Peggy Walker: President & CEO, VANCE PUBLISHING
When Peggy Walker took the reins at Vance Publishing a year ago this month, she had two goals in mind: Streamline the company’s six divisions into three focused units and diversify its offerings to make the $50 million b-to-b publisher less dependent on print.
As president of the Lincolnshire, Illinois-based company, she has done just that. Digital revenues, traditionally a small percentage of the company overall, are estimated to have grown between 60 and 70 percent for the company’s fiscal year, which ends April 30. Overall revenues, which have been growing at about 5 percent a year, are expected to show double-digit percentage growth when the fiscal year ends, due to the company’s acquisition of agricultural-related products, she says.
Vance also has increased its event lineup and Walker believes event revenues will demonstrate solid growth by the end of the coming fiscal year.
This year, Vance’s woodworking and other home-related divisions were consolidated under the Interiors Media unit, which consists of more than 12 print publications, eight Web sites and three e-newsletters. Walker said the company is preparing to launch new products in this unit later this year. "We will see growth in that area over the next year, especially in marketing and events," she says.
With Walker’s guidance, Vance sold its three crop-related publications and consolidated its livestock and produce divisions under the Food 360 umbrella, which consists of 20 print publications, 13 Web sites and six e-newsletters. "We’ve put together a great marketing program and we’ve brought a number of new people on board to help with advertising," Walker says.
The Salon Collection comprises Vance’s third unit and consists of seven publications and two Web sites. Vance introduced two new salon shows this year.
VITAL STATS: Digital revenue grew 60 to 70 percent during the company’s current fiscal year.