most of you know that karla yaconelli sold ys to zondervan about 20 months ago. it’s been a really good thing for ys, helping us to clean up a bunch of our back-end systems without messing with our mission. it’s also meant we’ve had more full access to the various departments and skill sets of zondervan, and that i function as a part of the zondervan leadership team (which has been really fun for me, great for my development, and great for ys — whether or not it’s good for zondervan!). it also means that i directly report to the president of zondervan. there’s been an interim president at z for the past 8 months — a really good guy who was a previous president there. and i’ve enjoyed my short relationship with him.
yesterday, zondervan (and harpercollins, their parent company) announced the new president and ceo hire: maureen “moe” girkins. here’s a bit about her from the press release:
Girkins has spent 25 years in the high tech industry, where she held a number of senior executive positions including Senior Vice President, Wireless: Office of the Chairman at Dell and Senior Vice President and General Manager of Strategic Marketing at Motorola. She has also held numerous positions at AT&T and Bell Laboratories, and led their multibillion dollar international Electronic Switching Systems and Intelligent Network Businesses. Girkins spent a year as a loaned executive to the Mayor’s Office of Chicago. For the last six years she has worked as an advisor to Investor Growth Capital and served on multiple corporate boards including Media Arts Group, Vallent, Kemet Electronics, and Broadcom.
Girkins has completed the first half of her Masters of Divinity program at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. She is also a published author; Mother Leads Best details the positive impact of motherhood on senior executive women. She serves as Chairman of the Board of LovingNeighbors, a volunteer organization spawned to aid in the recovery of Katrina victims. Additionally, she volunteers on several boards including: Northwestern University and The Infant Welfare Society of Chicago. She is a member of Christ Church of Oak Brook.
she officially begins in early january, but i hope to have a chance to meet (or at least chat) with her prior to that. she’ll be at zondervan this friday, meeting with the other leadership team members; but i can’t get to grand rapids this week.
i’m optimistic and confident that this will be a good thing for ys, and i’m really looking forward to working with moe. i’m also stoked to be a part of the first large christian publishing company to have a female pres/ceo.