far."
With his obligation to Uncle Sam fulfilled, Meinerth went in search of a career with direction and purpose.
"Back then, Time Inc. was hiring eight M.B.A.s a year, and they divvied them up between accounting, production, finance and circulation. They dumped me into the production division," Meinerth laughs.
"There was an 18-month training program. You had to spend six months in the paper world, six months in operations, and six months as a cost analyst," he adds. "Three months into my paper stint, the company had a head-count freeze, … and two weeks after that, the person who was buying paper for Time Life Books resigned." So, Meinerth began buying paper for Time Life Books.