Our industry has had many ups and downs over the past 16 years. Through it all, ABM President-CEO Gordon T. Hughes II has always been at the forefront of the push to communicate, change and evolve.
On June 17, at our annual Innovators Awards luncheon, Media Business will honor Gordon with our first Lifetime Media Innovator Award.
Prior to 1994, when Gordon took over what was then American Business Press, there had been a long period without any significant change in our industry. Amid the rapid changes since then, he has grown the organization, been an ardent supporter of marketing and advertising, and promoted editorial excellence.
Gordon introduced the CEBA Awards and the Timothy White Award, and he boosted attendance at ABM's annual spring and fall meetings. He undertook groundbreaking research on decision-makers, digital usage and marketing. He pushed hard for integrated advertising sales, video and data development.
When I first met Gordon, I realized two things: He was incredibly mercurial in his approach to the work world, and he was an amazing communicator who sold the virtues of b-to-b advertising to the whole advertising and media community. These attributes helped ABM to be a very powerful force. He truly was an innovator.
Gordon will leave ABM at a time when we need these skills more than ever. I, for one, hope the association will bring someone to the podium who can do as much for the industry as Gordon has done for 16 years.
Bob Felsenthal can be reached at email@example.com.