July 8, 2012 § 1 Comment
I was on vacation when I learned the news that my colleague and friend, Don Linn, was moving on to become the President of the Chicago Distribution Center. My immediate reaction was very complicated. I wasn’t at all surprised that Don was moving on to another full time position, but I was shocked by his destination. The emotional dimensions were even a bit more complex: saddened, sure, but mostly excited for him, and even more excited for my friends at the CDC and for the university press community that use the CDC’s services.
I am extremely excited that Don has found a position that will challenge and engage him in ways he hasn’t been challenged or engaged in quite a while. Don is a man of many talents, with a wide variety of experiences. Every one of those past experiences will be a great help to him in his new position. In many ways, Firebrand Associates was founded to showcase those talents, and yet, we never really accomplished that goal. So, I am very pleased that Don has found a new venue.
Don takes over a mantel with a formidable legacy. The previous President of the Chicago Distribution Center, Don Collins, was another man with a unique personal style and many talents. Since I have been lucky enough to call both of these gentlemen friends over the years, I’m sure that many in the CDC community will be curious about my opinions, and to them I will say this: after much reflection, I don’t think a better choice could have been made. Don Linn is not Don Collins, and Don Collins is not Don Linn. Their differences are immediately apparent, but they have several attributes in common:
- they are both enormously caring people; caring for their colleagues, their friends, and the publishing industry.
- they are both incredibly smart, and have a penchant for understanding bottom line impacts of actions and decisions.
- both men are “straight shooters”, and are willing to defend their positions even when they may seem controversial.
- both keep an eye on the future and are generally ahead of most when it comes to understanding the implications of new technologies on publishing.
- neither man is afraid to get his hands dirty. Sometimes the only way to understand an issue is to dive into the detail.
As should be obvious by now, I have tremendous respect for both Don and Don. As I mentioned before, I believe this to be a “win” for Don Linn, a “win” for the employees and clients of CDC, and a big “win” for the University of Chicago Press. Kudos to Garrett Kiely for his brilliant choice!