Publishing Executive Hall of Fame: John Blanchard—Not Afraid of the 'What-Ifs’'
From computer-to-plate to conceiving ad portals to workflow automation and beyond, he has the smarts, the charm and the energy to do whatever it takes," says Alan Snyder, prepress operations manager at Fry Communications Inc., of 2009 Publishing Executive Hall of Fame inductee John Blanchard. "He has no fears of what-ifs, and can easily asses a value in a process—or opportunity."
Blanchard is the vice president of operations at international business-to-business publisher Reed Business Information (RBI), and is no stranger to maximizing efficiency and automating everything that can be automated. In fact, he learned to think "efficiency" early on in his career.
"I spent 20-plus years in the consumer packaging industry—everything from graphic design and creating artwork to overseeing engraving and printing of consumer packaging products throughout North America," says Blanchard. "A lot of the work that I did … was [with a] heavy emphasis on efficiency, automation—basic manufacturing principles that we were very comfortable with in the manufacturing arena. Bringing that to the development and production of magazines helped in terms of improving the sophistication in how we [ran] that business.
"Once I got involved in [publishing], I really developed a love and a passion for it," he says.
Blanchard's association with RBI began 11 years ago, as a consultant in the prepress area in the company's Chicago office. He worked his way up through management positions, starting as operations manager of the Chicago division and eventually expanding his purview to include the offices of Variety and other entertainment properties on the West Coast. His team now handles central production, prepress, creative services, distribution, procurement and fulfillment services for Reed's many business units nationwide.
"That has now grown to include electronic business, as we support all of the advertising activity for our Web sites and newsletters, and various other online properties," he says.
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