Staying Lean and Keen
Tracy Windrum didn't like his job. If he had, he wouldn't be getting inducted into the PrintMedia Hall of Fame.
His first full-time job as a Wagner College grad and a Syracuse University post-grad (where he earned his MBA) was preparing production cost budgets for Time Inc. He started in the spring of 1974, and People magazine had just been launched and was among the titles Windrum worked on, as were Sports Illustrated and Money. Windrum learned quickly, however, that hard numbers just weren't his thing. "After two years, I had enough with the finance job. I told my boss over lunch that I hated it and was going to look for work inside and outside Time Inc. Roughly one hour after we talked, he offered me an operations job."
With that response to his dilemma, it's no wonder Windrum stayed at Time Inc. for 26 years. Most recently, he was vice president, group production director for all People titles. He managed technology, imaging and production finance, as well as oversaw production activities for the successful launches of InStyle, Teen People, Real Simple, People Profiles, and People en Español. Windrum also had a hand in several international projects, including InStyle in Germany, Australia and Great Britain. And, he was on the team that brought People into modern times by converting it from black and white to four-color.
A few years ago, however, Windrum's career path took him outside of Time Inc.'s walls when his position was eliminated. "I had done my job 'too well,' and I was not really needed," says Windrum. "I organized myself out of a position."
A week later, Windrum got a call from Gruner+Jahr USA, one of the country's largest consumer-magazine publishers, where he signed on as vice president of manufacturing. When he took the position, during the summer of 2000, he took on more than a few major responsibilities. He buys all prepress, paper, printing and distribution services. He oversees production for all G+J USA magazines, including Parents, Child, Family Circle and Inc. And he heads the purchasing` department, which buys everything from computers to coffee.