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President’s Post: A 20-Year Salute to Terry Nathan

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by Florrie Binford Kichler, Executive Director, Independent Book Publishers Association —

Florrie Binford Kichler

Florrie Binford Kichler

Amazon referred to a river in South America.

Larry Page and Sergey Brin were undergrad students, and the term googol meant “a 1 with 100 zeroes after it.”

The Sony Data Discman, an electronic book reader that could read books stored on CDs, was one year old.

The year was 1992; IBPA (then PMA) had completed its first decade of service to independent publishers, and Terry Nathan joined his mother, Executive Director Jan Nathan, to work in the PMA office.

Fast forward to 2012. Amazon, Google, and “e-books” are part of the publishing lexicon. PMA, now IBPA, has more than doubled in size and continues to serve its members with more than 50 cooperative marketing programs, money-saving benefits, a monthly magazine filled with practical advice, educational offerings, and much more.

Terry Nathan

For 20 years Terry Nathan has been a tireless advocate for independent publishers, and the countless publishers he has helped, served, and advised are testimony to his commitment. At the recent Benjamin Franklin Awards ceremony in New York, Terry received a commemorative clock to mark his 20 years of service to PMA/IBPA, and friends and colleagues joined to celebrate the occasion with their personal tributes to Terry, which follow. I invite all of you who have benefited from Terry’s guidance to join in congratulating him on this milestone anniversary.

IBPA owes its stature and achievement to a large and active membership and a devoted volunteer leadership, but if IBPA has a face and a voice, they belong to Terry Nathan. He has worked tirelessly and devotedly on behalf of IBPA, and always with grace, compassion, and expertise. For those of us who have the privilege of working with him, it is always a rewarding experience, and for the entire membership of IBPA, he represents an invaluable resource.—Jonathan Kirsch, Law Offices of Jonathan Kirsch

Over the years I’ve known Terry at PMA/IBPA, I have appreciated his positive, cheerful approach to whatever issue came up, or problem needed to be solved.

On any IBPA committee or project when Terry and I worked together, his focus was always on finding and delivering the best service/information to the members.

Congratulations on your 20 years with PMA, and thank you for the service you have provided to the publishers, and for your willingness to continue to learn about the industry as it changes.—Marcella Smith, Marcella Smith Associates, former IBPA board member

Consider the marvelous sum of Terry’s parts—those being smarts, competence, work ethic, loyalty, integrity, and the seeming ability to get along with anyone. How the heck do you do it, Terry? Do you go home and kick your dog? Seriously, he has held together PMA . . . oops, excuse me, IBPA . . . for nearly all his years here. If Jan Nathan is looking down on you tonight, she is nodding her head in agreement.—Kent Sturgis, Epicenter Press, former IBPA Board Chair

For 20 years Terry Nathan has been helpful, knowledgeable, consistent, and a friend. He has guided PMA/IBPA with expertise, sincerity, and tenacity. His mom, Jan, used to say: “You can’t get too much education on book publishing.” Thank you, Terry, for continuing this philosophy.—Dan Poynter, Para Publishing, former IBPA board member

Thanks, Terry, for always making me feel at home during those many BEAs. Your smiling face and accommodating nature always made those events better. Congratulations on such a successful career helping publishers succeed!—Jerry Marino, former IBPA board member

Terry may be the most unpretentious, unadulterated, genuine person I know. That magnificent, welcoming grin he flashes isn’t counterfeit; he truly likes every person he meets. Over my years on the IBPA board I’ve come to admire and respect him. The unpredictability of the book industry and the volatility of the economy have presented IBPA with challenge after challenge, and Terry has soldiered through, never faltering in his support for the independent publisher or his belief in the organization. I’m proud to know him, proud to think of him as a friend, and I wish him warm breezes and Godspeed in his next 20 years with IBPA.—Steve Mettee, The Write Thought, IBPA Board Chair

Terry had the unenviable task of stepping into the shoes of his mother, Jan, who was a sort of force of nature, like a hurricane. (How I still miss her!) Terry knew he would have to find his own way of running IBPA, and he did have some very important strengths his mother lacked: organization, patience, an easygoing temperament. He has made the most of these virtues and found ways to delegate the hurricane part.—Curt Matthews, CEO, Independent Publishers Group

When Terry joined Jan and me in Frankfurt, oh, about 50 years ago, we quickly became friends. I found in him a great mix of worker, worrier, and warrior, a person of great integrity and loyalty who was also willing to play. When Jan left us, Terry provided a personal and professional continuity at PMA/IBPA for me and many others. With maturity and sensitivity he held something together, something shining. That shining is there whenever I see him, or talk to him, or even think about him. A special person, and an enduring heart friend. Thank you, Terry-mon, for all you do, and my every good wish to you for the next many many years of your life adventure.—Kiran Rana, Hunter House

I’ve been working for and with Terry Nathan for almost 14 years now. During year one, someone asked me, “How do you like working with Terry?” Without hesitation I said, “If Terry Nathan was running for office, I would vote for him.” The person looked surprised and said that was quite a testimonial. Obviously they didn’t know him well. Anyone who has worked with or been around Terry for any amount of time would agree to that and more. He is organized and empathetic, diligent and diplomatic, and one of the most genuinely nice people you’ll ever meet. It has been my absolute privilege to have him not just as my boss, but also as my family and my friend. If that same person asked me today how I like working with Terry Nathan, I’d say, “If Terry Nathan ran for office, I’d run his campaign!”—Lisa Krebs Magno, IBPA

Terry does things that many people in business are unable to do. He is effective at leading while being collaborative, and he is direct while being personable. I have yet to meet someone who knows Terry but doesn’t like him. I consider him a good friend and feel IBPA is in very good hands. What he does is not easy, but he does it well and always with good humor. Congrats to him on his 20th.—Mark Suchomel, President, IPG

It has been a pleasure and a privilege to work by Terry’s side for the past 10 years—first as a board member and now as part of the IBPA staff. His sense of humor, compassion, and devotion to IBPA and all its members are boundless. I’m honored to be his co-worker, but more important, I’m honored to be his friend.

A member, Sally Grablick, wrote to Terry recently, and I have her permission to share her words with you. More than anything I could say, I think her message expresses how we all feel about Terry Nathan. She wrote: “I just want to say thank you again for contacting me on Tuesday. I know you went above and beyond to arrange for my badge, and this is to affirm my sincere appreciation for your efforts. In a world where others are largely consumed with themselves, it is indeed refreshing to meet someone like you—who did not hesitate to lend a helping hand.”—Florrie Kichler, President, IBPA

Follow Florrie and IBPA on Twitter at twitter.com/ibpa, and on IBPA’s blog at ibpablog.wordpress.com. Join Independent Book Publishers Association–IBPA group on LinkedIn (linkedin.com).

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